This is not about anecdotal claims, but written, published claims that offer a way of substantiating at least some of it. In other words, this isn't about claims to know something about a person that could be supernatural knowledge about that person, but knowledge given about a real event that the person could not possibly have known naturally. And did the published report provide some factual evidence to back up the claim of the supernatural knowledge received?

For example, I've read a book about some Christians getting forewarning of the slag-heap slide at Aberfan in Wales in 1966 that killed 147 people, most of them children in the primary school at the base of the hill. They received this premonitionary knowledge in time to warn the Coal Board, who ignored their warnings. Unless written documents can be produced showing the Coal Board did, indeed record such advance warnings, it's not verifiable.

I ask this of Christians who believe God sometimes still answers prayers for understanding about events. Although examples could come from within any Christian denomination whatsoever, I seek answers from Christians who are open to special words of knowledge still being given by God in modern times. Anything in the last 100 years would be of interest (no further back, please).

  • Are you looking for examples of supernatural knowledge about events either in the present or the past, or future events (i.e. foreknowledge)?
    – user50422
    Aug 17, 2021 at 16:42
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator - I'm looking for documented and verifiable examples of how God granted supernatural insights into what was about to happen as a direct result of the faith and prayers of believers - Christians.
    – Lesley
    Aug 17, 2021 at 19:06

5 Answers 5


A magazine called Prophecy Today had an editorial in its August/September 1990 issue that may fit the bill. I could not find any denominational ‘tag’ for the magazine but I suppose the article writers would be open to the charismatic movement. Just to mention at the outset that the editorial Policy Statement on page 3 says, in part:

“We believe the nature of God is unchanging and that the God who communicated with his people in biblical times still communicates with his people today through the Holy Spirit… We believe that the Bible contains all that is necessary for our salvation and that it is the full and final revelation of God that can neither be added to nor taken away from…”

The editorial in question relates a BBC Radio 4 broadcast in January 1989. The editor had been part of the pre-recorded broadcast that dealt with miracles and supernatural interventions. It ended with his view that the York Minster lightning strike had been a warning sign to both church and nation, and that other signs would follow. As it ended at 9p.m., there came a sudden announcement that a passenger aircraft had crashed on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire (crashing just short of the start of the East Midlands runway on the east). The editor immediately got to prayer, to pray for the victims as well as to seek for any spiritual significance in the disaster. Several days later, he said he got an answer that was most disturbing. He had kept getting the idea of confusion and particularly sought the Lord for the cause of the confusion. That’s when he got a clear vision of the runway the plane was heading for.

He saw an open space beyond the west end of the runway, then a small wood, followed by a clearing just over a mile from the runway and directly in line with it. He saw a witches’ coven in the clearing. From there some connection with malign powers of darkness was made, which was causing confusion with the pilot and co-pilot after the port engine had suffered fan failure and fire. They needed to shut that engine down, but the report published after the public enquiry said the pilot and co-pilot argued about which one to shut down, and they shut down the wrong one, losing all power. This was confirmed in the UK weekly Flight International.

The editor prayed about this from time to time, wondering if he was to do anything about this knowledge. He asked a prayer partner who lived in the area of the airport if she knew what was beyond the western edge of the runway. She didn’t, but took three other ladies with her to tramp over the fields to find out. They found the woods a mile to the west of the runway. Further on and on the edge of the wood they found a clearing. In the middle was one of two lightning trees. Around the tree with the thickest trunk was a wide circle of large stones that had been carefully placed there. From the low branches hung a dead blackbird, on string. A photo of the site was in the magazine. An Ordnance Survey map was marked by the ladies to show exactly where the witchcraft circle was. The article had a sketch of the whole layout. If I had a smartphone, I could photograph both, but the article showed the crash site on the M1 was just short of the airport, and beyond it, about 3 miles in a straight line from the crashed plane was the coven site. The editor had never been near that area at any time in his life (and lived near Brixton), and even the local ladies didn’t know about the clearing. He noted that this was the fourth air crash to occur in successive years at the East Midlands Airport, and all four had happened in January.

After the official inquiry report had been published for that latest crash, the editor sought God in prayer for why he had shown him the witchcraft ring. He came to understand that God wanted the destructive elements of witchcraft today to be taken much more seriously. He was to (spiritually) ‘blow the trumpet’ to warn of both effects and the cause of them; to face spiritual warfare in these days, to intercede in prayer, asking God to break the powers of occultism that have widespread effects on people (not just occasional dramatic ones like that.)

