Grounded Podcast

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Prayer Is Your Work, Mom! with Sally Burke

This month, 168 million children around the world are returning to school for the first time since March 2020. Moms in Prayer president Sally Burke joins us with practical ideas to help moms and their children in this season. She inspires you to pray for your children and shares how to pray fervently for students, teachers, and the school year ahead.

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Episode Notes:

Moms in Prayer resources

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Introduction: Praying for Our Kids and Their Schools

Erin Davis: 168 million—that's the number of children around the world who are getting ready to head back to school this month, for the first time since March of 2020. I got to wonder, are you feeling a little rusty? Is your child feeling out of practice for the whole school routine? Are you feeling out of practice for the whole back-to-school routine? I am put me in that camp getting ready to send three boys back to school for the first time in eighteen months. So if that's you, we've got the hope and perspective you need this morning on today's episode of Grounded, I’m Erin Davis. 

Portia Collins: And I'm Portia Collins. Grounded is a weekly videocast and podcast brought to you by Revive Our Hearts. So let's get to it. Erin, I really didn't realize so many other kids around the world never got back to school. I mean, I thought it was kind of isolated to here. I know our schools . . . like it was weird. Our kids were doing it virtual. 

Erin: Yeah.

Portia: I didn't realize that this was like a global thing.

Erin: Well, you should have realized it. Because every chance I get, I bring up the fact that my kids have been home over eighteen months. I don't want to put that in a negative light. I've really enjoyed it. But yeah, I mean, a lot of children didn't have the opportunities; their school stayed close. They were virtual. Get this, fourteen countries around the world. Fourteen may sound like a small number. But think about the number of students that represent fourteen countries around the world that never reopened since the pandemic hit.

Some of you Grounded viewers live in countries or states where school has been entirely virtual this whole time. If that's you, be sure to mention it in the comments. I want to know where you're from, to get a sense of the scope of that. And my boys, the Davis boys, they've been home since March of 2020. 

Now, they were public schooled pre-pandemic. We live in a little small town, and they were thriving in those public schools. But the pandemic hit. We have had the opportunity to send them back to school; our schools did reopen. But I was concerned about what I have come to call the quarantine coaster, where sometimes entire grades were being sent home for two weeks or entire classrooms if there was an exposure.

I had three boys in two different buildings. I just thought the interruption to flow of learning wasn't something that I wanted to navigate around. So we tackled homeschooling for the first time at the Davis house. And I gotta say, we've loved it. It's been a really sweet year in a lot of ways. With challenges, of course, I won't sugarcoat it. But now, it's time. The Davis boys are heading back to school in less than two weeks. We are feeling a lot of feelings here. There's a lot of tears that happen on a daily basis. I can tell that they're not really crying over what it seems like they're crying about. They're crying because they're feeling a lot of feelings about going back to school.

My oldest son in particular has told me many times how he's feeling. He's used the word “terrified” with me at least three times when he's talking about going back to school. We're talking about a pretty fearless kid. 

Portia: I know. 

Erin: He'll do great. He'll do great at school. But the other day I said, “Buddy, I don't understand why you're feeling all those things.” And he said, “I don't like change.” I was like, oh, that I can relate to. I don't like change either. I feel like I kind of have to hold it all together to get them through the transition, but I'm feeling some trepidation myself. 

Portia: Yeah, I totally get it. So, Emmy was in preschool before the pandemic, and I don't even think she made it to the solid year before we had to pull her out because of everything. And so, she just went back to preschool. The first, I think, two weeks, every day was like, “Well, can you come with me mommy? Can you come with me?” She's been so used to being just around me and Daddy. But after those two weeks, girl, she is like every day, “I love school, Mommy.” 

Erin: Oh, good. That gives me hope.

Portia: Maybe it just takes a little time to get back into the groove. Well, if you are feeling like Erin and her sweet boy, “terrified,” I totally understand. And guess what? You are in the right place. Get ready to be downloaded with hope and a passion to pray for your babies for our students. If you have friends whose kids or grandkids are heading into another school year, and they're not here watching Grounded right now, they are in the wrong place.

Erin: Tell them Portia. 

