There was another season of prayer in the middle of the night, where I felt that I was going to go into a trance. I was praying intently at my easy chair, when the room just filled with His presence. His Spirit was all around me, and I was just bathing in the love and peace of it all. I arose from my chair and began to walk back and forth across the living room while I continued praying. After awhile I started to sit down on the couch, and it felt like someone was already sitting there. I quickly jumped back up and looked behind me, and of course no one was there, so I began to lower myself to the couch again, and I felt the same thing again. I jumped back up realizing this time that there was an angel sitting there on my couch and this is why the room was so electrified with God’s presence! I began to thank God for His visitation asking what was He trying to tell me.
I knelt at the easy chair again, and then slid on down to the floor onto my face. This is when I felt my spirit begin to leave my body. It felt like I was floating upward away from my body which was prostrate on the floor. I could see myself partially out of my body, while I also saw myself ascending up into a sea-like blackness filled with tossing waves and dark skies. It was like a storm and there were people scattered everywhere in this sea of blackness, and they were trying to stay afloat in the angry waves tossing them around here and there. I began to ask God what this was about, and I did not receive any answer. I was praying intensely and reaching with my spirit to find some meaning to this scene before me, while becoming concerned about leaving my body. When I did not receive any answer, I began to resist leaving my body, and will myself back, and in doing so the scene before me faded and I was back in my living room praying at my easy chair.
I had never had many experiences like this before, although I had read about old-time prayer warriors having trances while in intense prayer. Smith Wigglesworth and others had written about their experiences in prayer, which included trances and being transported from one location to another via the Spirit without the normal means of transportation. You can find examples in the Bible for both of these experiences. Acts chapter ten speaks of Peter in a trance, and Acts chapter twenty-one speaks of Philip being transported 30 miles instantaneously.
During my early years of ministry, I spent many hours in prayer and days at a time in fasting. I read the Bible cover to cover twice each year, and slept with it under my pillow. I have great faith in the Bible as being more than stories and myths since the demons reacted to the Word in my commanding them to leave. Jesus said that the ‘Words’ that God speaks to us are ‘Spirit’ and ‘Life’. Psalm 130 lists many things that the entrance of His Word accomplishes. I still sleep with the Bible under my pillow to this day.
I am not sure what would have happened if I had not resisted. I was so intent on experiencing the power of God as Jesus and the Apostles taught. I have had a couple of deep experiences since this time, but I have never gone fully into any kind of trance. Maybe it is the Cherokee drawing me, and the Irish seeking, while the German resists not having full control of the will. hmm…
I picked up an odd job painting a barn roof for a neighboring farmer one time. The barn was a large one, built into a bank, so that the front was accessible by a ramp of earth, and the rear was made for the purpose of livestock to come in and out for feeding and shelter. So, it was a long way down to the ground on the back side of the barn from the top of the roof.
I put the extension ladder up at the front side of the barn, then climbed up onto the roof, and pulled another set of ladders up via a rope. I took the second set of ladders and separated them and laid one on each side of the barn roof. I tied each with a rope to the side of the barn below. I had a gallon of paint and my paint brush in one hand, while I climbed onto the ladder on the back side of the barn gripping the ladder with my other hand. I would brace myself with my feet on the rung of the ladder while using one hand to hold the bucket of paint, and the side of the ladder, and then use the other hand to hold the paint brush to dip into the paint, then apply it to the roof.
Things were going fairly well and I had painted 3/4 of the roof. I climbed off of the ladder, holding onto a seam of the roofing. While I tried to maneuver the ladder over to new position, things began to go awry.
I had one foot on the ladder, one foot on the roof, a paint brush in my right hand, while holding onto the side of the ladder, and my left hand gripping the seam of the roof, when I felt the ladder give. I let go of the ladder and the brush, grabbed with both hands the seam of the roof, said in ‘Jesus Name!’, while I watched the ladder and the paint bucket go sliding down the roof and over the edge and on down to the ground some 40 feet below.
I just sat there stunned, praying and thanking God for keeping me safe. I then began to carefully and slowly edge my way back up the side of the roof, by holding onto this seam ever so carefully. When I reach the ridge, I grabbed the top of the roof and pulled myself up. I straddled the roof for a season, trying to put it all together in my head as to what had just happened.
The ladder was lying on the ground below and it was all bent up from the impact. I am thinking that could have been me. I make my way along the top of the roof to the other ladder, double-check the rope, and make my way down to the ladder set against the side of the barn, then on down to the ground. When my feet step on solid ground, I allow myself to breathe again and start to relax. I walk around and down to the back of the barn to examine the bent-up ladder.
The bottom 1/3 is bent into several different angles and the rest of the ladder is all twisted from top to bottom. I stand there and look up to where I was sitting a few minutes ago. I just stand there giving God thanks for His angels protecting me from falling to my death with the ladder.
I don’t think the funeral home would have had to use a full-size adult casket for my burial. They could have just folded me up as I would have been squashed like a pancake!
I did go back the next day with a new ladder and finish the roof, very slowly, and very carefully. I have never been on a barn roof since that day. Do you blame me?
To be continued…