Prayer will always be my first recourse.
I was hurrying home to the resort town of Ocho Rios from the capital city of Kingston, Jamaica, when my car came to a standstill just after overtaking a long line of traffic. The lights went out and the engine wouldn’t start.
I was in the deserted Bog Walk Gorge where there were neither lights, buildings, pedestrians, nor cellphone service. I quickly got out of the car thinking I would head back on foot to the last lit building, a shop I had passed some distance away, so I could call my brother-in-law back in Kingston to come to my assistance even though he was not a mechanic.
As I locked the car door and turned to start walking, the thought came to me, No. This is not what I should do. I reopened the door, sat down, and prayed, “Lord, what must I do?”
Following the Guidance
I listened for the answer then got out of the car once more and stood beside it, holding my hand out to indicate I needed help. Several drivers whizzed by without glancing at me or stopping. I understood their reluctance because there had been an upsurge of criminal activity in which unsuspecting motorists had been pounced upon when they stopped to assist women who appeared to be having car trouble.
After a good while, the driver of a small, dilapidated pickup truck shouted out to me as he passed, “You all right, baby?” I shouted back, “No!” He stopped his truck and came to me.
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked. I explained I had had the fan belt changed earlier in the day and had started smelling rubber just before heading out. Knowing the distance I would be travelling, I had returned to the service station to have it checked but had been assured everything was all right. So I didn’t know whether that was the issue.
Knowing the Presence
Suddenly I became keenly aware how much darker it had become, that the flow of traffic had eased, and that I was in the company of three other men who were travelling with this driver. Words from my minister’s sermon drifted into my consciousness: “In the midnight hour, when there’s no one around, can you know I AM?”
Affirming I AM made the emerging fear dissipate. I became present to one of the gentlemen who, perhaps picking up on my thoughts, asked, “Lady, yuh nuh fraid (aren’t you afraid) to be out here by yourself?” I quickly and confidently retorted, “Nope! I know God is here. And I know God will send someone—no, the right person—to help me.”
The pickup truck driver confirmed my car’s fan belt had slipped off because it was not the correct size. He thought he had a spare one in his truck and came back with not one but three—three fan belts of different sizes! He said, “In the name of Jesus, one of them must fit!” And sure enough one did.
In that moment I understood Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
Everything We Need
The only vehicle that needed to stop was the vehicle that stopped. What are the odds of someone having three different-sized fan belts, one of which fit my car? Only God could arrange that. My prayer was indeed answered before I knew I had need of a fan belt. Had I not prayed first, the outcome might have been quite different.
Once the car was up and running again, the thought entered my mind to return to Kingston instead of continuing the journey. But I quickly dismissed it with the thought, “if it happens again before I get home, then God will send someone else to help me.” And with that I drove safely home.
This article first appeared in the Unity booklet The Power of Prayer.