Monday, September 10, 2007

An Explosion of Prayer

A friend that I met through Bethany (our adoption agency) sent this to me today. It really hit home for me today and I wanted to share:

An Explosion of Prayer
September 2007

It was surreal. This was the kind of thing you hear about on the news and shake your head in disbelief from afar. But today, I sat in my car unable to believe that we were a part of this shocking tragedy.

The bright morning of July 25th began in its usual “Wednesday-morning” kind of way. I bathed and dressed my two boys to prepare for our bi-monthly trip to Dallas’ Galleria mall where we played while my husband had his regular meeting with a friend at Starbucks. We loaded ourselves into the Tahoe and took the route we always did--35 North toward downtown. As we neared the city, we saw thick clouds of black smoke in the distance. At first we thought it must be a small car fire. It wasn’t until we were atop a major bridge adjoining two main intersections in downtown that we realized we had driven directly in the path of a major disaster.

An industrial gas plant had exploded just moments before we arrived. The explosion had unleashed massive plumes of smoke and was now sending flaming debris flying in the direction of the bridge on which our car sat. We stared in disbelief at the enormous disaster before us. My thoughts went out to the employees at the company and those individuals directly involved in the disaster. It didn’t occur to me that we fit that description until I looked through my window into the faces of the people in the car next to us and saw the terror in their eyes. When safety workers started running away from the blaze, up the freeway in our direction, I nervously unbuckled my seatbelt thinking that we too might have to do the same. A hailstorm of blazing rubble was hoisted into the air. It flew like a misguided firework leaving a trail of smoke across the sky. Each piece came crashing down onto the road in a fiery fury and dashed across the street in a fuming huff.

The bridge jolted beneath our car. It felt like we’d been rear-ended. Jerry and I turned in our seats to see the culprit but found no one. Then we felt the jolt again. The plant, filled with tanks of oxygen, helium and acetylene, had a chain reaction of explosions as the heat from the fire intensified and met with the volatile chemicals housed in the warehouse. Each blast sent shockwaves throughout the neighboring streets. Jerry and I caught each other’s eye and realized that we were in danger. My heart stopped for a moment as I feared the worst. Would one of the flying pieces of debris hit our car? Would the bridge collapse from the jolt of the explosions? Should we stay put or get out of the car, as so many others had, unhook our children from the car seats and run? Neither of us had any answers.

Our panic settled some time later when a police officer was finally able to direct the traffic from the bridge onto a side road that would lead through downtown. Our nerves, shot and disheveled, began to settle as we drove away from imminent danger and watched the action, movie-like scene fade in the rear view mirror. Going back home was our desire but not an option. Now, all the roads were blocked going in that direction. We continued on to the mall. Once inside, I sat down in the seat I always use, in the area where my children always play and drew a deep breath. I’d never expected that this could have been a day when things we always did might not have been done. My cell phone beeped indicating that I had a message. It was a text from a friend I had somehow missed earlier. I’d been on her mind early that morning she said. For no apparent reason, she’d felt compelled to pray for me. She wrote her prayer: “Father, I lift to you Priscilla. I pray that you bless her right now with your strength and peace. May she see the new mercies you have provided for her today and may she feel your presence everywhere she goes. Overwhelm her with your provisions. Allow her to rest in your faithfulness and Lord, please cover her and her family with your protection in the name of Jesus, Amen!”

Right there in the zoo-themed play area right between the plastic hippo and massive coiled snake, I melted into a puddle of tears as I saw the time that she’d sent the email, exactly the time we’d been sitting on the bridge on the edge of disaster. Without knowing it, my sweet friend had been used as divine instrument to call down the fiery hedge of heaven to surround us here on earth. How grateful I was and am that she submitted to the inner prompting to pray to call out my name to the Father and ask Him to protect.

Who’s on your mind today? Whose name keeps ringing deep within? Coincidence? Not hardly! Don’t just think of them … pray for them. No telling what glorious miracles might be resting on the wings of your prayers.

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