Grounded Podcast

— Audio Player —

Praying for Revival, with Kathy Branzell

Do you need to be revived? Are you praying for revival in the life of a loved one? Kathy Branzell, President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, joins our hosts to talk about the key to unlocking revival. She discusses the meaning of revival, how to keep persevering in prayer, and the concept of revival starting in you. Be encouraged as the Lord stirs your heart and draws you closer to Himself.

Episode Notes:

An Invitation to Prayer by Kathy Branzell

Heart-Cry for Revival conference

If you would like to support Grounded and the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, you can donate here

Erin Davis: Well, hey there. This is Grounded—a videocast and podcast from Revive Our Hearts. We record it live every Monday morning. I'm Erin Davis. 

Portia Collins: And I'm Portia Collins. Today we are here to issue an urgent call for you to pray, because we need revival. 

Erin: We sure do. Our hearts are with winter weary Texas this morning, where at least 30,000 Texans are expected to get power again. They've been without power. They might feel warm for the first time in many days again this morning. But there is such tremendous loss and suffering in that state after another week of difficult news. 

I have some questions for us to wrestle with this morning. Do you believe that revival is even possible as you read difficult headline after difficult headline, as you see the earth struggling under what the Bible calls birth pains, groaning? Do you believe that God can revive us? Do you have hope that God can use catastrophes, like what's going on in Texas right now, to change hearts? Do you believe that He can change nations? 

Two of the most rapid growth points of Christianity in history followed pandemics. And many of you are with us here on Grounded as COVID 19 began to wreak havoc on our world. 

We so expected that the pandemic was going to be a wakeup call to turn hearts toward Jesus. Has it happened?

Portia: I know a large percentage of people have actually stopped participating in church. And this has happened within the last twelve months during the pandemic, the time when we think, Oh, of course, everybody's going to be rushing to God and rushing to the church. That hasn’t happened. And some predictions suggest that a third will never even go back to church. Y’all, somebody better pray.

Erin: Somebody better pray, and that somebody is us. It's interesting. I didn't really even connect the dots to this morning, but my own church, my pastors have been preaching a series on revivals in the Bible. For several weeks we've been looking at places in Scripture where God did something amazing, where He revived His people, where He called the lost to Him.

We looked at the revival in the book of Jonah, where the Ninevites repented and turned in with weeping in sackcloth and ashes. We've looked at the book of Nehemiah where the people heard the Word of God read, and they responded with repentance. And every week, every sermon, I've had to take it from, “Okay, that was a true story. Do I really believe that God can do that again? 

Portia: Yeah, I'm always like, every single time I go through the book of Acts, and lately that's where I've been reading . . . I look at how the church was established and how they were so united by the Holy Spirit and how they shared what they had. They were eager to hear the Word. I just don't feel like I see that now. I pray that God will bring us back to that place of what He originally intended, not just going through the motions or doing things to be a “Debbie Do Gooder” Christian, but actually thirsting and hungering for Him and bearing the fruit of it. 

Erin: Yeah. Thousands were added to their numbers daily in Acts, right. So, revival does make change. It's like shockwaves. It sends out other shockwaves. So have you been praying for revival? Have you been praying for revival? 

Maybe you're not praying for widespread revival. I gotta admit, I got some cynicism that that can even happen. We'll talk about that together. But maybe you've been praying about a prodigal that you love, a child, a grandchild, somebody who's not walking with the Lord, and you're asking the Lord to revive them. Well, that's revival. 

Or maybe your home church is representative of those statistics, where Portia read, where a third of the people left and you don't see them coming back. And you're asking the Lord to revive your church. 

Maybe your own heart feels a little dried up this morning. And even as we've been talking about revival here, you've thought, I need revival. I need passion for the Lord. Maybe you need to ask the Lord for revival in your own heart. If any of that describes you, and I think it probably describes all of us. You're in the right place. Grounded is the place for you this morning. 

Don't you dare touch that mouse. We want you to stick with us because we believe in revival. Psalm 85:6 is a passage of Scripture that we love around here. It says, “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice?”

