Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss encourages moms to pray.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Don't get weary in doing well. Don't give up. Keep praying. Keep laying hold of God and realize the last chapter has not been written, that God is still writing that story, and your prayers are an important part of that story He is writing

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Thursday, August 14. Yesterday, moms heard important counsel on prayer. We heard why our prayers as moms are so important, and we learned how to develop a consistent habit of prayer for our kids.

We were joined by a mom who's learned the value of prayer, MarlaeGritter, and we were joined by Fern Nichols, president and founder of Moms in Touch International. We'll hear more of their conversation with Nancy Leigh DeMoss in a series called How to Pray for Your Children, and we'll start with Fern.

Fern Nichols: I was very blessed to have a heritage—a Christian heritage. I've never doubted the Word of God. That is what the heritage has done for me. Everything in God's Word is true, and over 7,000 promises in the Word of God are our inheritance. Why would we not spend it?

Nancy: Why would we live as if we're bankrupt?

Fern: Oh, that's good, Nancy.

Marlae Gritter: He says He's faithful to all the promises, to 7,000.

Fern: He's faithful to all of them, but also what the Word of God does, even though some of the promises were for a specific time and a person, still the principle of that promise is for today. We are learning what we can just claim. He says, “It's not my will that any should perish but all come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9,paraphrase). But there are also promises that He gave to Joshua that everywhere he put his foot, he would receive that land, so we have to be careful how we use God's Word.

We have to rightly divide the Word of Truth. I knew that the way my children would grow in the Lord was if they would love His Word. There's a verse in Colossians that talks about the Word of God dwelling in them richly (see 3:16). I prayed that all the time for them:

  • that they would love the Word
  • that they would believe every single word that God has given us in His love letter to us
  • that they would be in the Word

That they would be in the Word not just because I tell them to go to the Word, but that they want to see it for themselves—know it and not just read it. I heard somebody say one time, “It's just not reading words; it's hearing His voice as you're reading it.”

Well, how God has answered this their lives. They all love the Word today. It's so exciting. I could go down each child, but one in particular, in his high-school years, was so drawn to the Word of God. I prayed. I couldn't draw him to the Word.

It was the Holy Spirit that drew him to the Word, and he decided that he wanted to memorize. I think he memorized 200 Scripture verses, just on his own. Well, he is a young man that's very organized, and so he has this big chart on his wall. You walk in, and there are all these little hand-written Scripture verses all across the room, like 200 of them that he'd memorized. I could go in, look at the chart, and say, “Troy, what does Proverbs 1:7 say?” and he knew.

God answered so far above. I never would have even thought that this would so take hold, that prayer, in the life of my son, and he loves the Word to this day. All my children do. Now I see my children pass that on to my grandchildren. Little J. T. just loves memorizing the Word of God, and he's hiding it in his heart. It's a legacy of prayer that we are leaving when we are intentional about praying.

Nancy: That legacy didn't start with you.

Fern: No.

Nancy: You had a praying mother. Tell us about her.

Fern: Oh, my goodness! My mom didn't know Jesus when I was little. Probably when I was close to two years old is when she gave her life to the Lord, and Nancy, it was through radio.

She had a husband that loved her. She had four healthy children. She had a home. She had a car, but there was still something empty in her heart. She didn't know how to fill that, and she was drawn to Christian radio every morning. When she would make the breakfast for her family, she would turn on the radio and hear the Word of God. One divine, so grateful moment, she prayed to receive Christ with the pastor that was on the radio that morning.

Talk about total repentance and turn-around! I mean, it was like immediately that we were in the church. Here's another way that God just had His hand on our family. She didn't know what church to go to. She just knew that there was this nice, little, white church on the corner about two miles from our house. It was a Bible-believing church that I'm so thankful for, and so all of us were in the church.

I mean, we just didn't go Sunday morning. I mean, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, whenever the doors were open. So it was through the salvation of my mom and her wanting to grow in the Lord. Her greatest prayer was that my children would know and love Jesus.

Nancy: You saw your mom having a love for the Word?

Fern: She loved the Word, yes, and prayer. We would pray at the end of the day either the Lord's Prayer or we'd each pray. We always knelt down by the bed. Then sometimes before we left even go to the grocery story, she would pray just a prayer of protection on the family as we left.

Every Wednesday night she took us to prayer meeting. I was little. My legs couldn't even touch the floor. They were just dangling in the pew, but I sensed and knew something powerful was going on. The atmosphere was sweet.

