June 7, 2023

Prophesy Life Back to Your City


The USS Little Rock

As with so many of you, we often listen to our local news with an ear toward what God is saying behind the news. When I heard that a new naval ship, the USS Little Rock, will be commissioned in Buffalo at Canalside on December 16th, the Lord prompted me that there was prophetic significance to this event.

Here’s what I discovered. This will mark the first time in 242 years of Naval history that a new ship will be commissioned alongside its decommissioned namesake. The decommissioned USS Little Rock has served as a museum ship at Canalside Buffalo since 1977.

“You may be a little rock but you are attached to and anchored in the massive ROCK OF AGES!”

I believe this is a prophetic picture which illustrates and confirms the resurrection currently taking place in Buffalo. For the readers who may not know, God interrupted the death spiral in Buffalo and began a season of resurrection, including a $19.5 billion construction plan in the 8 counties of Western New York. Faith-based leaders embracing their God-given call to the marketplace are among those leading the way.

Media often speaks of the contrast between the “Old Buffalo” and the “New Buffalo.” I believe the decommissioned USS Little Rock represents the Old Buffalo. Her glory years are well in her past. She is a museum, no longer manned by the 1,400 sailors who once readied her for battle, but rather by tourists creating family memories with cameras. She serves a good purpose, but is no longer fulfilling the assignment for which she was created.

The decommissioned USS Little Rock became a museum ship in 1977. Forty years later, the future USS Little Rock is being commissioned—forty years between assignments. In the Bible, the number 40 often represents a period of testing. The number 40 can also represent a generation of man that wanders in the wilderness before a new generation possesses the Promised Land.

Prophesy Life Back to Your City!

Buffalo experienced 40 years of trial and testing which nearly destroyed her. We lost our youthful generation who moved South and West for jobs. Like most parents our age, our children graduated from college and took jobs in Florida and Georgia. We saw them (and our grandchild) only at holidays.



“Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy…” (Isaiah 60:4-5 NIV)

For Deb and me, this Promised Land is personal. Our younger son moved home with his wife and our grandchild and is working for a technology start-up IN DOWNTOWN BUFFALO. He declares it his best job ever!

If your city has been severely tested, if she is dead or dying, if you have wandered in the wilderness long enough, you have all the elements for a God breathed resurrection; prophesy life!

The future USS Little Rock just completed sea trials in preparation for commissioning. She is a Freedom Class vessel, part of the Navy’s newest class of warships designed with war fighting capabilities. Her full crew will be just 98 cross-qualified sailors compared to the 1,400 on her decommissioned counterpart. Making up the difference is the latest in cutting edge technology—8,000 computer sensors supporting countless mechanical functions throughout the ship. After commissioning, the future USS Little Rock may be heading to a hot spot in the South China Sea.

I believe this ship represents the New Buffalo, a city with a God assignment, a city prepared for spiritual warfare. God is raising up a spiritual army to take their positions on board. We honor the past but we anticipate the future. We glance back in order to race forward.

You Need Your Crew!

Now for the best part. At the commissioning ceremony, the USS Little Rock will be in our harbor, but her sailors will be on the dock. The final part of the commissioning ceremony is also the most iconic. The ship’s sponsor, a female chosen beforehand, gives the order: “Man our ship and bring her to life!”

“The number 40 can also represent a generation of man that wanders in the wilderness before a new generation possesses the Promised Land.”

The crew responds, “Aye, aye, ma’am” and runs through the crowd two by two to the gangplanks to man their posts as the band plays “Anchors Aweigh.” Crew members take their place, side-by-side, lining the ship’s rails. In our harbor, the USS Little Rock will COME TO LIFE!

The ship is complete, the assignment set, but there is no life without her crew. The inaugural crew is given the special designation of “plank men.” These sailors are responsible to turn the ship from a massive metal structure to a living, fighting, manned warship. The designation “plank men” implies that a crew member was there when the ship was commissioned and therefore has bragging rights to own the planks on the deck. Historically, inaugural crew members were given actual pieces of the planks from which the ship was built.

A Scripture leaps to mind. God had a ministry prepared for Isaiah. God had a difference that Isaiah was called to make. What was missing? The crew:

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV)

How about you? Do you consider yourself a mere “Little Rock” like the ship? Insignificant? Unimportant? What could God do with a little rock like me, you ask. Jesus promised on this Rock, the Cornerstone, Christ Jesus Himself, He is building His Church (Matt. 16). You may be a little rock but you are attached to and anchored in the massive ROCK OF AGES!

God has prepared a ship (ministry) for you. God has an assignment for you (the difference you are called to make). All that’s missing is you and your crew mates. (Bear in mind the new warship requires only 7% as many crew as the old—1,400 vs. 98—so you can win with fewer crew mates and more angel armies!)

Are you ready to be a Plank Owner on the King’s ship? Do you hear the Spirit’s voice calling to your (or your city’s) heart, “MAN OUR SHIP (ministry, church), and BRING HER TO LIFE!” There are cities and nations awaiting your AYE-AYE! It’s time to DREAM again.

Al and Deb Warner
Set Free inc.
Email: info@setfreeinc.org


Now that you have read the story, enjoy this 2-minute clip seeing how it all worked when the USS Truxton was Brought to Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNOHiRh968Q