So, there is one example that can be corroborated by the official enquiry report confirming confusion between the two pilots leading to an inexplicable error, as also in Flight International. Also, there are the four ladies who discovered the witches’ ring in direct line to where the passenger plane crashed on the M1, half a mile from the runway. And the Christian who prayed and got the supernatural knowledge publicly published his account. Note that this was not a premonition. Understanding only came gradually after the crash as to what was spiritually behind it. Many will mock, but since when has any Christian’s claim to have been given words of knowledge and a vision from God been taken seriously by unspiritual people? And given that this was to warn Christians to waken up to malign spiritual forces at work in Britain, the source could not have been dark spiritual forces: “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:26

  • 1
    The editorial of 'Prophecy Today' also says: "We believe that the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the scriptures. Without the Holy Spirit we are left with only our rational minds to interpret the written word. Through the Holy Spirit the written word of yesterday becomes the living word of today... We believe that the root problems facing mankind are not simply economic, social or political, but spiritual and that the Gospel is the only answer." And the Gospel points us to Christ Jesus, as does the Holy Spirit.
    – Lesley
    Aug 18, 2021 at 12:40
  • Interestingly, this is an answer to prayer after the event, and which resulted in knowledge as to the cause of the disaster - malign and evil forces at work.
    – Lesley
    Aug 18, 2021 at 13:52

In July, 1989, I traveled to Urbana, Illinois for the Association of Church Mission Committees conference. I attended a lecture by Professor Joseph Tson, an exiled pastor from Romania. During his talk, Prof. Tson said that in the Bible, a generation lasted 70 years, and the 70 years of Communism were up. He said he was preparing a seminary curriculum in Romanian that he could teach back in his homeland, so sure was he that communism would soon end in his Romania, which would permit him to return.

Five months later, the Romanian revolution toppled Ceaucescu's regime and set his homeland free. In addition, all the communist governments in eastern Europe also fell.

I no longer have the cassette that I purchased from the conference, but I assure you that at the time, his words were delivered before a large audience and recorded. The professor did return to his homeland as prophesied. Years later I met a Romanian couple who moved to the United States. They told me that they attended his new church back in Romania as children.

When Pastor Tson's prophecy came to pass, I was so electrified that I traveled twice to Romania on short term missions trips.

Response to Commenter:

There is another dimension to this story which I left out, because it is not verifiable, but personal. In April of 1989, I attended a conference in Boston where the plight of Christians in Eastern Europe was discussed. After that, I felt compelled to read all I could about the subject. Pretty soon a pile of newspaper clippings two feet high occupied my desk at work, puzzling my coworkers. I felt a spiritual force animating me, pulling me into the future.

After the July conferece in Illinois, I returned home. In October 1989, as I was getting into bed but was still wide awake, I had a vision of a revolution and saw images that I would read in the papers or see on TV two months later, in December, when the Romanian Revolution occurred. I even saw the dictator dancing in his palace. This convinces me that Joseph Tson was a true prophet, because his words communicated the spirit of his prophecy to me and rendered me capable of seeing what he saw. Many communist governments fell, but only one saw bloodshed and the execution of its dictator. This discriminating detail convinces me that it was more than good guesswork.

  • 2
    It was not difficult to predict the fall of communism in Romania. The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the end of the period of the Cold War, and the removal of the Iron Curtain between Eastern and Western Europe. The period is often also called the Fall of Communism. Revolutions of 1989 Wikipedia.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 17, 2021 at 18:47
  • However, Tson predicted this before a single government had fallen. Aug 17, 2021 at 18:54
  • @NigelJ - I added a postscript to my answer. Aug 17, 2021 at 19:05
  • 1
    @PaulChernoch: On the upside, thank you for the sincere interest in our small and insignificant country; now, the critique: (1). Tson predicted this before a single government had fallen - The aforementioned conference took place in July, and the world famous Tiananmen protest in the previous two months, mid-April to early June. (2). I had a vision of a revolution and saw images - Good for you ! Unfortunately, Ton didn't. Yours is a personal anecdote (and therefore off topic), while his is humanly explainable.
    – user46876
    Aug 17, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    Tson predicted this before a single government had fallen but he told you how he predicted it. He didn't get his prediction by revelation, he didn't say that. He had what he thought was a comparable historical / biblical scenario and assumed this scenario would play out similarly. Whether his reasoning was completely right or misguided but coincidentally correct, either case there's no "supernatural explanation" necessary or even being offered.
    – TKoL
    Aug 18, 2021 at 7:57

Are there verifiable written reports of Christians praying to God about recent events and receiving supernatural knowledge?

