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God Stories

 

December 13, 2017 by James

 

 

Prisoner for Christ

My name is James. Words cannot describe the fear and sadness I was lost in. In complete bondage to fear and addiction, afraid of everything and using drugs, I was arrested for about the 30 something time for drug possession. In September 2016 I was sentenced to a 1 year drug treatment prison facility in Missouri called Ozark Correctional Center; a Gateway Foundation intense long term therapeutic community collegiate model drug treatment camp. I was 33 years old. I suffered from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and turned to drugs for comfort at a young age.

I desired change, but for 33 years I could not escape the grips of satan. I prayed to God for help. I prayed to God for death. I wanted my life to end desperately.

Before I was sentenced to this facility, I spent 14 months in God’s Word in jail in Texas and Missouri. Along with these preachings, I got a hold of a book called “From Faith to Faith” by Kenneth Copeland and a Bible. Rather than conform to what others were doing, I stood alone and I sought God with my whole heart. I applied the teaching in the Word to my life with genuine obedience. The Word began to take root in my Spirit and I began to grow. I continued to seek, I continued to be taught, I continued to be an example, I continued to encourage others, I continued to pray for people that would spit at me, and swing fists at my face. I ignored the naysayers as I walked alone as a quiet witness in places where people were afraid to walk alone. Little did I know God was about to show up…

On December 3rd 2016, in OCC in Fordland, Missouri, I walked up to the Chapel because I was trying to get a DOC Job there. I walked into a full Chapel and sat in the back row as the band “Bert Smith and The Walk” played and “Sons of Thunder Ministries” stood by a few chairs imitating an altar. One of the Chapel Clerks sitting behind the desk walked up to me and grabbed my hand and led me to the altar. There was a visiting preacher named Josh who I had never met before. He looked at me and said, “Do you have anything you’d like to pray to God for?” I said shyly, “I don’t know, he brought me up here”, pointing to my friend who brought me up there. He said, “Well what do you want ask God?” I said, “Well, I want to make this chapel a more loving environment than it is (being a prison chapel) but I lack the courage to talk to people really.” He said, “Alright James, (reading my DOC name tag) we’re going to pray for boldness”.

As we knelt to pray, as if I was hit by an anvil, I was knocked to my face as I felt this tremendous pressure pushing my face to the floor as tears began to fall. I couldn’t lift my head but my nose never touched the ground. As Josh is praying with his hand on my shoulder he begins laughing uncontrollably while he’s praying things that only God could know. As he’s praying, being steadily interrupted by his own loud joy-filled laughter, I felt this intense tugging from the pits of my stomach. I felt as if I were “heaving” tears as my gut wrenched and my face felt as if something was pulling me. (I remember trying to hold back because I didn’t want to cry in Prison but the tugging/wrenching continued harder and harder. This continued for maybe a full minute or so. (I also had bruises on my knees from the weight pushing me into the floor) I stood up, in tears still overcome with “Joy” is the only way I can describe it in the natural. Josh stood up, in tears. I looked at him smiling and crying and said, “Thank you, whoever you are.” He says, with a smile on his face and tears falling from his eyes, “THAT’S THE POWER OF GOD MAN!” Everyone in the room was in awe as the Spirit of God filled the room. I stood worshiping with my hands to the sky smiling and crying, just praising God.

He then walks over to me and says, “The Holy Spirit is about to leave, you may feel a jolt.” I felt this intense feeling of tears and sadness for just a second as I said “Please No.” He said Don’t worry James, He said I will never leave you nor forsake you, now every time you read your bible and pray He will return. The Lord is zealous with you, I want you to read Acts Chapter 2.” As the service is now ending, he shakes my hand and he says “Get Ready”...

As I leave the service I am filled with what I can only describe as “Joy” in the natural. This was not a feeling. This was a very strong presence. It affected everyone around me. I go to a service next door, and as I’m sitting at a small bible study table, my eyes suddenly get very heavy and im blinking because they kinda hurt. Suddenly, something overwhelms me and causes me to look around the room. I look into a sea of people and I see a bunch of lost children through eyes of compassion. I can’t sit still at this point, I felt complete purpose. As I looked from one person to the next it was as if they had crosshairs on them and something like a tractor beam was drawing me from one individual to the next. (I don’t speak unless spoken to, I walk around with blinders on so to speak, so this feeling is not of my own will). I then felt God’s pleasure with some, and compassion and empathy for others. When someone made me laugh, I remember feeling, “God is pleased with this character, this personality, this is one of his children who creates laughter and joy for others.” When someone was hurting, I could see it and feel it, and I wanted to help them. I also saw demons manifest in the eyes and faces of some and others my presence just made them smile.

As I head back to my living quarters, (imagine a barracks; people hanging out talking, cards, etc.) I get up on my bunk, and I remember feeling this peace unlike ever before. My mind was clear, focused, no rushing thoughts, blank, with songs of worship 24 hours a day in my inner Spirit (and it’s been like this ever since). As I close my eyes to pray, I see a man in the blacks of my eye lids. As if a lit sparkler traced the night sky, I see a man with long hair and a robe…Applauding.

It was Jesus.

I still don’t fully understand what happened to me that day, but I know I don’t need to. Im just thankful to be given vision and focus, and a chance to enjoy my future. I will just continue to seek Him and walk with Him and try to be my best. I no longer have to let feelings of defeat or my senstive emotions get me down to the point of giving up ever again. I have hope.. And that is means everything.

I was released yesterday, Nov. 27th from OCC Long Term Treatment Prison. This experience happened 1 year ago. I live in Houston, Texas and I am currently looking for a church to get involved with in or around the Northwest Houston/Cypress area. If anyone knows where I can get involved and grow I would sure appreciate any help/advice. Thank you smile

- James

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