Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pastor Brunson: "How I Survived Prison and What I Prayed Over Pres. Trump"

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Appearing on CBS "This Morning" last week, Pastor Andrew Brunson revealed the passage of Scripture that helped him endure a hostile Turkish prison where he was falsely accused of being a terrorist.

He also shared a dream that his wife Norine had experienced earlier. From that dream, the pastor and his wife knew exactly what to pray over the president when they met in the Oval Office.

I'm also talking about the latest developments in the migration toward our southern U.S. border this morning on our "Straight Talk" radio program.

Be informed.

Last week, 50-year-old Pastor Andrew Brunson appeared on CBS' "This morning" to talk about his imprisonment for false terrorism charges.

They asked if he was allowed to keep a Bible while in prison and if so, was there a certain passage that helped him through the experience.

He said, "It took a while before I could have any books or a Bible, but eventually I did have one."

"I read II Timothy where Paul talks about suffering and finishing the race well," he said. "This became my prayer. I want to be faithful and endure and finish well."

He said he was in solitary confinement at first, but was eventually moved to an overcrowded cell that held 20 people.

Explaining that he was the only Christian---the rest were Muslim--he said it was like "living in a mosque. There was very little contact with the outside."

Brunson said:
"I could see Norine, for example, 35 minutes a week through window glass talking by phone. She actually is very strong and had to take me through this emotionally and spiritually. She was the only one I could receive truth from. So when she would come in, she would encourage me and that is what would keep me going through the next week"

Brunson was actually held more than a year and a half before the Turkish government even told him what the charges were. They accused him of supporting Kurdish terrorists and of having ties to an Islamic group blamed for a failed coup against the Erdogan government.

He says, "We were shocked because we had spent 23 years working very openly to tell people about Jesus...We were just telling people about Jesus."

CBS asked if he feels he was being held as a pawn.

President Trump and others put a great deal of pressure on Turkey to release him.

Brunson was convicted of his crimes in court on October 12 but was released on time served and the court waived his travel ban, allowing him to return to the U.S.

Was he being held as a pawn? He says:
"People have certainly said that and President Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told me that," he says. But, "I just had the view from the cell. For whatever reason the Turkish government was holding us for, I believe that God was involved in this for us because I think millions of people who prayed for Turkey and how God is bringing blessing out of it."

Brunson's wife, Norine, says she had a "specific dream with specific verses" so when the opportunity came to pray for the president she said, "I knew what I was supposed to pray over him."

Her dream involved the words of Isaiah 11.

When the Brunsons met with President Trump a couple of weeks ago, Andrew asked the president if he could offer a prayer for him. The president replied, "Well, I need it probably more than anyone else in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you."

Pastor Brunson then laid hands on President Trump and gave this prayer:

"Lord, God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump. That you give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him. I ask that you give him wisdom on how to lead this country into righteousness. I ask that you give him perseverance and endurance and courage to stand for truth. I ask you protect him from slander from enemies, from those who would undermine. I ask that you make him a great leader for this country. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance, and we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus name we bless you. Amen."

His wife Norine followed with this: "I pray that the spirit of the Lord rest on the president. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. Amen."

Following the prayer, Trump asked Norine if he could ask her one question?

"Of course," she replied.

Typical of Donald Trump, he asked, "Who did you vote for?" Norine assured him she voted for him.

The pastor quipped, "I would like to say I sent in an absentee ballot from prison." Reporters, State Department officials, and Congressional leaders all laughed together.

Take away.

1. It would be appropriate for all of us to pray the prayer that Pastor Brunson and his wife prayed for the president.

2. As they were leaving, President Trump said, "From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours---that's not bad."

There are times in our life when we find ourselves locked in a cell---spiritually, emotionally, socially, mentally---and we pray for deliverance. It doesn't come---so we continue to pray and hope and wait.

Do not grow weary in well doing or in believing, because there is an appointed time.

The Prophet Habakkuk found himself waiting and watching for God's response to his complaints against the Chaldeans for their cruel behavior. Would God ever act on behalf of righteousness?

The Prophet begins his writing with: "O Lord, how long shall I cry, And you will not hear me?"

God's response reveals more than His response to the prophet's complaints and the Chaldeans. It gives us a picture of His faithfulness, and His timing.

Habakkuk 2:2,3:
"Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come; it will not tarry."

In His promises, He will not be late a single day.

Be Blessed. Be Free.