And here's what we believe down in our very guts. We believe that God wants to revive hearts. 

Portia: Yes, yes. He wants to revive that prodigal child, or maybe it's a sister or a brother or just a family member that you've been burdened for. And He wants to revive the church, too. So I encourage you right now share this broadcast. Maybe this will be the day that the person that you've been burdened for, that they return to the Lord.

Erin: Oh, I hope so. I'd love to hear some revival stories come out of this episode. Because the president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is with us. You're gonna love her. Her name is Kathy Branzell. The first thing she said to our team this morning is, “I've been praying for you.” I was like, “Oh, I'm so relieved.” I can't wait for you to hear from her.

Listen, her job is prayer. God is really stirring her heart for a specific kind of repentance that she feels might be the key to unlocking revival. We want you to find out what that is and hear if you need it in your own life. 

Portia: I'm so excited. I can't wait to hear from her. But Erin, do you know what I need right now? 

Erin: I know what you need.

Portia: I need some good news in my life. 

Erin: Me, too.

Portia: Right now. So, Dannah.

Dannah Gresh: Well, we've got some good news girls. I'm wearing my jean jacket and my Texas purchased cowgirl boots today. 

Erin: Solidarity. 

Dannah: I feel like I should show them, but I don't know. I think that might freak the tech team out.

Erin: Yeah.

Portia: Probably.

Dannah: So, I’m going to refrain from that. Also, I think I have a hole in my jeans. 

Erin: Yeah, don't show them.

Dannah: My prayers are absolutely with Texas this morning. Erin and I've been texting back and forth all weekend. There have just been so many heartbreaking stories, loss of property, and most sadly, loss of life. 

4.5 million Texans faced record low temperatures during a winter storm that hasn't been seen for years in that part of our country. This was Texas just a few short days ago without salt reserves and snowplows. The streets just don't clear themselves. Friends, I feel you. 

Two years ago my husband was on a mission trip in Nicaragua when we had record lows in Pennsylvania. We were in negative degrees before the windchill, and it was scary. I feel your fear. 

I am praying for you as things thaw out, because when it thawed out here, we had some pipes break. That's a really scary thing. We know you're continuing to weather the aftermath. But we've heard there are glimpses of hope and good news. We want to bring good news from Texas, because God's people are stepping up to love their neighbor. Isn't that right, Alejandra?

Alejandra Slemin: That is the case. So even in this difficult circumstance, the communities, the church, everyone is coming together to help each other. So here at Revive Our Hearts, all over the world, we have ambassadors. These women are our boots on the ground, and they help to encourage and equip women's ministry leaders. 

We sent out a call this weekend asking specifically our Texas ambassadors to find good news or ways or different stories of how things were going in their communities. One of them told us about a family with five children who was struggling, like many other families, to stay warm without power. The neighbor stepped up, put out a call to help via social media. And more than 50 people actually responded and got involved and helped this family to establish heat, provide them warm food, and they decided to create a network to keep caring for their neighbors in the future. 

Dannah: I love that. I heard about another single mom who was in the hospital. Her son was sick. She was caring for him when the pipes burst in her own home. Neighbors fixed the problem while she was away. She texted one of our ambassadors and said, “I'm truly grateful for the precious neighbors the Lord has given us, driving in the ice to bring things to the hospital, helping my mom and boys turn off the water, meet the plumber, shoving our front, shoveling our front walk, playing with my boys in the snow as I drove off with my son in an ambulance.” 

I call that a grief within a grief when you have bad news on top of bad news. But God is using these horrible situations in Texas to revive people's hearts for their neighbors. 

Alejandra: That's right, and it's not just the people who are stepping up. This morning we want to celebrate H.E.B., which is a grocery store, who loved others well during this winter storm.

Dannah: That's right. The store was full of shoppers last Tuesday. That is the moment when the power went out in that area, no lights, no payment terminals. Frantic Texans with necessary bread, milk, and eggs in their cart were in long, long lines. 