I am so grateful for that legacy. I'm wondering if there's a grandmother, a great-grandmother down the road that prayed. It settled in the heart of my mom and it is now passed down to me and my children and now my grandchildren.

Nancy: I've often shared on Revive Our Hearts how it was a praying great-grandmother to me, who I never knew and will not meet this side of heaven, who I believe is humanly responsible for my family coming to faith in Christ. I've shared the story of how my dad was not a believer, was not really in a believing home. My dad was a rebel. He was a gambler. He was just very, very far from anything that would have been a right course of direction for his life.

My dad's parents and relatives were Greek immigrants. There were two families living together in the same home—two sisters married two brothers. The two couples and their four children between them lived in this same home. Some of you have heard the name Ted DeMoss. He was my dad's cousin and was involved with Christian Businessmen's Committee for many years.

Ted and his brother grew up with my dad and his brother, these double first-cousins. Ted shared (he's now in heaven with the Lord, too) a bedroom when he was a little boy with Ya-Ya, who was his grandmother, my great-grandmother. She didn't speak English. He told how sometimes at night, he would go to bed, and she would be on her knees praying for that family, for the children and the grandchildren.

He said there were times when he would wake up the next morning, and she was still on her knees having prayed through the night for that family. I think about my dad, who for so many years was so far from the Lord, and then how God amazingly, supernaturally captured his heart when—when the Scripture says, “There is none who seeks after God . . . no not one,” (Romans 3:11-12, KJV). It is true, and it was very true of my dad.

Friday, October the 13th, 1950, God brought him into a meeting where the Gospel was preached. He was converted. His life was transformed.

He never looked back, and then through another whole series of unrelated circumstances, God brought my mother to faith. God brought them to each other and started a whole, new family line of grace and godliness and getting the Gospel out, and I think how much of that goes back to a praying Ya-Ya, great-grandmother.

She didn't live to see most of those prayers answered. I think maybe she's seeing them from heaven. I wonder how many of you in this room would say that your spiritual life today is in some way the product of a praying mom or grandmom, whether it was your mom or some other mom, but some mom, some grandmom—her prayers had something to do with where you are today.

Marlae: When I was about four years old, my grandmother and grandfather started to take me to church with them. My parents never went to church when I was small, and my grandmother would take me to all the services. Now we say that we have to have children's church or whatever, but we just sat in the big services. At four years of age, the Lord really spoke to my heart, and that's where I got to know Him for the very first time.

Then, my grandparents would take me to their home every weekend, like from Friday to Sunday night, so I could be in the services and really grow in the Lord. They paid my way to youth camps. They just encouraged me in every way possible. They're both in heaven today, but I know it's because of them that I am who I am.

Nancy: Praise the Lord! Do you find as moms, Marlae and Fern, that there are times when you're tempted to give up? Is perseverance—that's part of the battle, isn't it?

Fern: We call it the waiting room. Sometimes God puts us in the waiting room because He's got something so much better. When we pray to God, it's not like Bewitched, that TV series long ago where you just wiggle your nose and we tell God something to do, and He does it.

When we share with God our heart concerning just a grief or a pain or a burden for whatever, God grieves with us. He understands, but He also has the best solution. I think what's been so powerful in Moms in Touch is that it constantly reminds one another of that.

God has the best plan. God is sovereign. He's the blessed controller of all things. He knows the plans that He has for your child, and it's for good and not for evil and just that constant remembering because we're such sheep.

We go to our own self, our own motive, our own hurt, our self-pity, but yet when we bring it back to the throne room, it's like just a wonderful reminder—especially with the body that waits. They don't try to push this, don't try to manipulate it, don't try to get all your good plans going.

Let God deal with it. His ways are perfect. I tell the women—I say, “How can you improve? How can I give God any suggestions on how to help His perfect plan?”

Marlae: But we love to.

Fern: Not that we can't share our heart with Him and how we feel, but really, the bottom line is: Don't we want our loving, heavenly Father to have His way, His will in the situation? So yes, the waiting room is not only a place to remember who God is, but it also strengthens our faith.

Nancy: Don't you find, Marlae, sometimes in the waiting room that part of what the Devil does is cause you to lose hope or to think, “This isn't making any difference. Nothing is going to happen.” The temptation is to give up?

Marlae: He loves to play that tape. The enemy loves to play that tape, and he gets us down. He loves to make us feel like it's all our fault, as well, and you just get sunk in the, “I'm going to give up. It's too hard.” That's very human.

