Fans of the Beatles know the phrase in this entry's title. It comes from the song, "Eleanor Rigby." The song's refrain asks, "Where do they all come from?" Today, I was thinking about one lonely person I heard about recently. I would not tell you who it is, where the person is, or how I heard about him or her -- because it is someone in Witness Protection. I felt moved to add this category of people to the American Prayer Calendar. Look under Friday, (the "Emergency/First Responders" category), on the Federal level, (the first row). You will see I have added "Witness Protection subjects."
"Witness Protection subjects" are not employees of the government. They do not fit the description of "those in authority." Paul's exhortation in [I Timothy 2:1,2] begins, however, with "all men" as those we should pray for. These people deserve our prayers. I suppose I could also have put them under "Military/Police," because they are also helping to keep America free. It involves a sacrifice - they are legally cut off from contacting family or old friends. Since not all of these people are in perfect health, they may face cancer, multiple sclerosis, or other illnesses without comfort of contact with those they love. (Or, at best, furtively.) Imagine being wheelchair-bound with MS, perhaps also blind, and no matter how much family members or friends might desire to help you, they are blocked from doing so because the people against whom you testified may be watching them patiently until they find where you are. An occasional secret phone call is no substitute for the care and companionship of a loving brother or sister, or parent. Even in the best of health, these are among the Lonely People.
Precisely because their existence is kept secret, they are a challenge to pray for. I cannot claim that I have given them any prayer time before this, either. They play an unseen part in the battle against organized crime, and perhaps also against terrorism. Our justice system sometimes cannot function to guard us against crime and terrorism without witnesses who can meet the rules of evidence in a court trial. True, sometimes these people were part of the crime schemes or terror plots against which they turned. Not always. Sometimes they may just be employees or in-laws or neighbors who learned too much, without wanting to. Whether they are innocent or not, as Christians we know that if we were to stop praying for sinful people we would be out of the prayer business altogether.
By all means, pray for repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. They may not need to repent in the area directly related to why they are protected witnesses but we all needed it in some way at some time ourselves. There is nothing better for a Lonely Person than the promise of Jesus Christ never to leave or forsake us.
(See "About Me")