Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Mary Peckham: I would leave my loom and go upstairs and I would pray and travel through the whole village—every family, every home, every person and then to the ends of the earth. God had opened my eyes. I wasn’t my own anymore. I was bought with a price.

Leslie: It’s Wednesday, March 28th, and this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Sin isn’t a very pleasant topic to think about, but recognizing sin and then grieving over it is the first step to incredible joy. We’re going to hear about some people who discovered this in a powerful way. Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: This matter of intense searching, Holy Spirit conviction of sin is something that you read about in many of the accounts of revival history. It’s something that we’re going to hear about today as we listen to the continuation of Mary Peckham’s testimony.

I believe that this conviction of sin is an important part of the conversion process. The process of coming to true faith in Christ. Yet it’s something that we don’t often see today. I believe that when God moves in genuine revival in our day, this will be one of the marks of that revival. That people will not be making decisions for Christ in a flippant or half-hearted way, but that they will come with a desperate sense of their need to flee to Christ, to be delivered from their lost, sinful condition.

Mary Peckham was a hard-hearted teenager who had no interest in the things of God. Yet when God began to stir in the island of Lewis, off the coast of Scotland, there in the early 1950s and Mary came home to see what God was doing, she was caught up in this irresistible sense of the presence of God. She couldn’t run from it. There was a growing, intense sense of her sinful condition and her desperate need for Christ.

As we heard yesterday, Mary had actually attended what was called an inquirer’s meeting for those who were searching spiritually and wanted to know more about a personal relationship with Christ. Duncan Campbell, who was the revivalist that God used as an instrument in this revival, had prayed with each of the young people who came to that meeting.

Here’s Mary Peckham years later reflecting on that moment.

Mary: That night as the minister closed in prayer, he quoted a verse that I have already quoted to you: Isaiah 53, verse 5. Suddenly, it seemed as if I was transported from that prayer meeting to the place called Calvary, and I was there alone. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” And I felt healed.

Nobody needed to tell me. The Spirit of God, through His Word, witnessed with my spirit that—miracle of miracles—I was a child of God. I couldn’t go to bed that night. A crowd of us walked the shore, singing above the noise of the waves, “Now none but Christ can satisfy; none other name for me; there’s love and life and lasting joy, Lord Jesus, found in Thee."

The following day at my loom, weaving Harris Tweed of which you probably have heard, the loom was rattling away and the shuttle flying and the pattern unfolding. I was conscious that God had a pattern for my life. I felt I’m not my own. I’ve been bought with a price. “Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

But again the question came, “But who am I?” All these fine young men who are being saved in the revival, they can go. They can go to the ends of the earth. They can go into the ministry and so on. But they closed the service with the psalm, again and again, Psalm 45, verse 10. “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget thine own people, and thy father’s house.” This thundered in my inner consciousness.

It seemed as if I was being estranged even from the revival. I would leave my loom and go upstairs. I would pray and travel through the whole village—every family, every home, every person, and then to the ends of the earth. God had opened my eyes. I wasn’t my own anymore. I was bought with a price.

But the arguments continued. We traveled here and there throughout the island. Nothing was a bother. No place too far away. Sixty miles we would go in and an old lorry, clinging on in the back. Walking through the snow two or three miles, we would go to the meetings, our hearts aflame. We were filled with laughter. Our tongue was filled with singing. Hymns were being composed all over the place.

People who were almost illiterate found themselves flowing in verse after verse after verse of spiritual psalms. Glory filled the land. All the people of God were rejoicing. They could hardly contain themselves. They were so overjoyed, and yet the tears were never far away as the burden would come upon them for others.

Someone wrote from London, a young girl to her parents, “Why didn’t you tell me about Jesus? I’ve found Him here in London.” Somebody else from the island, away at sea on board ship, “Why didn’t you tell me? I fell on my knees on board the ship, and I found Christ as my Savior.” So all over, Lewis people all over the world, as they heard the news of the revival, came under conviction where they were and came to Christ. God wasn’t confined to the island. He wasn’t confined to the meetings.

I could describe to you some scenes after these meetings of young people gathering together. I remember one night a crowd of young men—strong young island men—and the meeting is over and there was a row of them sitting on a couch with their white handkerchiefs spread over their faces and their frames shaking as they sobbed and sobbed and sobbed in the presence of God.

One night as Duncan Campbell was preaching, we could hardly hear him because of the distraction of the people at the back of the house—young people who were strangers to grace and to God. There they were repenting of their sin.

I remember another night, Duncan Campbell coming into a room and there was a bed in the room. Every room was filled. The stairs in the homes were made into pews, with people sitting on the stairs all the way up and in the rooms upstairs. He had a strong voice. You could hear him up there. He comes into this room, and there were the young people, their heads in the middle of the bed, weeping. I remember Duncan Campbell standing above them and looking and shaking his head and saying, “What a beautiful nest! What a beautiful nest!” People seeking God.

I was in a meeting one night where Duncan Campbell lost his voice. Yet we followed on to the cottage meeting. At that time I was so convinced that God was calling me, but how? How could I? What could I do? I was capable of nothing as far as the work of God was concerned. He lost his voice and we thought, “Well, how is he going to preach in the cottage?” The cottage was crowded—so crowded that I was sitting on a polished table.