Portia: That's right. We need to go bring them on y'all. It's not too late to hit the share button. We're just getting started. Sally Burke is with us this morning. She is the director of Moms in Prayer. And get this, she leads women in over 150 countries to pray for their school-aged children and their teachers. How amazing! She also comes loaded with practical ideas and tips that will be helpful for every mama.

Erin: Well, the name of the ministry says it all Moms in Prayer.

Portia: I love it. 

Erin: That’s who we want to be before we started going live. She was sharing a bit about how the pandemic has affected moms in other countries around the world outside of here in the United States. And again, I was reminded that the scope of this pandemic, there's a lot we can't control, but we sure can hit our knees and pray. 

It doesn't matter what kind of school your child, your grandchild, your neighborhood kids are going to, some are going to go back to public school, some are going to head into private school, some are going to be Christian schooled, some are going to be homeschooled. Some are going to be in a co-op. I mean, there's lots of schooling options.

But one common thread is that if you are a mom or grandma or aunt or a woman in the church, who cares about the next generation—which everybody raise your hands for that one—you're going to be inspired and equipped this morning to pray, because that's what we're going to be talking about. And one of the moms who has used the Moms in Prayer method is our very own Dannah Gresh. Welcome, Dannah. Tell us about that.

Dannah Gresh: Good morning. I am a Moms in Prayer fan. I gotta tell you, this is a cool God story. But in 2008, I met the founder of Moms in Prayer, Fern Nichols. I was so discouraged because I was trying to get a group of women together to pray for our Christian High School, Grace Prep. It was a new school at the time. I thought people liked me, but nobody was coming to my prayer meeting.

Erin: It’s not you.

Dannah: Nobody. I was like, “What's wrong with me?” So, I met Fern and I said, “How do you get women to pray for the students?” I told her everything I done. And she said, “Okay, can I ask you a question?” Said sure. She said, “Have you prayed about it?” 

Erin: Hmm. Prayed about prayer. 

Dannah: Prayed about prayer, I had not. I had tees. I had bulletins. I had announcements. I had posters. I had all the statues. I hadn’t prayed about it. She said, “Don’t do anything for a while. Just ask the Lord to form your group.”

So, I began to pray for two weeks. Two weeks later, a woman in the school came up to me and said, “I am so burdened to pray for the students in our school.” Have you ever heard of Moms in Prayer? And I've been hooked ever since.

Portia: Perfect.

Erin: I love that story. 

Dannah: Moms in Prayer today is led by Sally, our guest, Sally Burke. She's a special friend of mine. Listen, she's a powerhouse you will never forget. She's in the wings. But first, can I share some truly good news that's going to calm and warm your hearts? 

Erin: Yeah. 

Good News: Prayer in School

Dannah: Okay. You know, Grounded was launched in March 2020 to bring hope and perspective when the headlines got fearful. Can you say terrified? Well, let me tell you this morning, don't go back to school because I did that over the weekend. The news is askew with all that is bad. Not only the real problems that our kids are going to face, but every single potential problem as our children head back to the school room. 

Well, what I do want you to Google is this. And I really do ask you to promise me you will Google “prayer in school.” You're going to find some very good news and that is this: People are praying, maybe even more than before all over the country. As their children go back to school, God is calling people to intercede.

In fact, last night in Florida over seventy churches partnered to pray over their local schools. That was a prayer effort that started last year as students headed back to an uncertain and unusual school year. I have a photo of Wildwood Elementary School kindergarten teacher, Betsy Meraviglia, praying. Oh, is it a precious picture, as she's kneeling there praying for her sweet kindergarteners surrounded by—and this is something I love—men who are praying with her. She was one of the teachers and parents, pastors, business owners and students who gathered last year to pray. And this year they're back and bigger than ever. There were prayer gatherings taking place outside every single school, every single school in Lake and Sumter counties last night in Florida, at 7 p.m. I think that is some very good news.

Erin: I agree. My children go to a sweet public school where a high percentage of the teachers are Christ's followers. And when I know my kiddos’ teacher is praying for my child, that the principals are praying, it really gives me some wind in my sails. So, keep praying kindergarten teacher.