People were waiting 20, 30, 40 minutes up to an hour to pay for their groceries in Texas last week. Some of them in this particular line had over $200 worth of supplies to weather the week with their family. When Erin Davis saw that photograph, she was like, I feel that family's pain right there. The diapers.

Well, I gotta tell you, the store employees didn't miss a beat. When the power went out. They told people to calmly take their carts out to their cars, load them up, encourage people to take the groceries that they needed, at no charge. 

Alejandra: Wow, that is amazing. This sparked a chain reaction. Customers started helping each other load their groceries, get the cars that were stuck in the parking lot. You know, everybody started helping each other. That's what one customer said to one of the reporters. 

Dannah: Well, Alejandra, when Erin and I were texting back and forth about this, we got our journalistic hats on. We were just feeling like we needed to be sleuths. What's the bigger story here? Because when we were sniffing out this story, it felt a whole lot like Jesus. But you know, people do good things even without Jesus sometimes. But here's the deal. 

What we found is this H.E.B. is Texas's largest grocery chain. And that's not the reason they responded by giving thousands of dollars of groceries away that day, spontaneously. You see, the company was founded by a Christian man years ago. In fact, he ultimately left the company for the purpose of sharing the gospel full time. 

Hey, friends, I've been in plenty of grocery stores where the cashier doesn't feel empowered to say you can have that, it's on me. And they would certainly not feel empowered to say that to hundreds of people. This was because it was planted in their heart by faith-fueled believers. Biblical principles of generosity and loving your neighbor are part of the company's DNA. 

I love that long before the power grid went down, they knew what to do when their neighbors faced a need, and they did it. Now that is some good Texas news. 

Erin: That is Texas-sized good news. Thanks for sharing it. My heart already is feeling a little lighter from that good news story. 

Well, it's time to get Grounded with God's people. Kathy Branzell is with us this morning. You can go ahead and join us. Kathy is the president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. She's been part of that ministry for a couple of decades, beginning as a volunteer. I love that married to her childhood sweetheart, Russ, and she has two grown children. Good morning, Kathy. Welcome to Grounded

Kathy Branzell: Good morning.

Erin: All right, Kathy, I want to start here. We've said this word “revival” several times already in this episode. And I'm not sure even God's people always know what true revival is. So, I want to know, how would you define true biblical revival? And I also want to know, have you ever seen it with your own eyes?

Kathy: So, I would say that revival is, and I'm not going to give you some deep theological meaning. Just at its base, it's a pouring out of the Holy Spirit that refreshes what has grown cold, old or never been. It brings you to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ in this empowering Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that some maybe you've just read about in the Bible. Maybe your denomination didn't talk too much about it or talks about all the time, but it's personal before it's corporate, and I love that so much.

Yes, I have experienced it personally. Several times throughout the tragedies of life. You all were talking this morning about weary winter. I just see it. I was taking notes as you guys were talking. I was praying, because we're not supposed to pull away from God when we're weary. He says, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll give you rest.” And So how sad that we're pulling away from the church, pulling away from prayer. So, we should talk about that.

Erin: Yeah, I love that. Well, you are the president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. And for those who don't know, the National Day of Prayer exists to mobilize unified public prayer for America. So I love that mission. I've heard of the National Day of Prayer. I've even participated in a National Day of Prayer thing or two, event or two, but I've never drilled down into the mission. I could close my eyes and picture a unified prayer effort in our nation, and it excites me.

I'd love for you to give us just a quick lesson here this morning. How has God used national days of prayer to impact America? And listen, this is a global program people are watching from around the world. But if God's done it here, He certainly did it elsewhere. How has God used national days of prayer to stir the hearts of people in our country?

Kathy: Well, don't you know, it delights a father's heart. I mean, you're a parent, or to know that when your children get along.

Erin: It is the best. 

Kathy: Yeah, they're for something that you want them to do. You're just like, yes. And so, don't you know, it delights the Father's heart when His children come together in unified prayer, just like we read about what you guys were talking about in the book of Acts. Acts 1:14, with one mind, with one mind, could you imagine all of us just getting in a room and agreeing? Three or four of us can’t get in a room and agree about where to go for dinner. 

