I recently came upon an accident so soon after it happened that paramedics hadn't arrived yet. A man was face down in the road behind a vehicle and near his motorcycle. The urge to pray with him was overwhelming.
I was able to park my car and walk right over. I spoke to him and asked if I could pray for him, to which he agreed. I knelt down beside him on the pavement, amazed that he was able speak at all because there were tire tracks on his back where he had just been run over.
After a few minutes, more people began to arrive on the scene to help. It was then that I noticed the distraught young driver of the vehicle and went over to talk and pray with her, too.
After driving home, I became overwhelmed with emotion upon realizing that I had literally just been talking to God about opportunities for specific prayer before coming upon that scene. It was so obviously a divine appointment. Let me back up a few minutes and fill you in.
I had been at Target along with a myriad of other people who were shopping on a Thursday afternoon 10 days before Christmas. The parking lot was such a crowded mess when I was leaving that a full five minutes passed before there was an opening to back out.
While waiting for my turn amidst all the craziness, I reflected on the previous day's trip to Mexico to drop off toys for underprivileged children.
I thought about the people I met in Swaziland a few months ago who live in mud and stone homes.
And I thought about the photo that's been circulating on Facebook of starving children next to a photo of shoppers with carts full of toys and the caption, "Define Necessity."
It seems so ridiculous to rack my brain for great ideas and spend money on gifts for people who don't really "need" anything anyway.
I chatted with God and resolved this year to write personal notes to tell people how much they mean to me and that I am praying something specific for them.
It's personal, definitely the right size, and surely everybody has something in their life that could use prayer. Our world can often seem so cold and heartless, and it is encouraging to know someone cares.
I was uncommonly calm and peaceful while thinking about this plan and awaiting the chance to back out.
Within a few minutes of leaving the store, I came upon that accident.
If I had been able to back out of the parking lot right away, I would have been ahead of that accident and missed it entirely. A few minutes later and I would have been stopped in traffic.
The exact timing is no coincidence. I asked for the opportunity to be encouraging with prayer, and God gave one right away. He's the One who prompts us to pray and He's the One who answers the prayers in His timing and in His way. What a privilege it is to be used by Him. All the glory to God.
If the motorcycle driver (or perhaps a family member) happens to read this, I told you I'd keep praying for you. Some friends are, too.
Among other things, I'm asking for a miraculous recovery, and that while you are laid up with injuries, you will have a chance to be still and overwhelmingly know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Please let me know how you are if you are able.
And to the driver of the vehicle that hit him - this has undoubtedly been a tough ordeal for you, too, and I'm praying that the Prince of Peace will bring healing to you in a different sort of way.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000.