It has been nearly 20 years since the city of Sayre, Oklahoma began to explore the possibility of constructing a prison here. Not knowing the will of the Lord about that we just prayed about it at our regular Wednesday morning prayer time. One thing led to another and the idea became a reality. Construction started on the facility a mile east of downtown and finished up a couple of years later. All along, as we prayed about the prison, we asked the Lord to place ‘His’ people here. We prayed, amidst a lot of other specific things, that the upper-level management people would be born-again believers.
Construction had been completed but after a few months there were no inmates. Complications came up in the negotiating process. One morning during our Wednesday prayer time the Lord gave me a vivid vision of myself and a team of people praying inside the prison facility. I didn’t think much about it….but the next two Wednesdays’ I saw the same vision in my mind’s eye. I was thinking by then that it was definitely from the Lord. Just about the time our prayer session was over I got a call from a person at the prison who went to church with us. He was calling for another person, an employee, who was having some personal difficulties. He asked if I could come out to the prison and pray with the person. I agreed. I drove there and as I parked my car I said, “Lord, if You’re in this thing of us praying over the prison…put me in the company of the people who can make that decision.”. As soon as I went through the 2nd door….I came face to face with Rick Hudson (who I’d met only once a few months before), the Warden. He was flanked by the Assistant Warden and the Chief of Security, the top three positions in leadership there.
I said to them, “For three weeks in a row at our Wednesday prayer time the Lord has given me a vision of us bringing a team of people in here to pray over the prison. That’s probably against every rule you have….but if you would want us to…we’d come in and pray over every square inch of the facility.” They didn’t give me any indication one way or the other if it might happen. I left there thinking, “I shouldn’t have come across so abruptly.” I figured I had probably ‘scared’ them off. About 10 o’clock the next morning I got a call from the Assistant Warden and she said…..“We want it to happen.”! Amazing!!
I handpicked about 15 of our most faithful, serious pray-ers and met with, and instructed them about the project. We would meet in a couple of days at the church where we’d pray for about an hour and then we’d drive the 3 miles to the prison for the project. We all fasted that day and we went into the facility about 6 o’clock that evening.
There were only a few people inside the prison since there were no inmates. We started in the office area and prayed over every square inch of office space. We went from there to the ‘pods’ and prayed over each pod and every single cell in each place. We prayed over the meeting areas, the mess hall, the solitary confinement areas, the showers…..etc. There was not one single area inside the entire facility that wasn’t prayed over.
One of the guards that was in charge of leading us through the facility began to confide in one of our people that at a point in his career as a prison guard he had to shoot someone (who later died)…..and he didn’t believe that God could forgive him. They assured him of God’s forgiveness and ended up praying with him to receive Jesus as his Savior.
We were in the prison more than 3 hours….and when we entered the last room (a meeting room) there was a tangible sense that we had done all that we were there to do. There were some very prophetic things that the Lord spoke to different members of our team that night. Some of those things have already been fulfilled but there are many others that have yet to happen.
It was really an amazing project….and one that the Lord, Himself, had initiated. As we left the prison we were encouraged that there would be some amazing things happen inside those walls in the years to come. It’s probably something that’s never been done in any prison facility on the face of the planet……..ever!
**Incidentally……We prayed that there would be a contract with someone within a week to start receiving inmates. And the negotiations with other states for inmates that had reached a stalemate for several months…somehow miraculously ended!! They secured a contract with Wisconsin within a week!!
We have learned that if God says it….and we cooperate with what He’s said…..stuff happens!!
If you like this blog post, you’ll love these too:
*(Click on the highlighted link to read)