Interview with Sally Burke of Moms in Prayer

I wanted to read one quick comment before I welcome Sally on. It comes from Charlotte, who's in Zimbabwe. She said, “Yep, kids in private school are doing it online, state schools are closed with no option of online. They have been on and off physically, it's not easy.” 

So, in case you've gotten to this point episode saying, “I don't have a school-aged kid. Not sure this is for me.” Let's remind you that there are children around the world who have been out of school this whole time. There is a call to pray for all of us here.

There's a sign outside the elementary school where my two middle boys are going to go this year. And the sign says this: “We're praying for you.” And that's because a church in our town paid to have a giant banner made. They put stakes in the ground to say, “Students, teachers, administrators, we’re praying for you.” And I believe they mean it. That has given my family courage as we face another uncertain year. 

I spent one entire year prayer walking the school every morning with my friend Marge. And as I was thinking about this episode, I thought that's one of the things COVID stole. I couldn't walk with Marge every morning anymore and pray for the school. But I'm already inspired. We haven't even talked to Sally to get back at it.

I hope you're going to be inspired. Sally Burke is the author of Unshaken: Experience the Power of Peace . . . and love, parent power, and peace. I'm butchering it, Sally. Experience the Power and Peace of Life of Prayer. Sorry, somebody else help me. Sally can say it. Sally is the President of Moms in Prayer international volunteers and staff on all seven continents. Welcome Sally, and say the name of your book for us because I couldn't get it.

Sally Burke: Oh, that's okay. There's Unshaken; Start with Praise; Raise Them Up: Praying Scripture for Your Kids. So, there's quite a few. So that's that.

Erin: Awesome. 

Sally: Hey, you guys. I'm so excited to be with you. You guys have pumped me up already? What great news. Yes, God has a great plan for this next generation, a mighty plan. And we must be about prayer.

Erin: I'm with you. Hey, Sally, Dannah, she's a huge fan of yours. She's a friend of yours. And she told us this little nugget of truth. I want to hear your side of the story, that you are a mom, and a space shuttle engineer as in working for the space program when God called you to quit your job and focus on a career in prayer. So, I’ve got to hear that story.

Sally: Oh, my goodness, that was “B.C.” before children, you know.

Erin: Got it. Yeah. 

Sally: So, my dad worked on the Apollos, and I followed in his footsteps. I became an engineer on this space shuttle. Then I had children and I decided, my goodness, anybody can work on the shuttle, but not anybody can raise my children. They're a lot more complex than any space shuttle would ever be. So, I came home. My husband came to know the Lord first. He bought me a Bible. I read the book of John and surrendered my life to the Lord. Ever since then, it's been a mighty launch walking with Jesus.

Erin: What a beautiful story. I would agree. My children are more complex than the space shuttle. I wouldn't agree that anyone could work on a space shuttle. It sounds like that might involve math and science, so I can't do it. But love your heart. I love to hear how Jesus captured your heart. So today you lead Moms in Prayer. I would love to hear a story or a couple of stories. I'm sure they're right there on the surface of your heart of how you've seen prayers answered as moms come together and pray for their schools.

Sally: Now, you’ve got to imagine when I began as a brand-new Christian. I knew nothing about prayer. I came to my first prayer meeting and was welcomed there. And it's so simple. With four steps of prayer, we immediately began to see answers to prayer.

Like, my son's first grade teacher said, a boy was sick in class, would you pray for him? So, we prayed for him. You're gonna hear how new I was to prayer, how much I didn't understand the power of prayer. So, I go running back that Monday, and I said, “How are they doing?”

The teacher goes, “He's healed.”

I'm like, “Well, how’d that happened?”

She goes, “Prayer, you prayed.”

And that was just the beginning of what we would witness God do in this elementary school. We began to pray for our kids. We saw so many answers to prayer. They found favor in their teachers’ eyes. They were learning math, science, reading, and they were just excelling.

And pretty soon God expanded our hearts. He says, “What about all the children on the campus? What about them? And so, we began to pray for each child by name. We'd go through the year book. We put their names in Scripture. We’d pray that they would hear the good news.