So, I have seen where that has brought so much peace, so much strength, that in agreement and in prayer, knowing who we are believing in, who we're praying to. And then being able to live that out together, iron sharpens iron. 

But when we pray together, when we live together, when we help one another, like in all the good news stories, there's strength in that there's courage in that there's confidence in that. We remind each other whom we are believing in, and that He's able.

Erin: I love that. There is a real longing in our hearts for unity. We were gathered with some friends just Friday night, and one of our friends said, “What is it that we're all fighting about?” I can't even quite figure it out. There was a longing for political unity in that conversation. But isn't it greater for us to unify around prayer and calling out to the Lord?

I think one thing we're fighting, what one thing I'm fighting, we'll see if this is true for others, you can let us know in the comments, but I'm fighting deep skepticism. My brother-in-law is a pastor of a small church. And we were talking about the exodus from his church. And I said, Why do you I said, when the this pandemic happened, I thought churches would be flooded with people, and they're not. I said, ”Why do you think that is Matt?” And he said, “Because people don't believe truth can be found.” There's deep skepticism that they can find truth anywhere much less than the church. 

So, I'm fighting some skepticism that God . . . I don't doubt that He can, but that He will do a new thing. How do you keep persevering in prayer for our country? Do you ever fight skepticism? And if you do, what encourages your heart to keep praying?

Well, let me just say that God loves us so much, He doesn't force Himself on us. We have just kind of given up. We're tired; we're weary; we're anxious; we're angry. We're all these things that the Bible tells us not to be. 

We've walked away. And the further away we get, although Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us, He's not going to hogtied us and make us come His way. And so, in that, I've been through several major tragedies in life, and you have a response, you get to make a decision, you have a choice. You can either run from Him, you can be angry with Him, you can blame Him, or you can run to Him. 

He over and over in Scripture has told He's our refuge. He's our strength. He's our shield. He's our strong tower. He's our rock. If you want to choose to run from the rock to sinking sand. That's your choice.

It's almost like we need a back to basics. You behave as you believe, sorry. And I really stopped to ask myself once in a while, are my prayers and my actions, my attitude, my words, are they reflecting what I say I really believe? Or is it revealing something, some doubt, some hypocrisy, 

I think you do believe as you behave, and you behave as you believe. I mean, both of them are evidence of what's really going on in your heart. What you really believe to be true about God. I just want to sit in that for a second, such a strong word that God always invites us to run back toward Him. I think when we're suffering, we run towards other comforts so easily, so naturally in our flesh. 

There's another passage of Scripture that talks about Him tucking us in His pin feathers, and listen to pin feathers, or the little feathers way deep in under the chicken wings that are hard for me to get plucked out when we deal with chickens here on the farm. You got to nestle in to get into those pin feathers. That's a step towards revival, isn't it?

All right, I want to make it personal. You've talked about how dealing with personal pain, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness (which I think we all have a propensity toward in our flesh) or allowing, or more accurately, letting God deal with those things in us could be a key to unlocking revival. I'd love to hear more about that. I'd love to hear just the burden on your heart. 

Kathy: Well, I had brain cancer for 14-and-a-half years. 

Erin: Wow! 

Kathy: It was quite the struggle. I went through five different rounds of experimental chemo over those years. I really came to a point where we didn't think there was anything left to do, and God's hand moved miraculously. I was healed in a moment. I was living this life of gratefulness, and awe! So many people who had journeyed with me and saw that miracle. And exactly 13 months later, my son, my teenage son, a junior in high school, was diagnosed with blood cancer.

And I will tell you, I would love to have been, you know, “Fanny Faithful.” But my first response to God was, just give me mine back. You know, there was just this, “Why would You heal me and hurt him?” And we forget that our path is tested by fire. But what's great is we're always carried through by the fire of the Holy Spirit, if that's whom we choose to come up under as our refuge in our strength through these trials.

