I vividly remember how prayer helped to prevent a car from hitting a group of people. I volunteered to drive my friend Sue’s car from San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles to take care of some business. She had just moved here from overseas and was not familiar with the area.
I had been driving for many years and even though it was not my car, I was sure I could handle it. But when I took the exit to downtown, I felt something strange going on with the brake. It felt so loose that instead of hovering over the floor, my foot actually kissed the floor each time I pressed down on the break. Fortunately, I was able to get the car to stop at the first light. Given that it wasn’t my car, I thought maybe this was just how this particular car drove, so I continued on the road. Far ahead I could see a red light and many pedestrians getting ready to walk across the street. Given my earlier experience exiting the freeway, I immediately began to step on the brake.
Oh, no! The break was not responding! I tried hard to press on the brake but the car preceded to move forward. I still remember what it felt like to see the image of the pedestrians getting bigger and bigger as the car crept closer and closer to the crosswalk. I was so frightened that I was going to hit them. I felt so trapped that I envisioned myself holding the steel frame of a jail room. Out of panic, I yelled, “pray!” Immediately, I could hear Sue’s and her two kids so fervently and eagerly filling the car with voices of prayer. Right before I was giving up the hope, the car made a sudden stop right in front of the pedestrians.
Just like that, the car completely stopped right in front of them. Some gave me the gesture of pointing their fingers at their eyes, as if saying: “Didn’t you SEE us?” Clearly, they were scared for their lives, and so was I. None of them realized that the prayer prevented the tragedy from happening at that time.
We were all so shaken up. We got out of the car, pushed it to the side of the road and called AAA. We climbed back into the car and prayed again as we waited to get towed. We prayed with tears streaming down our faces. We thanked God for helping make everyone safe. We were also grateful to be alive to share this experience.
Now let me be clear on my interpretation of what happened with the car: I believe that miracles can come to us in times of desperation as a result of our own earnest efforts in partnership with the wonderful workings of God and/or the Universe. Had I not applied my foot to that break with all of my might, I’m not sure that the powers at be would have come to my aid. I took action, and where my actions perhaps fell short of what was needed to prevent injury or loss of life, a higher power stepped in. Therefore, in my opinion, equally important to prayer is the need for us to take responsibility for our own lives.
That being said, I believe that indeed, miracles can happen through prayer. Sometimes when we, as human beings, feel the most powerless and helpless, we can only pray. In our humble experience, prayer can spark the flame that ignites the powerful force of miracle into our lives in the most desperate of times.