The wife of the recently released American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was held prisoner in Turkey for two years, had a dream about praying with President Donald Trump before that dream became a reality on Saturday.
Norine Brunson shared with “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that prior to that opportunity, the couple dropped to their knees in prayer and thanksgiving to God after a Turkish judge allowed her husband to go free with time served. Brunson had faced up to 35 years in jail.
“We got on our knees in the court house,” she said. “We didn’t care what anybody thought.”
Brunson related that God and his wife were his mainstays during his imprisonment.
The portion of scripture he said encouraged him the most was book of 2nd Timothy, which the Apostle Paul wrote while he was a prisoner of the Roman government.
Brunson referenced Paul’s famous words to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The Christian said that he too wanted to fight the good fight for as long as his time in prison lasted.
Norine was able to come visit her husband once a week for about 30 minutes. They would talk together in the prison visitors area separated by a glass partition via a phone.
“She actually is very strong and had to take me through this emotionally and spiritually,” he said. “She was the only one I could receive truth from. So when she would come in she would encourage me and that’s what would keep me going through the next week.”
The pastor recounted that both of them were initially taken prisoner by the Turkish government, but his wife was released after 13 days.
“We were told we were a threat to national security and would be deported, but then we waited to be deported, and they didn’t,” he said. Instead he was kept behind bars.
Brunson said he was innocent of the charges of trying to subvert the government and that all he did was what he and his wife had done for 23 years living in the country, which was tell people about Jesus and help those in need.
The couple was asked about their desire to pray for Trump in the Oval Office on Saturday.
"Lord God, I ask that you pour out your holy spirit on President Trump"
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 13, 2018
“Norine had actually had a dream about praying for the president before, so she had that in her heart,” Brunson explained. “So before we went to the White House we prayed together and asked God to give us opportunity to pray for the president.”
Norine added, “So I had a specific dream, and specific verses, so when there was opportunity, I knew exactly what I was supposed to pray over him.”
Asked which verses they were, she said it was Isaiah 11, which reads in part: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins gave some further backstory to the prayer on Fox News Tuesday night.
Perkins had traveled to Turkey for the trial and brought letters of reassurance from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that the pastor would not be forgotten regardless of the outcome in the courtroom.
Just landed at Andrews AFB with Pastor Brunson and his wife Norine. They are thankful to be safely home in the USA. Under this administration being an American means something! @realDonaldTrump @VP @SecPompeo pic.twitter.com/YOjoEOCX6k
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) October 13, 2018
The couple asked Perkins on the plane ride home if they thought it would be okay to ask to pray for Trump.
“This president would love you to pray for him,” Perkins recalled telling them. “You can lay hands on him and pray for him.”
Perkins said he appreciated the resolve of the Trump administration regarding Brunson.
“It was an amazing thing to see how our government, this administration, the president, the vice president, secretary of state, would not let this go and they worked to bring home an American,” Perkins said. “It sends a strong message around the world. Not only help for Pastor Brunson, but hope for the persecuted in every place.”
So far the Trump administration has negotiated the release of at least 19 Americans being held overseas.
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