God brought to our campus a good news club . . . on a public school campus. These children would come, and they would receive Jesus. I came to just give out snacks, anything like that. There were so many kids receiving Jesus. They’d go Sally, “Come here. You’ve got to come and pray with them.” You can't imagine what that meant to me. To see them put their little hands in mine to receive Jesus. Today, they're grown up. They are teachers; they’re preachers; they’re moms; they’re dads . . . impacting this world for Christ. All because we took one hour, once a week, and we prayed.

Erin: I got a lump in my throat, Sally, because what I'm thinking is, for so many of us—parents, teachers, kids—we've operated in strictly survival mode for the past year and a half. And that's okay. I mean, the Lord's gotten us through it. We have those mechanisms in our brains and our bodies to get through something like this, to get through crisis. But I hear you calling to come out of that and to concentrate on prayer and to trust that God's going to do something with it. I want to be a part of it. I want to see what I learned here where I live.

Sally: Good. We want you to be a part of it. You know, nothing stopped us. I remember when the pandemic came, I began to go, “Okay, what about our women around the world? What's going to happen?” Because we normally gather together in a living room, and we pray. Well, they went on Zoom. They figured it out all over the world. Nothing stopped a momma's heart to pray for the children in schools.

Now, what I want to give your audience is great hope. God has hand-picked you. God has chosen you. God has created you and your children for this period of time. And He's going to use you mightily. He's going to use you powerfully in this period of time. He's going to empower you forward when it seems the darkest. That's when God shines the brightest. 

So, I want to give an example of a curriculum that came into our school district. It was brought in by this beautiful young teacher, and she was so sweet as she was telling us all about it. And as parents, we studied it, we read it. We said that's probably not what best for our kids, but we just loved on this teacher. When we got on our knees, we're going to battle. We're going to battle that this curriculum that would be harmful to our kids would not happen. So, we got on our knees one hour, once a week, and we began to pray. We love how God answers. He does immeasurably more than we asked. The school is not our enemy. The teachers aren't our enemy or the school board. Our enemy is so different, so our battle is on our knees are victories in prayer. 

Well, God answers our prayer. This teacher came to know Jesus Christ; her husband came to know Jesus Christ; all four of her kids came to know Jesus Christ. She became friends of mine. For the next 30 years, she served in our school district with great vigor for Jesus Christ and was known as a wonderful, impactful teacher. And then the curriculum got taken out. Even though it was paid for, it just didn't happen.

Erin: I love that story, because we are fighting a battle. It can feel like that we're fighting our school board ,that we're fighting state curriculum mandates, that we're fighting our teachers. But you're right, our enemy is not flesh and blood. So, we need to fight the right way. 

I'm doing all the things right now that mommas do to get ready. I'm getting all the school supplies, and we're washing the lunchboxes, and I'm trying to implement some routine although we haven't had routine for a long time. That's a challenge. But I was just thinking the other day that I prioritize those things ahead of preparing my children spiritually. I am praying for them. We're having conversations about it. But I'd say it's been secondary in our conversation. So, I wonder is there a specific Moms in Prayer method for a mom who already feels like her back-to-school list is 1000 pages long. Is there a method that we could latch on to today to flip that so that we're prioritizing prayer above the other things that do need to get done?

Sally: I love that question. These four steps in Moms in Prayer: praise song, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession. I love it. It's so simple that my four kids before they start school, even my preschooler . . . From the age two, we would gather in my room because that was my quiet place. They would pray these four steps. 

So, we begin the four steps by acknowledging who God is. You choose a name to activate a characteristic of God. For example, let's say, the very beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We would look at that, and then we would just praise God: He is our Creator. Nothing's too hard, nothing is impossible for Him. And so, you choose a Scripture—two or three that you go over. You just praise Him; you acknowledge Him. I love it. God enters the praises of His people, and the enemy has to flee. So, all those worries, all those fears, they're not in comparison to who God is. 

Then silent confession, I would even do that with my kids, because the other kids did not need to tell them what they were doing wrong. They could silently confess to God what he did. 

