“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Pastor Andrew Brunson spent 735 days in a Turkish prison. He describes his experience as one of the darkest times in his life. “My story is one of brokenness,” Brunson told Fox News reporters. “Many of the stories of biographies I read, they have very strong characters. I was actually very weak in prison and broken, and then God rebuilt me.”
Brunson’s book God’s Hostage: A True Story of Persecution, Imprisonment, and Perseverance, which released yesterday, was a result of a promise that he made to God. He recalls promising, “if you ever let me out of here, if I have a chance to speak, I will be open and honest about my brokenness.”
Both Brunson and his wife, Norine, want the world to see the power of prayer not only in his release but in the impact it had on the nation of Turkey. “There were millions of people that prayed for me around the world, and that’s the God side of the story.”
He continued, “I call it ‘God’s Hostage,’ [because] when God had accomplished what he wanted to through my imprisonment, which I think was raise up millions of people to bless Turkey in prayer, then I was released.”
Pastor Brunson admitted that he doubted God’s existence and even fought through suicidal thoughts. His brokenness took him to his knees in prayer. Today’s Bible Quote instructs Christians to not be anxious about anything, even being imprisoned for over two years.
Prayer should always be our first line of defense when we feel hopeless, lonely, and beaten. Paul tells the Philippians that they should use prayer as a way to make their supplications known to God. Supplication is asking or begging for something in an earnest yet humble manner.
When we reach out to God in prayer with a desire to see His will done, we experience the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” For Brunson to stay the course while stuck in a cell for over two years, he had to have relied on God’s peace that “guards your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Brokenness and prayer often go hand-in-hand, and Brunson sensed that prayer was the reason he was held as God’s hostage for so long. “I believe my imprisonment was prepping for harvest with all this prayer coming,” he said.
Prayer not only heals our hearts, but it also prepares us for the future work of God’s Kingdom. Our prayers to God center on present or future circumstances. We come to God in prayer because we understand we have no ultimate control of the future as it relates to God’s will.
If you are anxious about something unknown in your life, let turning to God be your first course of action. You can find His peace in the midst of your struggles. During prayer, God speaks as well. Be still and listen.