The crowd parted as I neared. After all, it was my daughter lying in her own blood on the street. Minutes before, my husband and I had been watching a subtitled version of “Lawrence of Arabia” in our hotel room.
We had brought our teenaged girls to the beach for vacation and had chosen to have separate rooms, since we knew they would be keeping different hours. Kenting Beach was popular with all the families of Morrison Academy students. Only a few hours away by car, we could enjoy the Pacific Ocean despite the December date. Many of our daughters’ friends were there, so they swam during the day and hung out downtown at night.
Only three weeks shy of her eighteenth birthday, one of our daughters had rented a scooter so she and her friend could explore. The throttle had stuck on their 50cc Suzuki; they narrowly missed a passing tour bus but had slid into a parked car.
This event would change my prayer life forever.
When my husband’s cell phone rang, I could tell immediately that something was wrong. His body language tensed, and his question scared me. “Is she still breathing?” I overheard him say. As he hung up, he looked at me gravely. “Hilary has been in a scooter accident. You’d better put on some clothes. It’s going to be a long night.”
He was still dressed, so he left to get to the scene before me. As I dressed shakily, I tried to form the prayer that would not come. “Please don’t let her die,” I finally whispered.
As I walked out the door of the hotel and into the dark, my mind was blank. Finally, as I made out the shadowy crowd of bystanders, I asked aloud, “God, just what do I pray?”
Then the Spirit, in a Voice more precious than the noises around me, said simply, “Pray for no mistakes.” It became my cry over the next four months.
I saw that prayer answered as our daughter’s school nurse ran to the incident after watching it take place. She insisted that the Taiwanese EMT personnel fit both girls with neck braces, the absence of which could have paralyzed our daughter.
I saw that prayer answered when the group that gathered around her body began actively praying for us at the accident site.
I saw that prayer answered through the presence of an American doctor, who “surprisingly” worked at that particular rural, beach hospital and insisted upon review of the hastily-dismissed X-rays.
I saw that prayer answered as the Taiwanese doctor pierced our daughter’s temples to insert tongs for her twelve-day immobilizing traction.
I saw that prayer answered when I said “No” to one of the doctors who wanted to do a chiropractic adjustment to what we found out later was a fractured neck.
I saw that prayer answered by the insistence of American-based physical therapists, who almost demanded that we send our daughter’s MRI to a stateside Christian neurosurgeon for review.
I saw that prayer answered in the States after surgery, when the neurosurgeon removed a shard of bone resting precariously on her spinal cord. “One fall and this could have severed her spinal cord,” he announced.
Our daughter recovered and graduated from Morrison High School that year. I believe it was in part because of the many prayers offered in the form of “No mistakes, Lord.”
What crisis are you dealing with? It could be a spiritual attack, loss of financial support, or a family crisis. Have you prayed for no mistakes? If not, now is a good time to start. Believe me, the rewards are endless.
Questions to consider: What crisis are you dealing with? Have you prayed for no mistakes?