You may know her as a best-selling author and Bible teacher, or maybe even as Elizabeth Jordan from the movie, War Room; but to me, she’s simply “sissy.” Whether on stage or in personal conversation, Priscilla Shirer knows the significance of bringing God’s truth to bear on every aspect of her life and in the lives of those around her. If you know Priscilla, then you know you will never walk away from her without being enlightened in some area of biblical truth. It is my honor to share the wisdom of my sister with you today.
An Explosion of Prayer
The morning of July 25, 2007 began in its usual Wednesday-morning kind of way. I dressed my boys to prepare for our bi-monthly trip to Dallas’ Galleria mall where we played in the indoor, foam play area 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 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. Traffic screeched to a halt. We stared in disbelief at the fireballs hurling in our direction. My thoughts went to those individuals directly involved in the disaster. It didn’t occur to me that we fit that description until I looked out 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 would grab the kids and run. 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. 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. My husband 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 a few moments later when a police officer was finally able to direct the traffic from the bridge onto a side road. We wanted to go back home immediately but that would not be an option now. All the roads were blocked. 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 missed during all the earlier commotion.
You’ve been on my mind all morning. I’ve been praying for you and your family.
The message was casual and brief. And yet right there in the zoo-themed play area, I melted into a puddle of tears when I saw the timestamp on the text. It was the exact minute we’d been on the bridge at the edge of disaster.
Without knowing it, my sweet friend had been used as a divine instrument to call down a hedge of heaven to surround us here on earth. How grateful I was and am that she submitted to the inner prompting to pray.
Who’s on your mind today? Whose name keeps ringing deep within you? Coincidence? Not hardly! Don’t just think of them—pray for them. There’s no telling what glorious miracles might be resting on the wings of your prayers.
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