“Hannah, We Were Right!”
I want to encourage you today with an amazing account of God’s sovereign ability to work through us, in spite of our weaknesses. It was 2003, and the story begins with a dream sent to me by a friend.
Lou Engle and Dutch were together, in a building used for banquets and other gatherings. Lou was talking to people around him about prayer and fasting and was growing frustrated that they were not listening to him, but instead were chattering and eating. Dutch, on the other hand, was being listened to by those around him.
The scene changed, and Dutch approached Lou, handed him something I could not yet see in the dream, and said, "Here, Lou, if you will strike this, they will listen to you." Dutch also handed him a conductor's wand with which to strike the unseen object. Lou did as instructed, and a sound reverberated through the room. When the sound was heard, everyone began paying close attention to him. As Lou turned around to Dutch in the dream, what he struck could be seen - it was "the scales of justice." Dutch then looked at Lou and said, "This will crescendo on March the first."
As I sought for insights concerning the dream, I knew the scales of justice referred to the judicial system. “Striking” them pictured intercession (the Hebrew word for intercession is paga, also translated as "strike the mark.")(1) The conductor's wand indicates agreement in prayer, since the Greek word for agreement is sunphoneo,(2) also the word for "symphony." That Lou and I were together and I handed him these items indicated a need for our partnership in the endeavor.
In response to the dream, Lou and I launched a 40-day prayer initiative for the judicial system, focusing especially on the Supreme Court, leading up to March 1, Crescendo Day. Many people responded and joined us in prayer.
Coinciding with the end of these forty days, I was scheduled to minister in England. Because of jetlag, my plan was to leave on February 28, rest on March 1, and begin the conference on March 2. The night before leaving (27th), I looked at the expiration date in my passport and realized I had been misreading it. The way it was written, in two different languages, had confused me. My passport had expired! I couldn't believe it. I felt foolish, embarrassed, angry, and panicky.
Both Ceci and our 13-year-old (at the time) daughter Hannah had different reactions. They immediately felt that God was somehow behind this. I did not accept that and stated, "No, it's just my stupidity. I can't believe I did this. How could I have made such a mistake? I'm not a novice traveler. I should know how to read a passport. How could I have misread this date for the last couple of years?"
"No," Hannah said adamantly, placing one hand on each of my cheeks and looking me in the eye. "God is in this. Be alert to what He may be doing."
Early the next morning (the 28th), the day I was supposed to leave, I called the U.S. Passport Agency. "How can I get a passport renewed quickly?" I asked. This was in the day when everything was manual, and there was no internet or cell phones.
"You will have to call one of the U.S. passport offices [the worker listed approximately ten cities], schedule an appointment, travel there, submit your application, and if there are no problems, they will issue you a new passport," she said. "But it is difficult to get an appointment on short notice. Most offices are booked up several days, sometimes even weeks, ahead.”
Great, I thought.
I knew I would be at least a day or two late for this overseas conference, if I made it at all. But since I wasn't scheduled to speak until the latter half, I realized it might be possible to get there for most of my teaching slots - IF I COULD GET AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE NEXT DAY IN ONE OF THE PASSPORT-ISSUING CITIES, SECURE THE NECESSARY FLIGHTS TO GET THERE, AND THEN REBOOK ALL NEW FLIGHTS TO ENGLAND!
I then asked, "Of all of the passport office cities you have mentioned, which would you recommend I try?"
She thought for a moment and said, "I think you should try Philadelphia."
I hung up, and called the Philadelphia office; surprisingly, they had an opening at nine the next morning (March 1). I was able to get the last seat on the last flight into Philadelphia late that night, in order to be at the passport office early the next morning. I was also able to get new flights to England for the next afternoon, should I be successful in renewing the passport.
On the way to the Philadelphia passport office the following morning, I noticed that it was only a block away from the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall, where our government was formed. I had prayed there many times, and it was a special place for me. As I rode in the taxi, I found myself thinking, Wouldn't it be wonderful if I was here to pray?