But it was a very hurtful moment. When my teenage son at his diagnosis turned to his doctor after getting this horrible bad news and said, “Either way, I win.” To have a 16-year-old boy tell you that death reminds you that death for a follower of Jesus Christ as a reward, it's a win. That straightened out my attitude, and revival came on our house instead of grief. I have to tell you, and I'm so grateful.

Erin: I praise God for that story. Well, I often need a prayer language. I've walked with the Lord a long time. I don't know if all Christians feel this way. But prayer always feels a little bit clunky to me.

I read those passages in Scripture about people praying in the Spirit. And I think, what is that? And, how do I do that? I want to know. But I found that the Bible is so helpful in giving me a prayer language. It gives us a prayer language for grief. It gives us a prayer language for celebration. It gives us a prayer language for all kinds of things. 

So, I wonder Kathy, if you could help us with a prayer language this morning. As someone who's devoted your life to praying for revival here in America, what are three things you're really earnestly asking the Lord for in these days? 

Kathy: The National Day of Prayer, which a lot of people don't know is a law. On the first Thursday of May, by law, the president calls our nation to prayer. And this year, our theme has three words. So, I'll give you these three words that God put on my heart for this year. They’re Love, Life, and Liberty—only defined and designed by our Creator, by God alone, not by culture, who counterfeits it. The enemy comes in and twists it.

But to really be pressing into what the Word of God says. Our Creator, our designer, the author of our days says about true love. His love, unconditional, sacrificial love, the abundant life, the eternal life that He's given us, not a death destination decision of someday in heaven. But right here, right now. Whatever we're going through, and wherever He's taking us to. 

And then liberty, real liberty, not just my freedoms as American to do whatever I want, whenever I want my pursuit of happiness, that's not it. It's the liberty of walking fully forgiven and fully loved in Jesus Christ. That the games and the shame and all that stuff that Satan tries to play and shackle me with, that's gone. I get to run in the liberty of Jesus Christ in this. So we are praying, 2 Corinthians 3:17, for the Lord, His Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 

Erin: I love that. Here at Revive Our Hearts, we call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Jesus. And those two things could lay right over the top of each other. That's what we're calling to. We're calling them to love God, to live abundant lives, and to have true liberty. So, my heart is stirred to pray with you for those things. 

Hey Grounded ladies, I want you to mark your calendars soon as this episode is over, not maybe right now. But very soon today, mark your calendars and plan to observe the National Day of Prayer. It's going to be significant to me this year in ways it hasn't been before because of talking with Kathy. The National Day of Prayer, as she mentioned, is the first Thursday in May.

And guys, May is going to be here. Spring is coming. We're going to get there. I want to spend it praying with you. This year that falls on May 6. Also, grab Kathy's book. She's got a book called An Invitation to Prayer. We love to give you easy access to good resources. We're gonna drop the link to that book in the chat right now. Kathy, thank you so much for being with us. Stick around. Kathy's gonna hop back in soon, and we're actually going to pray for revival. 

Kathy: Thanks. 

Portia: Well, if all this talk about revival has you hungering for it, then let me step in here to remind you of this. Revival begins or usually begins or is supposed to begin, with us, with you, with me—not with the lost. 

Ask yourself this or think on this. Do you wonder if your heart needs to be revived? Or if it can be revived? Well, this brief video clip from one of our True Woman events features Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Listen in as she helps us to understand what kind of heart God revives.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Do you know what happens when you set a file folder full of letters on fire? It all turns to ashes. You can never get those letters again. I know, because I once set a whole file folder full of letters on fire.

It started in 1995. When I spoke on the subject of brokenness and humility at a Campus Crusade for Christ staff gathering, the Lord moved in that session in a powerful way. And then the days that followed, there was a lot of repentance, as staff members embraced brokenness and humility.

And then, many of those individuals began to write me to tell me how the Lord had used that message in their lives. As I collected those letters in a file folder, I started to harbor pride in my heart. It was the exact opposite heart condition from what I had just spoken about.

And then the Lord began to speak to my heart, “I did this work in people's hearts, not you.” And as part of embracing humility, the Lord put it in my heart to burn that entire collection of letters. 