And then a time of Thanksgiving; this is a Holy Spirit party. In your Moms in Prayer group or in your home, you get to witness what God did each and every week—whether it's a small answer to prayer, or like in our elementary school, 14 out of 22 those teachers came to know the Lord Jesus Christ, That’s a big answer to prayer.

Then you intercede using God's Word. How do you know God's gonna answer your prayer? If you pray according to His will. What's His will? The mighty Word of God. So, we put their name in the Scripture. It was so sweet to watch my children pray for one another. “May Ryan love God with all his heart, all his mind, all his soul, and all his strength. And may he love others as he loves himself.” 

This is an important step. Many a time a mom has a plan for a child. And we don't realize that God has created her plans. As far as the heavens are above the earth are God's ways above ours. He has eternal plans. He designed them; He created them. And then as we pray His Word, we witness God fulfill His incredible purpose for them.

Erin: Hey, Sally, I want to hang up on this call and hit my knees. I am fired up to start praying for my children for my community. I mean, I'm picturing what would happen if 14 teachers in my boys’ school came to know the Lord this school year—that would be revival. That's what we call that. I'm daring to hope for that. Well, as I said, I am feeling some trepidation about this school year. I've loved having my children home. There's been a comfort level to it. There's been a togetherness level to it. And the headlines are scary. They're telling me that a lot of moms are feeling that trepidation. So where do we point to? Where can we turn in God's Word for some unique back-to-school encouragement? Where would you encourage moms to flip? 

Sally: Oh, I love it. Well, the book of Ephesians, you can pray through that book. The book of Philippians, you can pray through that in just any place. The book of Psalms. God has chosen you. I'll say this again, this is an opportunity so as they go forth to school. Pray over them that they can be Daniels, that they can be Daniel's friends, and that they can impact this world for Christ.

My daughter in her public school, 91 of the kids at that high school campus fell on their faces and received Jesus Christ in her senior year. Our kids can have that impact. She and some other girls were praying for their fellow students, and then they got to witness God move. So don't be afraid to go open up the Word of God. Read Psalms. That will help you Mama. It's gonna help restore, rescue, encourage you. It is going to bless you beyond measure. Any book of the Bible is really gonna help you through it.

Erin: Good answer, it’s all good. 

Sally: Yeah, none of its bad. All of its good. Just continue to go forth and pray.

Erin: Sally, I want to hear you pray. So, would you pray for those moms around the world that are struggling and for kids, however the Lord leads would you just pray this morning?

Sally: Oh Father, God Almighty, Lord, we praise You for You. You have created each and every one who's listening today. Father, You have a mighty purpose and mighty plan. You say, “I know the plans I have for You. Plans to give you a future plan and give you hope not for harm, Father.” And Lord. I do pray that each one listening that they will not be anxious for anything but at all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to You. You will give them that peace as well understanding. You guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.

Father, You are the God of hope. So I pray that You will fill them with all joy and peace as they try trust in You, so that they may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Bless my dear sisters around the world. Father, our hearts desires to have more moms for every school so every child can be prayed for. So, Father, I pray for any listeners listening right now will go to and they'll become a part of this mighty prayer army. Father, God bless each one of them. Father, made Your face shine upon them may be gracious to them. Lift up Your countenance and may peace be theirs. And I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Erin: Amen. Thank you so much, Sally. You've commissioned me in the exact way I needed to be commissioned, so I appreciate it.

Sally: Oh, I love it. I love it. Well, God bless you guys. Thank you. 

Erin: You too. Thank you. Portia.

The Good Stuff: Prayer Tools

Portia: Well, Dannah is about to get us grounded in God's Word. And she has an amazing testimony of praying for her daughter. I hope that that will get you to praying for your children. But first is time for the good stuff, the tools to stay grounded. We want to challenge you to check out the Moms in Prayer method, right. So, this is simple. Just download the Moms in Prayer one sheet, gather up a group of friends, and use it. Three steps, making it making it super, super simple. We're dropping the link for you right now. Or you can just visit and click on the “Get Started” menu.

Dannah: Yeah, love it. Yeah, please consider joining Sally and moms in 150 countries to pray over schools this year. We need you.