The short answer is maybe?

Readers can decide for themselves about a number of authors, lectors, etc.

I would like to simply postulate one individual who might possibly fit the bill for some: Father Michael Scanlan.

When leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal heard Franciscan Father Michael Scanlan, the president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, deliver a prophecy in 1976 about a time of lawlessness and shuttered churches, no one imagined such a scenario occurring soon — or ever.

“We didn’t dismiss it, but we kind of put it to the side,” Ralph Martin said. Now, 44 years later, the message has struck home, as the seemingly extreme events it cited are happening.

Since discovering the prophecy while doing research for a new book, Martin, the president of Renewal Ministries, has sought to circulate the message and provide commentary on it — not just because it refers to current developments, but because it offers direction about how to respond to such a time as this.

“There’s some real guidance in it and some real hope in it, because, obviously, the Lord knew this was going to happen 44 years ago and he wanted to prepare us.”

The Gift of Prophecy

Those who, like Father Scanlan, who died in 2017, speak such messages are believed to have the gift of prophecy, as described in the New Testament Book of Ephesians, Martin said. This gift and others are given for the building up of the Church, he continued, and, although associated with the Charismatic Renewal movement, they are supposed to be part of the normal life of Catholics.

Martin has given prophecies, as well, including one in 1975: “Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation. ... Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there.”

However, Martin said he considers Father Scanlan’s message to be more specific in its references to the crime and chaos that many Americans are seeing on their streets in the wake of the death of George Floyd and in the mention of churches here and in other countries being closed because of the coronavirus. Martin said the references in the prophecy to dependence on the institutions of schools and parishes also are significant, as dioceses across the country struggle financially.

But he said there are important lessons to be learned as Catholics and others experience the events cited in Father Scanlan’s prophecy. He said during the coronavirus shutdown, when his parish was having online Masses, his pastor pointed out the four ways Christ is present: in the Eucharist, in the person of the priest, in the word of God and in our souls.

When the first two aren’t available, Martin said, Catholics can develop an understanding of and appreciation for the other two. “Those are important things we could learn during this time, but a lot of us haven’t learned it yet. We’re so dependent on the structures of the church building that it will be hard if those are taken away again.”

Resonant Response

The response the message has received since it was posted on YouTube, Facebook and the Renewal Ministries blog and shared on the apostolate’s TV and radio programs indicates a significant resonance. At last check, Martin said the YouTube video had more than 153,000 views, subscriptions to the Renewal Ministries YouTube channel were climbing, and the video was being translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese.

“I do feel like people are troubled, anxious and confused,” Martin said. “People feel rudderless. They don’t know what’s going to happen to their country. ... I think people are really worried about what’s happening in America: the polarization, hatred, irrationality, hostility to Christ and the Church from certain sectors. We are in a horrible spiritual battle manifesting itself in very visible ways.”

Father Michael Scanlan’s 1976 Prophecy and the Events of 2020


I'm afraid this is going to be anecdotal hearsay at best, but if true, it was at least verifiable for the parties involved, as the supernatural knowledge that was (allegedly) imparted included testable predictions about events that were about to take place. Unfortunately, for the rest of us who were not there, there is no way to verify this story (which is what the OP is probably looking for). That said, the story itself is quite impressive, so I kindly request that we at least give it the benefit of the doubt.

The story starts at minute 15:42 of the video Best of FOTM - What Good is a Manual without a Radio?. The speaker, Doug Perry, is the founder of Fellowship of the Martyrs (https://fellowshipofthemartyrs.com/).

