I awoke that morning by the insistent ringing of the phone by my bed. "Have you heard?" my daughter asked. And thus began my day, the day indelibly imprinted on the hearts of every American, September 11, 2001.
Three weeks later my husband and I were scheduled to be at a luxury resort. He would be there for a conference and I was determined to use the time as a personal spiritual retreat. But as the time drew closer I began to experience increasing physical difficulties which included recurring sinus infections, a fibromyalgia flare-up, and severe muscle spasms that left me walking at "half-staff".
I guess it was not too surprising that my first day at the resort I crashed, simply laying and praying. I heard loud voices and horns beeping outside our room. Thinking the authorities might be evacuating the area because of the warning of additional terrorist attacks, I got myself out of bed. When nothing more occurred, I slowly began to dress.
It occurred to me that I would probably never be in this place again, and the people I came in contact with during this week could very well be the next casualties of war. The Lord placed in my heart an overwhelming need to pray for each person we passed. I'm not accustomed to praying for strangers in this way. I don't consider myself a prayer warrior or intercessor. For that matter I've never found prayer particularly easy. So it was with some consternation that I felt this burden of prayer rest on me. I also felt the Lord prompting me to pray for Bin Laden, the terrorists, and the Afghan people as well. Knowing that none of us are promised tomorrow, I prayed that each of them would be brought to the Truth and have an opportunity to know Christ.
Because I had been feeling so spiritually dry, this type of prayer encounter left me quite puzzled. What had brought this about? And then it occurred to me that just the night before I had prayed the prayer of Jabez, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" (I Chronicles 4:9-10 NKJV)