So, are you harboring any area of pride? Do you perhaps have something that's like that file folder to you? Something maybe that represents an accomplishment? Something that's feeding a proud spirit? Do whatever it takes to embrace humility.

Dannah: Do whatever, whatever it takes to embrace humility. Why? I mean, have I changed subjects here? No, I'm still talking about revival because humility is the key that unlocks the door to revival. 

I know that your hearts have been hoping for it, because I'm reading the comments. I've been watching them as we've been talking about this. Your heart wants revival just like mine does. And before we open our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter 57, go ahead and grab yours. 

Let me set the stage for a very simple thing I want to share with you today. Since I was a really young girl, I have always had a heart for revival. I can remember sitting long hours with Jesus, as a very small girl. We lived by this great big wheat field, and the deer would go there at night and bed down and create these great big circles. I would find them in the summer days. I would just sit there with my Bible with Jesus as a little girl.

I would pray for revival as an eight-year-old. I asked God to use me for revival. I wanted to be a missionary or a Bible teacher. have to tell you that I'm glad I had a heart for revival, because I needed revival. 

By the time I was 26, I hadn't become a prodigal but my heart just felt so unworthy of being a servant of the Lord. I needed a deep revival, and I experienced deep revival, so effervescent, so powerful that I had to pass it on to other people. 

I started with teenage girls. In fact, my friend Erin Davis, she toured with me in a really hot white minivan all across this country. We would do revivals for teen girls, nothing sweeter in my life than seeing them at the altar, receiving a fresh infusion of God's grace. Erin and I were revival speakers. We love revival. 

But friends, in recent years, I’ve got to confess. This morning I looked for the right word to describe how my heart feels about revival in recent years. And the word I landed on was “despaired.” Do you know why I landed on that word? Because I was afraid of the word “cynical.” But that's how I really felt. Erin Davis threw it down in the opening. She said, I've been feeling cynical about revival.

Mega-churches have been emptying for years. The mass exodus was so significant that the Atlantic published an article this. The title was, “What Should America Do with Its Emptying Church Buildings?” Ouch.

Once celebrated, Christian authors who were riding the wave of Christian celebrity status just a few years ago, have recently recanted their faith or taken a razor blade to their Bibles to cut out what they don't like. 

Many multimillion-dollar ministries have crumbled because their leaders have experienced moral failures and financial ethical failures that were just so heartbreaking for me to watch. The wreckage has been headline fodder for the likes of the New York Times.

Here's the truth. At times, I've been embarrassed in my family, my church family that is, we've looked pretty broken. But something stirred me about one year ago. This new virus emerged, and I was so hopeful. 

The Wall Street Journal ran an article called “A Coronavirus, Great Awakening?” What hope I had in the midst of this global ground zero. The world did pause very briefly to remember God. I thought, This is it. Here it comes. This is the revival I've asked the Lord for since I was a little girl. 

And it is true that sometimes the most important ingredient for spiritual revival and renewal is a classic cataclysmic event. And history reveals that revival often follows horrific times. So, I was so hopeful. 

But I'm sad to say as we've been commiserating this morning, your comments are telling the story as we're sharing our hearts. We didn't have the staying power to use those early days of the pandemic for a swelling revival. Fewer and fewer are attending church.

You know, a few weeks ago, rather than praying for widespread revival anymore, I found myself just praying this simple two-word prayer, “Lord, help.” I didn't know how to pray anymore. I had stopped praying for my church to be revived. I've stopped praying for people in my family who didn't know the Lord to be revived, or people who have walked away from the Lord. I just prayed, “Lord, help.” That's it. I didn't know how to pray anymore. 

I had this growing sense that when I was folding my hand to point one finger at the people, I was praying for that lost friend, that lost family member, that broken church. See, as I was just praying, “Lord, help,” I had a sense that when I was doing that, these three fingers are pointing back at me. 

