I Prayed have prayed
Lord, thank You for the many prayers you prompted before 9/11, and thank You for how You answered. Be with those who are still suffering from that attack on our nation, and protect us from any attacks on the 20th anniversary.
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A few weeks before Al-Qaeda set out to murder almost 75,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, the Lord prompted his intercessors to action.

A new believer I was discipling at the time had a vision of a rocket heading toward New York City, and my bride, Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer to www.HeadlinePrayer.org, sensed oppression related to President George W. Bush days before 9/11. These revelations inspired the Light Company, a spiritual warfare prayer team at our church (www.WestchesterChapel.org), to pray for protection for our president and our city.

Pastor David Wilkerson of Times Square Church (www.TSC.NYC) sensed something was about to happen. He called all of their missionaries home, and they made 2,000 sandwiches, which were ready on September 10. On September 11, church members understood the Lord’s prompting as the sandwiches became lunch for rescuers.

Gretchen Burkholder was working near the Twin Towers a few days before 9/11 and felt prompted to go to the top, despite her aversion to heights. On the observation deck Holy Spirit led her to pray for people from all over the world who were visiting the World Trade Center that day.

A missionary pilot saw hijackers in visions before the events took place and prayed for protection.

Though the attack went through, there were thousands of stories of people who should have been there, but miraculously were not!

Because of the bravery of Todd Beamer and other passengers, Flight 93 was wrestled away from the terrorist who was probably flying it toward the White House.

Because of the design of the Pentagon, damage was contained to a small section of the building. My brother-in-law was in the Pentagon that day, but his life was spared.

Because New York City was voting that day, many were late to work at the Trade Center.

A friend of ours was planning to go into the Trade Center before a meeting he had in Westchester County, just north of NYC. His wife convinced him to wait and go straight to Westchester.

In a comment on my article TWENTY YEARS AFTER OUR DARKEST DAY THE LIGHT STILL SHINES  Patricia M. prayed, “Father, thank You that my daughter’s breakfast meeting at The Towers was cancelled.”

I performed my one-man play The Revelation (www.RichDrama.com/TheRevelation) that Friday on Long Island and learned that the Long Island Rail Road was delayed half-an-hour that morning, saving many lives.

In my play Five Bells for 9/11 (www.RichDrama.com/FiveBells) I tell the story of Lana HoShing, who was in the South Tower when the North Tower was struck. The intercom announced that people were safe and should stay in the building. She heard the voice of the Lord urging her to leave the building, and Holy Spirit led her all the way home.

After performing Five Bells on the 10th anniversary, a fire fighter who was in the audience told me he was waiting in a hotel being used to stage rescue workers who were running into the Towers to save many. Every fire fighter in the city was called in, even if they were retired. That fire fighter’s unit was called in, but as they were running out of the hotel they saw reflected in the North Tower the falling South Tower. They turned around and ran back inside the hotel. This fire fighter sensed the Lord prompting him to turn right as soon as they entered the hotel. He did, but the rest of his team was buried by debris.

At the end of the day, only 4% of those targeted actually died. That’s a lot of answered prayer and lives spared!

In my interview with Ann Van Hine, the widow of the fire fighter I portray in my play (www.RichDrama.com/AnnVanHineInterview) I asked her why we should remember 9/11, and she said, “The Bible tells us to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of our Lord (Psalm 78:4). There are praiseworthy deeds that need to be remembered.”

The Lord prompted the people of Israel to set up memorials of how He helped them in various times. In Joshua 3 and 4, when the Lord led them across the Jordan River to the plains of Jericho, He asked them to create two memorials. Joshua picked a man from each of the twelve tribes to go back into the river bed, while the waters were still backed up, and each selected a rock for a memorial that they set up at Gilgal. Joshua also set up a memorial of twelve stones where the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had stood when the waters backed up.

We need memorials of how the Lord has helped us in our lifetime.

Five Bells for 9/11 is a memorial to how the Lord was with individuals on that dark day, and the title is a reference to another memorial: In days gone by, fire bells were rung in codes. They told which crew was called where and what to expect when they got there. Even the horses recognized the codes and would get antsy when their code was rung. The code that was rung when a fire fighter fell on duty was five bells, four times in a row. It would make a really long service to ring five times four for each of the 343 fire fighters who fell on 9/11, but after every performance I (or a local fire fighter) ring a bell for one of them. The performance I’ve posted at www.RichDrama.com/FiveBells honors Shawn Powell of Engine 207. Tomorrow morning, September 12, we’ll ring the bell at Butler Church of the Nazarene in Butler, NJ, for Paul Gill of Engine 54.

Frank Silecchia found a memorial. When the North Tower fell onto World Trade Center Building Six it created an open air atrium. In the wee hours of September 13, Frank entered that space and came upon a cross of steel, stuck in the rubble like the Cross of Calvary. He instantly recognized it as a symbol of hope, a sign the Lord had not abandoned us on 9/11.

In Five Bells, I portray Frank introducing Father Brian Jordan to what is now known as the Healing Cross of Ground Zero. Father Brian heard that the cross was going to be taken away for analysis with the rest of the debris, but he had a friend in the office of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, recognized by some as a national hero then as he is now. Father Brian shepherded the Healing Cross past the secularists who wanted all religious symbolism stripped from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. You can see the Healing Cross, a memorial that the Lord did not abandon us on 9/11, now in the final room you come to on a tour of the 9/11 Museum. Father Brian wrote a book about what it took to get it there: The Ground Zero Cross.