Grounded in God’s Word: 1 Thess. 5:17

Alright, it's time to get grounded in God's Word. You grab your Bible, but you're probably not going to need it, because I'm going to remind you of one simple familiar verse today. It is probably one you know: 1 Thessalonians 5:17. I'm going to read it, but you should know I got this one memorized on auto reply. It says simply, “Pray without ceasing.” Pray without ceasing.

You know, I was thinking about that verse this morning. I thought, no one models this verse better than Jesus Christ Himself. He is praying for you right now. He seated at the right hand of God, the Father, Hebrews 7:25 tells us there He always lives to make intercession. Think about that. Jesus is praying for you always pray without ceasing. 

And you know, Jesus is not just talking to God the Father about you. 1 John 2:1 says, He's your advocate. That means He's for you. He loves you. If that is what Jesus is doing for you, as you go about your day to day, how much more important is it that we do the same thing for those that we love? Who God has put on our hearts, our children, our grandchildren, our spiritual children. 

As moms and grandmas, this task of prayer, well, kind of about this time of year, it can get lost in the to do list of all the other work we have to do as moms and grandmas and helpers—the packing of lunches, the buying back to school supplies, the doing laundry, the hosting family dinners, running carpool, there's a lot of work to do. So let me remind you, those things are not your most important work. Prayer is our work. Prayer is our work. Prayer is your work every now and then. God helped me remember that as a mom. 

I remember one day I was dropping my daughter off at pottery class hoping to squeeze in a grocery run while she was in there, you know, multitasking like every mom. I walked her in that day to pay for the class, and I was greeted by a chilling new art display in the lobby. It was nothing short of demonic It was a dark representation of Scripture with sculptures that degraded the truth of God. I walked through it mesmerized. At the back was a huge old Bible. I flipped through it. And every single word in that Bible was blacked out—except a few on the page it was open to. When you read those three remaining words together, it said “God is dead.”

I looked over at my seemingly oblivious 12-year-old girl, and she was just about that time splatting a piece of clay on her wheel. I just cried out to the Lord, “Lord, what do I do?” And this verse ran through my head, “pray without ceasing.” So, I did. The groceries were going to have to wait. I needed to intercede for my daughter. So, I prayer walked the block that entire hour, lifting up my daughter with a fight in my spirit I had not known for some time. You see, I had been reminded of the thickness of the battle. So, I interceded for her. And the lost people who made that art display and her teacher and her classmates. Oh, how I cried out to heaven in that hour. 

And then I waited in my white minivan. I wanted to hear what had happened while I was praying. Had my daughter noticed that awful art? Or had God blinded her eyes? And quite honestly, that's what I was hoping would happen, that God would blind her eyes and shield her. But when she plopped into the backseat, she said, “Mom, you know, that awful art in there?” Obviously, she had seen it. And then she went on to say, “Well, it opened up a conversation about heaven and hell in my pottery class tonight, and I got to share my faith.”

Pray without ceasing. Pray without ceasing. Pray without ceasing, when you don't know what to do, just lift a prayer to the Lord, and he'll tell you, Listen, my work has never been to be the carpool queen or the grocery delivery service, though I am. My work has always been to pray as a mom and now as a grandma. Let me remind you today: Pray without ceasing. Prayer is your work. 

Portia: So Dannah, this reminds me of I have a reminder on my phone. It pops up on my watch every day. At 11 o'clock, it says, “Pray without ceasing.” 

Dannah: Oh, I love that.

Portia: Like, I'm even more amped up now, to pray without ceasing. 

Dannah: And I hope when you get when that little alarm goes off the next time, I hope you hear my voice thing.” Portia, prayer is your work.” Because you know, as moms, we forget.

Portia: Yes, prayer is our work. Our work. I wholeheartedly agree. And so did one of our predecessors of the Revive Our Hearts global movement. Vonette Bright, she was a prayer warrior. She was also a mentor to our very own Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. And here's what she dreamed of when it came to the work of prayer among women watch this.