Cue Isaiah 57:15. I pulled it out and started meditating on it. Because I know it is a wellspring of revival. It says this, let me read it to you. “For thus says the Holy One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”

What kind of heart does God revive? It's a question that our ministry founder, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, has frequently asked about this verse. What kind of heart does God revive? Well, there's two qualities here. One is contrite hearts. Contrition is the feeling of or expressing of penitence. It's being affected by your guilt. And so, I started asking myself, when was the last time I was aware of my sin, really aware of my sin? Because I'm a sinful woman.

I was sitting with my counselor a week ago, and I expressed to him that I just feel like my heart's hard. I didn't really think of that as sin at all in any way, shape, or form. My heart is so hard from all the things that I'm seeing, all the things that I'm hearing, all the indifference, all the conflict. It's coming out in relationships, it's hard, too hard towards friends. It's hard towards my husband and my counselors. He was listening to me, he said, “Dannah, can I ask you a question?”

Do you know why Moses introduced divorce? I thought, Have we just changed subjects? Adultery, right, is the only reason you could have one? And he looked at me and he said, Dannah, the reason Moses introduced divorce is hardness of hearts.

I thought, Well, the divorce word, the D word has never been uttered in the Gresh house; it never will be. But somehow, that prayer, Lord help, allowed me to see in that moment that this hardness of heart was a path I don't want to walk on. 

There are all kinds of root sins attached to it. And for the first time in a long time, I was deeply convicted of my sin. And I breathed the confession to God; I breathed the confession to my husband, who's the one most affected by it. And friends, I had been experiencing a mini-revival in my life. I'm opening the Word of God, and it's alive to me. I'm meeting with people that I'm responsible by God to mentor and disciple. I'm excited about it for a change. I haven't felt that way in a while. I'm sampling, I think, a little hors d'oeuvre, an appetizer of revival. It took contrition, it took repentance for me to get there.

The other thing this passage tells us is, is the condition or, or the heart, the kind of heart God revives is lowly. And that's the word humble. It means humble. It's understanding the truth about myself, the truth about others. 

And when I got to that today, this morning, I thought, You know what, there's probably something in my life that needs to burn. Because I know this, I'm a prideful woman. Nancy burned letters. She burned them, helping her heart to be in agreement with humility, because she knew those letters could be a symptom of pride.

I wonder what it will be for you? I wonder what it will be for me? I think we need to burn some stuff up, friends. 

Let me tell you what one of the things God's identifying in my life is that a symbol of my pride. It is the fact that I've had a finger pointing out at those who need revival without realizing that I need it.

Let's start there. There's some pride even in my prayers for revival. I wonder if there are any in yours?

Here's the thing about the about revival. I am the problem. I was believing the lie that revival was gonna start without my revival. I was praying for revival without asking God to begin in my heart. And so, I had to confess it. I had to be humbled. I am the problem.

Revival is the solution. So, my prayer isn't any more, “Lord, help.” I'm changing my prayer this week to, “Lord, revive me.” I hope you'll join me.

Alejandra: Wow, Lord, revive me. I think if we're honest, we can write that into the comments and we can make that our prayer too, Dannah. Lord, revive me. Lord, revive me. That's all we have to say, and come humbly to Him, just like you pointed us to. 

Well, in every episode of Grounded, we want to give you good stuff. We don't want to just talk about revival, but we want you to experience it. Because in each generation, God calls people to Himself. He calls men. He calls women who are particularly hungry—hungry for His presence, hungry for His power. And how do we know if He's calling you? How do I know if he's calling me? 

Well, I want to share a quote from G. Campbell Morgan. He said, “We cannot organize revival. But we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.” 

Portia: Oh, I love that. I love that. We can set ourselves to catch the wind from heaven. I love that. Well, does that rev up your heart for a revival? 

This week, a special online gathering of believers are eager to be equipped for revival. They'll be learning what is revival? How do we bring it to our cities? How can you ignite and fuel revival in your church? Why is there an urgent need for revival now? 

Over 40 trusted and dynamic Bible teachers will be coming together with and will present dozens of workshops on this very subject. Our guest today, Kathy Branzell, is one of the presenters. And you can learn more and register at, we’ll will drop a link to it in the chat. 