Let’s pray fervently for safety in the U.S. and around the world, now that the Taliban’s victory over America in Afghanistan has energized terrorists around the globe. We hope we don’t even hear what tragedies our prayers prevent!

At www.RichDrama.com/FiveBells, you’ll be able to see a recorded performance of Five Bells for 9/11 from 9/11 to 9/16.

There you can also see my interviews with Frank Silecchia telling about how he discovered the Healing Cross of Ground Zero and Gretchen Burkholder telling how Holy Spirit led her to pray atop the World Trade Center.

I’m sure there were many others the Lord prompted to pray before 9/11 than I have reported here.

If you were one of them or know of someone who was, or if you know someone who was targeted for destruction that day and was spared, please post the story in the comments below. Or just post a prayer of thanks to God for going before us. Let’s make this page a memorial.

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Rich Swingle
September 15, 2021

Praise the Lord! It appears our prayers for safety were answered! I did a quick search on Duck Duck Go for terrorist attacks on 9/11/21 and nothing seemed to be about an attack on that day.

The Light Company (mentioned above) met on 9/10/21, and one of the things we prayed for was safety. I told them about this article, and one remembered that the vision the man I was discipling had was of a plane that he said was also a missile heading toward New York City.

During our prayer time, one of our Light Co. members saw a vision of the wires to a bomb being cut as we prayed. It seems to have come to pass, and our prayer was answered that, “…don’t even hear what tragedies our prayers prevent!”

I’ve now posted my 20th Anniversary performance of Five Bells for 9/11, and it will be available through 9/22 to view for free at http://www.RichDrama.com/FiveBells

September 13, 2021

Dear Lord, I really thank You for answered prayer. I know that You do answer prayer and that it’s only in Your timing. You know what’s best for each of us, even better that we ourselves do. Be with those who are still suffering from that attack and I pray that You would prevent any attacks from occurring on the 20th anniversary. In Jesus name and authority, amen.

September 11, 2021

In 2001 I was living in Upstate NY. I had been feeling an urge to have a prayer meeting. It was supposed to be on the 13th. But I felt like it couldn’t wait and a small group of ladies met together to pray. We didn’t know what for. Just knew it had to happen. The next morning when everything unfolded we knew why. Then we found out we weren’t the only ones! There were several districts in our denomination that had also prayed just before. God is Good!!

    Rich Swingle
    September 11, 2021

    Wow! Did you pray on the 10th? What denomination?

      September 12, 2021

      I thought I replied, but I don’t see it. So hope I’m not being redundant.

      Yes, we prayed on the evening if the 10th. I was in the church of the Nazarene. Then I heard from other district churches, affirming the same thing happened at their churches.

Susan CC
September 11, 2021

Mr. Swingle, this is such an important messages, I thank you. The stories of mercy and grace surrounding this tragedy still astound me. One that I heard was about a blister, which required a bandaid, which necessitated a stop into a drugstore, which totally put this individual OFF TRACK as she walked to work into that area, on that day, just prior to that time. My God, blessings for a blister!

Yes! “We need memorials of how the Lord has helped us in our lifetime.” Amen!

Yes! “Let’s pray fervently for safety in the U.S. and around the world, now that the Taliban’s victory over America in Afghanistan has energized terrorists around the globe. We hope we don’t even hear what tragedies our prayers prevent.” Amen!

September 11, 2021

Excellent article, Rich. It is no surprise that the Word of God survived this horrific crash. The intact Bible stands as a testimony to the brave, courageous people who decided that they were going to intervene in the terrorist’s plans to use Flight 93 to cause further damage in Washington D.C. It shows that in spite of man’s most evil actions, God’s Holy Word is by far mightier and greater than anything that Satan can influence misguided people to do. Lord, please uphold and protect our nation. By Your grace, keep us strong in our dependence upon Your provision, day by day, as we seek to serve and worship You. In Jesus’ name.

September 11, 2021

I am so thankful that I can post biblical Holy Scripture for this memorial on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. For me, it was a day of unexpected realization of how evil took hold of many in our country through devastating chaos – but how the LORD responded in His prompting for so many to pray!! As I woke up early this morning, over and over, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua(Jesus), the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, so that we can comfort those who are in any trouble which we ourselves are comforted by God.” AMEIN!

Maynard Beck Sr.
September 11, 2021

This literally moved me to tears. What a beautiful extensive compilation of the many, many, blessings that are the backstory of that day of infamy!
All I could think of was the Hymn “Great is thy faithfullness” which I have playing at this moment.
Thank you for your faithfullness Brother

    Rich Swingle
    September 11, 2021

    Thank You, Lord, for the memorial of hymns!

Susan CC
September 11, 2021

As I prayed for Sean Feucht today and tomorrow in DC I was given such a beautiful thought.

Father thank you for helping me to remember You are the God of Abundance, nothing is impossible in YOU. I will continue to pray that the lives saved in these next 2 days would abundantly and exponentially exceed the lives lost on 9/11. Just as Jesus blessed and offered the loaves and fishes to feed the thousands, the blessing of the Holy Spirit in this place would be at work in the same way. May each person be fed and full in Christ…those who believe, those who question, those with bad intent in their minds and hearts. Everyone, fed and full as they leave this gathering. Thank You Father, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit. Amen

September 11, 2021

God bless you, Rich, and all who help us Remember.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Jesus, thank You.


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