Updated: Dec 21, 2020
"None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect,
but those who have learned it by experience." -Martin Luther
Hurricane Ivan, the third major storm to rip through Florida in six weeks, hit the Panhandle, reeking havoc on everything in the path of its fury. Lieutenant Dan, a National Guardsman, was called up and sent to Milton, Florida to help with relief efforts.
There he met with Pastor Lowery of Pace Assembly and was granted permission to use their facilities as a barracks and distribution center. Volunteers from the church and its staff worked alongside the soldiers, providing the basic essentials for thousands of desperate people in need. One of the volunteers and Lieutenant Dan developed a close friendship. They had a lot in common, they were both young and beginning their careers, the Lieutenant was a high school history teacher and Travis a commercial airline pilot. They were both involved in church and were into fitness, running and working out religiously.
Travis rented a plane and wanted to take Pastor Lowery and Dan up to view Ivan’s damage from the air. They were scheduled to meet early Wednesday morning. The bus that transported Dan’s men to their duty stations was supposed to pick them up at eight each morning, but because of problems it never arrived until after ten. The men were working security and assisting in traffic control. Dan had plenty of time to take a quick flight and get back to work before the bus arrived.
Wednesday morning Pastor Lowery received an emergency call and for the first time ever the Lieutenant’s bus arrived on time. Pastor Lowery and Dan were both disappointed and called Travis, canceling their appointments. Two other people from the church took their places on the plane. Travis taxied down the runway and took off, but as soon as they were airborne the plane began experiencing engine trouble. Travis attempted to turn around but his efforts were futile. The engine lost power and the plane crashed killing everyone on board. The church and community, already suffering because of Ivan, were shaken by the loss.
Two nights before the crash Lieutenant Dan’s mother was awakened in the middle of the night, hearing one of her boys crying out for help. She checked on her youngest but he was resting peacefully. She was troubled and began praying for Dan and her other son, Issac. She went back to bed after a couple of hours. A few days later when Dan called and told her about what happened, she was certain about one thing—God had given her a premonition to pray.
"A great many people do not pray because they do not feel any sense of need," Oswald Chambers. But it is imperative that we call on the Lord constantly because it is prayer that moves the hand of Him who moves the world.