The Fight

 

By May 1997 it was becoming apparent to everyone around Dr. Renfro that in spite of all he was doing he was getting worse. In June his feet and legs were swelling and both walking normally and wearing his shoes was becoming more difficult. In July he "flipped" his first blood clot in a motel room in Barbourville, KY. He quietly suffered that night because he didn't want to alarm anyone. But God knew it and God was preparing an intervention that would prove to be critical to the fight.

 

Dr. Renfro was in Barbourville for a camp meeting. Several fellow church members were there with him. One of those people was Assistant Pastor Robert Fultz. God began to deal with Assistant Pastor Fultz to go home and call for 100 hours of consecutive prayer at the church. The Freedom of Worship Church strongly believed in the power of prayer but they had never attempted such a lengthy undertaking. Prayer began at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9 and continued until Sunday, July 13, 1997. At 10:55 a.m. the last person in the prayer chain came walking into morning worship service and everyone joined in faith believing to pray the last five minutes of the 100 hours of consecutive prayer.

 

This unprecedented session of prayer was followed by others of 40 hours and 100 hours. Preparation began for the month of September to be used as a solemn month of prayer. September would mark the one year anniversary of the finding of the first lump but more importantly September 1996 had been set aside as a month of prayer. This was done before anyone knew the events discussed up to this point. Surprisingly, it was Dr. Renfro's wife who had felt lead to call for the September 1996 prayer. There was no way she could have known the need she was going to face in September 1997 - BUT GOD HAD KNOWN!!!

In late July, during one of the consecutive prayer sessions, Dr. Renfro approached Assistant Pastor Fultz at the church and said, "You know, Robby, 40 days would be more Biblical." He was referring to the planned prayer for the month of September. Assistant Pastor Fultz checked his calendar and found that there aren't 40 days in September! That point is obvious but it lead to another "God Point."

 

In order to accommodate the Biblical concept of 40 days as Dr. Renfro had suggested, Assistant Pastor Fultz decided to begin prayer on Monday, August 25 and continue until Friday, October 3, 1997. The plan called for 12 hours of prayer each day for 40 days. There were many things to pray about but everyone would understand the gravity of the battle they were in by the 25th of August.

 

On Sunday, August 24, 1997, as Dr. Renfro was leaving home to go to church, he suddenly experienced an event that could have ended his life instantly. Multiple blood clots were released from his swollen legs and went straight to his lungs. He found himself lying in his driveway alone except for a word he had received from God just before he went out the door. God had said, "My grace is sufficient." Dr. Renfro thought that God was giving him a message to deliver during that week's healing service but it was a service that he would never get to. And there's the "God Point." Prayer began the next morning at 7 a.m.!

Dr. Renfro spent the first two weeks of the 40 days of prayer in the hospital. He would spend the entirety of the 40 days fighting for his life. Daily in-home prayer sessions and bible studies were arranged and visitors were screened to insure nothing was done to interfere with his walk of faith. And yet, in spite of it all, Dr. Renfro was dying right before everyone's eyes. In fact, the entire region was aware of his plight as it was made common knowledge through the church's television program. 
September, October, and November were tough months in the Renfro house. Pneumonia, loss of organ function, continued tumor growth, loss of general physical capacity for daily function, reduced lung capacity, and many other horrible side effects plagued him during these months. Hours of lying awake, with thoughts of giving up, contemplating ways to obtain comfort, and wondering why this has happened filling his mind, made the agony almost unbearable to watch.

But God wasn't asleep on the job. At the end of the 40 days of prayer, Assistant Pastor Fultz was lead to scriptures concerning Moses and his two trips to the mountain to obtain the Ten Commandments. On Sunday, October 5, Assistant Pastor Fultz broke the news to the church - God was calling them to pray for 40 more days - the battle wasn't over yet!

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