Then, while filling out my forms, I wrote the day's date, March 1. Only then did I make the connection: today was the last day of the forty days of prayer for the courts. Crescendo Day! What a shame, I thought. It’s Crescendo Day, and instead of praying, I'm distracted by this mess. I wish I were here to pray instead of dealing with this situation. Then I thought, what if I end up with time to go to Constitution Hall and pray? Were Hannah and Ceci right that God is involved in this? No, I won't have any time to pray. This will take all morning; then I have to rush from here to the airport to catch the flight to London - if I even get my passport in time. No, I wish I were here for that reason, but I’m not.
After my forms were filled out and I was called to the counter, the agent looked over my information and then said, "You have approximately a 2-hour wait. Please return in two hours."
"Don't I need to wait here?" I asked.
"We prefer that you don’t," she said. "It gets too crowded; find something to do and return in two hours, at 11:00."
As her words sank in, I began to sense God's presence, Holy Spirit's anointing. Suddenly, I knew in my heart all of this WAS arranged by God. He had caused me to misread the expiration date in order to get me to Philadelphia on Crescendo Day of this assignment. I did not yet know where or what to pray, but I knew God had orchestrated it.
First, I walked to the Liberty Bell and decreed over America the verse written on it, Leviticus 25:10. Then I went to Constitution Hall and prayed through that building. When finished, however, I knew my assignment still wasn't accomplished. I kept asking the Lord, “Why am I here?”
Finally, as I was about to leave the premises, my attention was drawn to an adjacent building. I had never been inside and didn’t know what it was. But I felt Holy Spirit's urgent prompting and heard, “Go in THERE.”
I decided to obey, not even knowing if the building was open to the public. Inside, I found a guard and an old courtroom. Again I sensed a strong anointing of Holy Spirit. "What is this place?" I asked the guard.
"This is where the Supreme Court met before moving to Washington, D.C." he said.
I could not believe what I was hearing and replied in astonishment, "Are you telling me this was the home of America’s Supreme Court?"
"Yes," he said, "in this very room."
I was speechless. I knew that Lou Engle, my counterpart in the dream, was with a team in front of the Supreme Court in D.C., at that very moment, "striking the scales of justice" through intercession. And here I was, the other guy in the dream, standing at the birthplace, the root, of America’s government and the previous home of the Supreme Court - on Crescendo Day! In God's amazing sovereignty, He had orchestrated this entire series of events to get me to the very place of our nation’s birth, and the root of our judicial system.
While Lou was decreeing in D.C., I was decreeing over the root, "striking" the Supreme Court of America in prayer. I decreed God’s Word, commanding a return of our judicial system to its original intent. I knew I was there to call it back “Under God,” to decree that the Supreme Court would honor life and morality. Quietly but boldly, I commanded God's Kingdom to come, His will to be done, and a rebirth of His purposes for the Supreme Court of America.
God gave a young lady a dream, determined the expiration date of my passport, caused me to misread it, motivated a passport agent to direct me to Philadelphia, created an opening for me at just the right time, reserved me a seat on the last flight, and led me to a building I did not even know existed - all in order for His words to be decreed over the root of our government. And I never missed one of my sessions in England. What a God!
I called home and excitedly told my 13-year-old, “Hannah, we were right…!”
Pray with me:
Father, we marvel at Your ability to orchestrate events. We are amazed at Your greatness and power. Our faith that America shall be saved is not in our prayers, abilities, or understanding. It is in You to whom we pray. It is in Your mercy, the blood of Jesus, and Your eternal Word.
Our weaknesses make us stronger as they remind us of where our faith must remain. They remind us that our help comes from You, maker of heaven and earth.
So, as we “strike” with our words of intercession, we believe fully that our prayers are effective. Our decrees establish things in the spirit realm. Our words are a sword, piercing darkness, and tearing down strongholds. We declare over America today that our government is being invaded by a force from heaven that cannot and will not be stopped. And we declare this, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
We decree that evil in the judicial system of America is being shaken down by the power of God.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Authority in Prayer (published by Baker Books).
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
1. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 6293.
2. Ibid, ref. no. 4856.