Video: Vonette Bright on Prayer

Vonette Bright: Women largely hold the key to the moral factors of a nation. We're at a time of moral crisis in this country. It's just been building for a number of years. But I believe that it's time that we as women begin to be very serious about praying for our individual homes, about our churches, about the situations that are taking place in our cities and in our country. I believe that women can make a change and that our greatest source for changes is prayer. I've had a burden for a long time to see 100,000 women come together, to call out in unity for a spiritual awakening in this land. And when we learn pray, God works.

Portia: Vonette prayed for 100,000 women to gather in prayer. And God said yes to that persistent petition. One month after Vonette went home to be with the Lord in 2015, one of her spiritual daughters, Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, led a global event called Cry Out! On September 23, 2016, over 100,000 women from all around the world, cried out to God to revive His people, and bring about spiritual awakening in our nation and our world. Vonette's prayers were heard, and answered. Though she never got to see it with her human eyes, God answered her prayer.

And it makes me consider this. What am I praying for? As a mom, a wife, a church daughter? Will my prayers yield the same kind of fruit that Vonett’s have. I don't want to just pray that me daughter has a friend at school. I want to pray that the Lord calls her to be friendly in His name. And I don't want to just pray that when she gets to elementary school, she'll be known as the girl who gets good grades or has good behavior. But I want to pray that God makes her a diligent student of His work and that every action, everything that she does, is seen as a reflection of who God is in her life. I want to pray that she will be more than just safe this year, but that she will grow up to become dangerous to the enemy, because she is so grounded in Christ. It really reminds me to pray heavenly-minded things.

Erin: Me too, Portia. That quote from Vonette, “When women pray, things change.” Yeah, is my marching order for the school year ahead. I mean it. I'm not just doing a program here. I mean it. When I pray, things change, because God changes them. I'm again taking seriously that role that prayer is my job as a mother.

I stopped being the host of grounded and just started absorbing everything that we are talking about, and really wanting to put it into practice. As we come to the end of this episode at the beginning, I told you, I'm feeling some trepidation. And I am. Those feelings are probably here to stay. There are reasons to be concerned as we send our kids off to school. But more than that, I am feeling excited, eager to take my place as a woman who prays I want to see revival at my son's schools this year.

Dannah: That is so awesome. I want to see that too, Erin. Moms and women across the world right now are filling up the comments. With so much encouragement I got to read this one to you is from Danielle. She writes, “Thank you, Sally. I’m so refreshed as an educator and amped to pray and love on these kids this year.” I never considered that this program was going to be for teachers for educators. But it sounds to me like we have got them excited about praying for their students. And then Peggy wrote this, “What a reminder of God's call on my life now that I'm older and not doing so much.” You know, I'm assuming that she doesn't have kids of her own in school, but she's feeling a call to join us in prayer. And then one of my favorite commenters, Jo Jo, is in the comment thread today. She writes, “Although my boys are 25, I pray for their salvation every day.” This is so inspiring to me. I love these examples of praying moms. And Jo Jo, I gotta say, “I'm going to be praying for your boys today.”

Erin: So I thought of several teacher friends. I know that I gotta send this episode of them because being a teacher has been tough this past year. I want them to hear her heart to make it their job as they head back to school is prayer may not be in their job description, but it is certainly from the Lord. So feeling energized.

Wrap Up

Erin: Well, we started with a big number—168 million. And that's the number of children that are within midsummer who’ll be going back to school in one way or another, and they need our prayers.

Portia: Yes, they do. Y’all, I am so grateful for this episode. And you know, I hope that it gave every person who is watching right now some hope and perspective as you send your children or your grandchildren off to school. I hope that you really claim to that hope and perspective. Well, be sure to join us next week, when Tricia Lott Williford will join us to help us love God's Word in our actual lives. So, let's wake up with hope together next week on Grounded. 

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

About the Guest

Sally Burke

Sally Burke

Sally Burke worked on the Space Shuttle as an engineer until having children and giving her life to Jesus. She was introduced to Moms in Prayer International in 1990, and it was life changing.  As President of Moms in Prayer International, her vision remains unchanged that more children, schools, and moms might experience God's life changing answers to prayer.  She is also an international speaker and author of Raise Them Up, Start with Praise, Unshaken and the Unshaken Study Guide.