Satan is a big liar, and he knows how to work with our emotions—especially when it comes to our children. Of course we want the best and the heartache that goes with it, but it really is true, like Fern said, that it's like don't give up, Mom. Don't give up because God does know.

We can always look back, can't we? It's when you're in it. We can always look back and say, “Okay, Lord, I know You wanted to teach me a lot in that, too. I know You wanted to strengthen my daughter to be who she is and is becoming because of what she went through,” but it's awful hard then.

We have to keep our eyes on Him. We have to keep our eyes on who He is because that doesn't change even though our emotions do.

Fern: Jesus knew, Nancy, what you're talking about—the temptation to either give up or become hopeless. He knew that and that humanness that is just such a temptation. That's why He's so sweet. In His Word He constantly, over and over, especially in the book of John, talked about not giving up. In Luke 18 :1, He says, “Do not give up. Don't get fainthearted. Keep praying. Keep praying” (paraphrase).

Nancy: Tell about the story He told there, Luke 18, the widow.

Fern: Yes.

Nancy: He said, “Men ought always to pray and not to give up,” (paraphrase) not to get fainthearted, and then He told the story about the widow who had a need.

Fern: Oh, this widow! I love this widow! I mean, she went to this unjust, ungodly, mean, cantankerous—well, those are a few words I've added to the Bible—judge. There is something that according to the law she needed to have justice done for her.

This judge got so tired of this woman coming to him because he never would do anything to help her. She was a nuisance. She was a bother, but she kept coming.

She wasn't going to give up, even though this judge was such a stinker, until finally he said, “Okay, okay, here it is. Here's the justice. You get what you want done. Don't bother me anymore.”

The wonderful contrast of that is what Jesus is saying is, “Oh my goodness, the most just Judge, God, never tires of you coming. He wants you to come. Keep coming to Him. He wants justice to happen. He wants to answer your prayer. He's not cantankerous. He's loving. He's caring.” There will be one wonderful moment when the answer will come.

You might see it, and then like Ya-Ya, she didn't see it. Maybe she did in heaven, like you said, but just the contrast of what an earthly judge and our wonderful, Heavenly Father Judge is like. The whole point of this was, she kept coming. She kept coming.

You see, Satan never takes a vacation, and he's got new schemes and plans for our lives, our kids' lives, and our grandkids' lives. If we could say it this way, taking a vacation of coming to the most just Judge, then there's a lot of things going on that we're allowing Satan to just run rampant in because we're not taking the privilege and the power of what God has given His body before the throne to receive mercy and grace in time of need.

Nancy: You really have to be like a watchman on a wall or a sentinel and somebody who's always vigilant, always keeping guard.

Fern: Always vigilant.

Marlae: I think another lie of the enemy—not I think. I know because I've had it in my own life. I think he especially gets us women in that we don't feel confident. The enemy loves to make us feel like, “My prayer can't matter. My little prayer, and I don't even maybe know how to pray. My prayer can't matter.”

He loves getting us, and that is such a lie because your prayer, Mom, even if you fumble through it, like she said, you read the Word, you just open the Word then. Your prayer matters, and that's our message as we share with women.

Your prayer matters, Mom. I just wanted to encourage all of you as we're talking about the legacy. I also had a wonderful legacy of a praying great-grandmother. But some of you here in this room are maybe sitting there going, “I can't even think of anybody that prayed for me.”

I just want to encourage you—it can start with you! Think about your grandkids someday going, “It was my grandma,” you sitting here. “She's the one that prayed for me.”

See, don't settle for that. Don't feel bad about it. Be thankful you're here, and you be the grandma or the great-grandma that begins the legacy. I love that. That's His grace.

Nancy: Yesh, yes.

Tammy: Through my high-school years, I kind of walked my own way. I was raised in a Christian home, and I knew what I was supposed to do and that sort of thing. I know that it was because of my mom's prayers that God re-routed me and through her guidance.

Through a series of circumstances, I ended up going to Bible college and ended up working in a ministry. I know that it has largely depended on her. She's still one of my main prayer warriors. If there's something going on in my life or my kids' lives, she would be one of the first ones I would call.

Nancy: Now, you've got children in formative stages of life.

Tammy: Yes, praying for my children has also been something that has been a burden on my heart for years. I've used different materials just to help guide that and to incorporate Scripture in the prayers for the children. I have seen God do some incredible things through that and specific answers also.