Below a transcript of the relevant part (in case the video gets taken down):

[...] a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge. We are speaking something that only that person knows, and God. You know, you should not know that about that person. That's a supernatural gift, to walk up to somebody and tell them the secrets of their heart. I've told people dreams that they had that I didn't know that they had, that God revealed to me you had this dream. Like Daniel ... or, one guy comes in and says ... "God told me to do something crazy ... and I asked him for confirmation, because I can't be sure, it sounds so crazy ... it can't ... I need a confirmation that he's really ... it's really him". And I'm like okay? So you want me to confirm or ask Him if He really told you that? He said "no, I asked the Lord to tell YOU what He told ME so that I would know that it was really Him" ... Ohh, I hate this game ...... [Sigh] ...... Okay, so I'm supposed to hear exactly what you heard that you're supposed to do to confirm that it was God saying. "Yeah!" ... Alright, well I know how to test the spirits, to make sure, you know, sometimes Satan does appear as an angel of light. That doesn't preclude the fact that Jesus talks to people and is THE angel of light. Okay? So the fact that there's a counterfeit just proves that the real exists. Just because there's a counterfeit hundred dollar bill it doesn't mean you should burn all the hundred dollar bills ... Okay, anyway. So ... so I'm praying "come on Lord, really? You want me to do this?". "Yep! Yeah". "Okay Lord". I'm pressing in, I'm getting everything out of the way. "Okay Lord, what did you tell Him?". The Lord says "I told him to not show up at work for his job and to come run your furniture store so you could do ministry full-time, that for two weeks nobody would even miss him, and he would get paid for the time, and the company truck and the company computer that he has, at the end of the two weeks he will quit and they'll let him keep it" ....... Okay ... that sounds crazy. That sounds totally crazy .... And I check every way I know how to check, it passes every test I know how to test it with. So I'm "okay, well ... uh ... dude, this is what I'm hearing. That you are supposed to manage my furniture store" -- which I wasn't even particularly in favor of or looking for or expected or wanted at that point, okay? -- "you're supposed to manage my furniture store so I can do full-time ministry. The Lord said not to go to your job for two weeks, they won't even miss you, they'll pay you for the time that you're doing this and then, when you quit your job, at the end of that they'll let you keep the company truck and the company computer". He says "THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I HEARD, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I HEARD !!!!!".

Okay, now, when I say something like that to a cessationist, the only way they can explain it is either I'm lying and I made the whole thing up, OR, I was hearing demons. "Oh, demons could talk like that, demons could tell you those things" ... Why isn't one of the options that I heard right and it was God? "Oh, no! Satan comes as an angel of light" ... Dude! [laughs] that he's .. the counterfeit proves the real! There are no counterfeit 53 dollar bills, okay? Nobody would take the time to make a counterfeit 53 dollar bill. There is no such thing, they are not gonna fool anybody. The fact that there is a counterfeit 100 dollar bill proves that there's a real 100 dollar bill, or nobody would even bother! Okay? [Sigh] And if you make a hundred dollar bill on purple construction paper with green crayon, nobody's really gonna buy, it's not a good counterfeit, nobody's gonna fall for that. It has to be real close to the right thing to fool anybody. But that doesn't mean the real is not there! Okay. So, I tell him that. SURE ENOUGH, ABSOLUTELY WORKS OUT EXACTLY THAT WAY. For two weeks -- and this is right after Christmas, brand new year, and he had just taken two weeks off a month before, okay, his two weeks of vacation was used -- at the end of two weeks, on Friday, the last day of the two weeks, his boss calls him and says "I'm sorry to bother you while you're on vacation, I just don't remember what we talked about when you were gonna be back to work". He says "it's okay, it's no problem, I'm coming on Monday to talk to you. I'll be there on Monday morning". Great. So he goes in, quits his job, has no vehicle. The boss says "well, you know, just turn in your truck and the computer and we'll work that out, I hate to lose you, but I understand, if God wants you to do this other thing and whatever". He says "well, could you have somebody drop me off at home because I don't have a ride?". He's like "you know what? Just hold on to the truck, just keep the computer, maybe we'll work you as a self-employed contractor or something like that. Just hold on to it, let the dust settle, just settle in what you're doing and we'll work it all out later". For months, he had the company truck and the company computer ... until he cracked his shield and did something God told him not to do and then lost it ... but, IT TOTALLY WORKED OUT EXACTLY THE WAY THAT GOD SAID WAS GONNA HAPPEN, in totally supernatural ways [...]


The first example that comes to my mind is the apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho, Rwanda. The Virgin Mary appeared to at least three schoolgirls in the 1980s and clearly predicted the Rwandan genocide that occurred in 1994. Some of the visions they were given were very graphic and "unrealistic" enough that one would not make them up (for example, rivers flowing with blood) but they did, in fact, occur just a few years later.

Several Marian apparitions make predictions about future events that appear to have been borne out by events, especially Fatima and Akita, but Kibeho stands out as a case where the events were predicted explicitly and literally enough that we can confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that they were true predictions.

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