Monday 4 September 2017

Lord, Send Me Just One

On May 1, 2016 a fire of epic proportion spread like crazy through the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. People were given minutes to evacuate leaving behind valuables, pets, and vehicles. Images of the apocalyptic-like fire begin to spread across the Internet, videos uploaded from people who watched their homes burn from their baby cams they had connected to their phones. Our province of Alberta held its breath while we watched and waited for them to arrive. Then the chaos hit. The people we had witnessed fleeing for their lives started to trickle into our cities and towns in southern Alberta and into facilities across the province that turned into make-shift hostels. A hotel in the city where I live set up a donation centre where people could come get diapers, shampoo, dog food, and other toiletries. 


I prayed and asked God where He wanted me in all this. I wanted with all my heart to help, but where was God? Where did HE need help? I felt him stirring my heart to pray for just one. He did not need me to help the masses, or serve tirelessly day and night. He need me for just one person. So I prayed for one.

"God, bring to me just one person you are chasing after. Give me just one person and take over my mouth and hands to serve how YOU need them served."

I prayed all day.

In the late afternoon, my husband went to leave the house and I noticed him talking to someone. I came to the door to look..

There she was.

One single lady (let's call her Jane), sitting under the shade of our trees on our front lawn. Her eyes were wide. Her breathing laboured. She had just been flown in, and our neighbour had offered a room to whomever needed it. She was the recipient of our neighbours generosity and found her way to our shady grassy patch to catch her breath (something she couldn't quite do yet).

Thank you Lord, I see your daughter in need.

Not wanting to step on the toes of our already generous neighbour, I made mention to them both that we needed  to run a few errands and I asked if it would it be convenient for us to take Jane up to the donation centre to grab what she needed. They all agreed this was a wonderful idea.

Jane stepped to our car, eyes still wide, adrenaline still coursing through her veins. We got to the donation centre and my husband offered to run errands with the kids while I helped our evacuee navigate under stress.

The hotel with the donation centre generously had supper out for evacuees to eat when they came through. I sat with Jane and listened. She could barely eat with her nerves being what they were. She spoke quickly of the events of the day as she processed what had happened. When she made it through the events of that one day she started moving backwards in thought, recounting many stressful events in her life.

I sat and listened, she spoke.

Her breathing became quicker between inhales and exhales.

She pushed her food away.

"I can't eat," she said quietly to herself.

We sat together silently. Saying nothing. I wanted to say so much, and yet nothing seemed right.

I offered to go for a little walk across the street to our local rec centre where the clothing donations were set up. Jane was still wearing the same steel-toed work boots she had put on earlier that morning. As we walked she started to process her future: “What if I lose my job?” “What is someone stole my car?” “What if someone looted my house?” “Where will I go while I wait to go home?”

We found her some running shoes. She stretched out her toes for the first time from her cramped boots. About that time my husband showed up to take us "home". As we drove back my heart was leaping for a chance to pray with her. I had sat quietly for an hour and a half listening and trying not to barf some form of Jesus on her from excitement over what God had done.

As we pulled up in front of our house my mouth started speaking before I had time to think. "Can I pray for you?"

She stopped. I held my breath. I must have sounded stupid.

"Yes", she replied. A smile began to spread across her face.

I prayed right there in the driveway. I won't share what I prayed, but we prayed. Together.

When we finished she grabbed me for a hug, and for the first time I felt her take a long slow inhale and a long slow exhale. She backed up. "I knew I was suppose to meet you," she told me. "There was something about all this that was just supposed to be."

She had been struggling with faith and wondering where God was. He showed up by the working through all those events to make Himself known to her.

We said goodbye and that was the last time I saw Jane. She left the next day to stay with family in a different city.

I walked into my home grinning from ear to ear over all that God had done that day.

It changed me. I don't need to change the world. I don't need to travel overseas and visit third-world countries. I don't need to build organizations and not-for-profits. All I need to do is pray the simple prayer of "Lord, send me just one," and then be ready for Him to interrupt my day.

I now pray this prayer every morning. It changes the way I see the world, and I can't tell you how many times He's interrupted my day with someone who needs to hear from him. I have come to expect that He will send me just one every time I ask. Sometimes it's a stranger, or a friend, or sometimes my own kids or husband. It's given me the mindset of a missionary, and changed how I choose to insert my life into my community.

As Paul puts it:

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Here's the beauty of this prayer. You can pray it too! You can be a missionary in your own back yard. It's about intentionality and allowing God to interrupt. It forces you to re-evaluate your daily purpose. We are not here to stand by idly. We are here to be the hands, feet, and mouth for Jesus. We are here to complete the work He began on earth.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19)




  1. Oh my heart what a beautiful and faith inspiring story! I love this prayer. I'm going to start praying it every day too. <3 Thank you so much for sharing this! God bless your faithful heart and mission field! <3

    1. Thanks for your kind word Chris. I'm excited for you as you begin to pray. May the Lord interrupt your days and bless you in those moments of obedience to follow His lead!