Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris has detailed his extraordinary experience of survival after he fell terribly ill from a bout of internal bleeding. The 56-year-old pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, was at a remote property with his wife when he suddenly collapsed. When paramedics finally reached him, Morris was in a critical state — first responders could barely find a pulse.
“You might want to get in and talk to him,” one of the medics told Morris’s wife, Debbie, as they loaded the pastor into a medivac helicopter.
“So we both thought it was over,” Morris recalled during an emotional talk at Gateway earlier this month. “So Debbie and I said goodbyes and I recorded a video to our children and our grandchildren.”
During that perilous 35-minute flight, Morris said he had “an encounter with the Lord.”
“I didn’t go to Heaven but the Lord’s presence filled the helicopter and I felt like I was about to go to Heaven,” he explained. He said he had no fear and felt “extremely peaceful.” Incredible, despite his dire medical condition, he said he also felt “happy” and “excited.”
“I was excited that I was about to see Jesus, that I was going to Heaven. I thought about my family and my church family but … I just knew God will take care of them,” he continued.
Morris recounted a frank conversation he had with God: “If this is it I’m ready to come but I’d like to stay for my family. And I just don’t think you’re finished with me yet on earth (in terms of ministry work),” the pastor remembered telling the Lord.
Then, God responded with some clear and concise words: “I’m not.”
“And I knew I wasn’t dying that day,” the pastor declared.
Morris underwent emergency surgery to repair arteries that had been damaged by two separate hematomas. It was touch-and-go for a while, but he made it. Now, he has had time to reflect on this traumatic experience and is profoundly grateful for all the prayers that were poured out for his healing.
“I had some medical problems and I had medical help and I thank God for the medical professionals but I also had a spiritual battle and that’s where the prayer came in,” Morris said. “There are people that blame everything on the devil but we are not like that. We are grounded in the Word, most of you are very mature believers but I think that we have a tendency to be too logical sometimes and not realize that the enemy’s at work and we keep looking for the logical explanation.”
“Jesus Himself told us that Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I think he was trying to kill me,” Morris said.
But there was one crucial point that Morris was determined to make to his congregation: “God answers prayer.”
“I’m here because of prayers, and I’m here because of our phenomenal first responders,” he declared, before noting that it was one of the church’s elders who performed the surgeries that saved his life.
When it was announced that their pastor was in a grave condition in hospital, Gateway Church gathered thousands of members to pray throughout the night. It was a stunning show of support and care and clearly had a profound impact.
“I’ve had several leaders say to me … I don’t remember in my lifetime a time when the body of Christ came together to pray for someone as much as they came together to pray for me,” Morris said. “What I thought about was I think that’s fantastic and it saved my life but if we can come together to pray for a dying person, what would happen if we came together to pray for a dying nation.”
(H/T: The Christian Post)