Alejandra: That's right. And you know one more quick tip? This one comes from a Grounded viewer. Jenny wrote to us and just said, “I forget about Grounded almost every week. But I am glad my phone reminds me.” 

You see, your phone can remind you if you get that Revive Our Hearts app. You’ll just get a weekly push notification telling you that Grounded is on. So this is one more way we can stay connected. 

Erin: Jenny that doesn't even hurt my feelings, because I so get it. I call that mom-nesia, when you just you just forgot that you wanted to be a part of it. So, we want to remind you that Grounded is on, we want you to get that push notification through the app.

Hey, we don't want to just talk about revival. We want to pray for revival. And we don't want to just say, “Hey, pray for revival.” We want to actually do it together, that vision of being unified in prayer that Kathy mentioned earlier has stuck with me. 

So, Kathy, we'd love for you to join us back here on Grounded, and if you could just lead us in praying for revival. We want to be unified with you. Would you lead a mini–National Day of Prayer right here on Grounded and ask the Lord to revive us again? What's on your heart to pray for? 

Kathy: That's great. Thank you so much for this invitation. So, I hope you get your Bibles out. I want to pray from Psalm 13:5–6. You know I have Post-it notes. I post them all over my house. Maybe you need to do this on your mirror. Wherever you go, maybe inside the refrigerator on the coffee pot. Psalm 13:5–6 says “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

Will you pray that with me now? Lord Jesus, we just come now, and we trust in Your unfailing love. Lord, forgive us where we think You have failed us. You never leave us or forsake us. And so, Lord, thank You that your love is unfailing. It's unconditional; we don't earn it. And You love us so deeply daily. Lord, let my heart rejoice. Lord, begin with me. 

I want to set my sail. I want to set my heart in the path of Your living water so that Your water softens my heart and makes it pliable for the Potter again. Lord, forgive me in the places that I have hardened. And Lord, I will sing when we don't know what to pray, when we don't know what to say, when we are discouraged, when we are depressed. Lord, remind us to sing your hymns, to sing Your praise. 

To reset just like the hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face.” Lord, I pray for revival that looks full in Your wonderful face, not full at our TV screens, or sets our heart on bad news. But the good news that was even shared today on Grounded, to remind us we are those kind of people—people of love. People who love life, eternal life, abundant life. People of liberty, no longer held captive by the enemy. Lord, we will sing of Your praise, and we will remember You have been good to us. Lord, keep our mind on You. Keep our mind even on what You're doing as You’re discipling us in the times of testing.

Lord, we pray that You remind us that You are always good. You are always for us. Lord, we cry out for a revival right here personally in our own prayer closets and our own homes, our own neighborhoods, and in the nations around the world. Thank You that You are a good, good Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Dannah: Amen. Wow. Oh friends, I hope you'll join us in setting our sails for revival. Just spend this week asking the Lord to revive you three simple words in your prayer, “Lord, revive me.” And then follow Him in contrition, follow Him in humility. 

But let's fill this whole week and world with prayer for revival. And let's wake up with hope next week on Grounded.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Support the Grounded Podcast

Darkness. Fear. Uncertainty. Women around the world wake up hopeless every day. What if you could play a part in bringing them freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness instead? Your gift ensures that we can continue to spread the message that Christ is King and that the way to know Him is through His Word. Spread gospel hope! Donate now.

Donate Now

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.

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. 

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.

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guest

No Photo Avaible for Kathy Branzell

Kathy Branzell

Kathy Branzell is the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and has been a part of this ministry for twenty years volunteering in various roles. Prior to taking this role she was the National Coordinator of LOVE2020 for the Mission America Coalition and the founder and president of Fellowship and Christian Encouragement (FACE) for Educators.. Kathy earned her master’s degree in Biblical Studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author and co-author of six books including An Invitation to Prayer, An Apple a Day, and Prayer Warrior, the Battle Plan to Victory, and more. Kathy is married to her childhood sweetheart Russ and is mom to two grown children son, Chandler and daughter Emily.