Nancy: Great! Thank you, Tammy. Anyone else? Prayers of a mother or a grandmother, your own or somebody else's, that impacted your life.

Mary: My mother-in-law is a very, just a real basic, sweet, wonderful, beautiful, Christian lady, and she's been a praying warrior. When my in-laws had their 50th anniversary, each of the five children said one thing that they appreciated about each parent, and all five children said they appreciated the prayers of their mother.

All the children and many of the grandchildren have been involved in ministry of some sort in the years that have followed. My husband talks about seeing his mother on her knees at all times of the day and night. She's just a beautiful, almost child-like, simple woman, but prayer is her strong point. She's got, I think, 35 grandchildren and, I think, in the 70s of great-grandchildren now.

Nancy: Wow! Praise the Lord! As you're sharing, Mary, I'm thinking of the story of Augustine who was one of the greatest theologians of all times. But for many years, he was very far from the Lord and had a praying mother, Monica. It seemed for so many years that, not only were her prayers not being answered, but her son seemed to be going the opposite direction.

He was immoral. He was living this profligate lifestyle. Then he ran away to Rome, and she was praying that he would not. It just seemed at point after point, that whatever she was praying, was not what was happening. But it was while he was in Rome that God got his attention and brought him to faith and transformed his life and made him one of the great church fathers, one of the greatest Christian leaders of all time.

You think, “Aren't you glad that Monica didn't stop praying before he came to faith?” Now, God can do His will with or without mothers. We're glad for that, but in God's providence and His sovereignty, He has ordained that one of the means of grace for reaching the next generation is through the prayers of moms and dads.

Just think, we can be a part of that, of laying hold of God, and it's mystery. We don't know. It's not like this one-to-one correspondence. You pray, and all of a sudden, it happens. A lot of times there are years.

How many of you are still—you have a child or daughter, son or daughter or grandchild, that you are still really heavy-hearted for, and the light hasn't been turned on yet? You haven't seen yet the answers to what you're praying? Let me see some hands here.

Lots and lots of hands. I think maybe the word of encouragement—a word of encouragement—is don't get weary in doing well. Don't give up. Keep praying. Keep laying hold of God. Believe that and realize the last chapter has not been written, that God is still writing that story, and your prayers are an important part of that story He is writing.

Leslie: All of us as moms get discouraged sometimes. The tough work day after day can be draining. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been helping us see how valuable our prayers are.

Nancy's been talking with Marlae Gritter, a mom who's learned the value of prayer, and she's been talking to Fern Nichols, president and founder of Moms in Touch International. Fern will be a speaker at True Woman '08, October 9-11. You can get more details about that important national women's conference at ReviveOurHearts.com.

One issue moms need to pray for is finances. At Revive Our Hearts, we pray for finances as well. Here's Nancy.

Nancy: As you and your family work through your monthly finances, I know there are some times where you have to make some tough budget decisions. Well, believe it or not, we go through the same thing at Revive Our Hearts. I was saddened recently to hear from a listener who emailed us and said,

I just wanted to tell you that I will miss your program. I heard on the radio yesterday that it was no longer going to be on.

We're a homeschooling farm family, and every morning after breakfast and getting the kids started on their work, I take my cup of coffee and head for the bedroom. Then I just sit and absorb all I can from your program. You don't know how many days it has rescued me.

I teach a young women's Bible study, and I use so many of the things I hear. Thank you so much for the way you have allowed God to use you. I treasure all the things I have learned in our time together.

Now, I say I was saddened. Actually, I was happy to read how God has used the ministry in that woman's life, but I was saddened because I know that we had to make the difficult decision to go off the air in that woman's area and knowing we won't be able to provide that kind of support and encouragement in her life in the future.

There are certain markets where financial constraints don't allow us to stay on the air. A lot of factors play into those decisions, including how often we hear from those in a particular community, so we need to hear from you. We need listeners in your community to help make Revive Our Hearts possible.

Would you allow us to continue ministering in your area by making a donation to Revive Our Hearts? This ministry is funded through the gifts of our listeners. Your donation will help us continue bringing biblical truth to women in your area who need to hear it, so call us with your donation—1-800-569-5959 or donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. In the story of the prodigal son, the father was out watching for his wayward offspring. If someone has a prodigal today, is there anything they can be doing besides watching and waiting? Get some wise advice tomorrow onRevive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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