Duncan Campbell was in another room. I couldn’t see him. He stood to speak and he was only able to give out his text. As far as I was concerned, that was all that I needed. The text was merely, “The Master is come, and he calleth for thee” (John 11:28). He calleth for thee.

I left the island of Lewis in 1951 in September with four pounds in my pocket and the call of God in my heart to go to Bible school in Edinburgh where I was a total stranger. I knew nobody there. I sat in the boat that left Stornoway at midnight and went seven hours across the channel to Mallaig.

I had an English Bible. The revival meetings were all in Gaelic, of course. I had an English Bible that my unconverted sister had given me. I spent the night taking the pages apart so that they wouldn’t say, in the Bible school, that I didn’t read my Bible because the Bible was so new.

I got to the Bible school, and I looked at the front door. I was a country girl, remember. I looked at the front door; and I thought, “Oh, that’s so austere. No, I couldn’t go in there.” I slipped around to the kitchen door behind. The cook met me. She said, “Now who are you?”

I was carrying a big case. “I’ve come as a student.” “Okay, come in.” Then they said we must hand in our fees to the office. I went into the office, and I said to the secretary, “I’ve only got four pounds, but God has called me.” Graciously, they accepted me.

I’ll tell you about one lady who knew the voice of God. She heard that there was a girl in the college who could speak the Gaelic language and the possibility was that she might be sent to her island, the Island of Tyree. She was over 80 years of age. She was almost blind. She was living alone in a thatched cottage.

I will never forget my first encounter with that lady because she was one of those who sent fees to pay for me being in Bible college. I went up the winding path through the field to her little thatched cottage. She came out to the door. I can still see her. She’s in the Glory now. She spread out her hands, and she said, “Girls, come to my palace.” We went into her palace with its earthen floor and its tiny, little window. Dark it was in there. Now she said, “Sit down and sing, girls. Sing.”

We lived in very poor homes. Privations there were. We had very little by way of money, very little by way of food. The gales in Tyree in the wintertime were something else. We had to cling to each other sometimes going to the meetings.

I remember going in a particular church where the shutters were left on the church because the windows were broken and the draft used to come in under the doors. Some nights nobody came. We knelt for the duration of the meeting (for the hour) and prayed and prayed and prayed, on and on for seven weeks. We prayed and visited and sought to encourage people to come.

Then suddenly one Wednesday night, the church was almost filled. They came and they brought heaters. They said to us at the door, “This is the answer to your prayers.” Then, wonder of wonders, God broke through. God began to speak to them in their homes. God brought them along. God saved them.

As we moved on through the island, some notorious characters were saved. In the final mission that we held, the largest church in the island was filled to capacity. God had visited the island. Still, these converts (some of them are in the Glory and old fellows in the Glory too), and there they are witnessing. Some of them preaching and keeping the doors of the churches open and continuing a witness there in the island. Does it not give us a hunger in our hearts to see what God can do?

There was a blacksmith in Lewis named John Smith. He was very involved in the revival. In fact, before the revival he and other elders prayed right through. They took Psalm 24, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (verses 3-5).

John Smith turns to the other elders and he said, “It’s absolute humbug for us to be praying like this unless our hands are clean and our hearts are pure.” So they united together. They confessed before God. They got right with God and prayed on.

I am so glad tonight that when I was away in the world, not interested in the things of God, there were men like these who prayed and who prayed through.

There were two old ladies. I saw them once. One was bent almost double. The other one was almost blind. They were the ones who sent for Duncan Campbell. God gave them a vision that this was the man whom God would send to preach in the island—to be a new voice, to proclaim the old truths that they knew so well.

These two ladies prayed on into the night. They sent word by one of the village girls to Duncan Campbell to come to the island. He said, “No, I’m booked up with campaign after campaign in the Isle of Skye. I’m not coming to Lewis.” He had never been to Lewis before.

The old ladies said, “Write to him again and tell him that that is what he says, but that is not what God says.” So he came. When he stepped off the boat, two elders from Barvis met him and the question they asked him was this: “Mr. Campbell, are you walking with God? Are you walking with God?”

He went to the church that night. The first meeting was hard. The next meeting happened as a spontaneous meeting because as they poured out of the church disappointed that night, one of the elders stood on the steps of the church, a headmaster; and he lifted up his hands to heaven. He wept before God. He cried to God that He would come. The congregation turned and came back into the church again. God broke through.

How glad I am that there were men and women like that in Lewis. When I was away in the world, singing at my concerts, dancing in the Highland Institute in Glasgow, not interested in any church, not noticing any church. How glad I am that there were men and women who believed God.

John Smith, on another occasion, was in a home in a little village called Arnol. It was about the midnight hour. The prayer meeting was going on. John got up and he said, “O God,” he said, “I don’t know where Duncan Campbell stands with You. I don’t know where these, my brethren, stand with you, but if I know my own heart, I am thirsty. You have said, ‘I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground’ (Isaiah 44:3).’” He said, “If you don’t, Lord, how can I believe You again?” The house shook. The house literally shook. They thought it was an earthquake, but it was God.

They stepped out of the house into the night. All over that community were pinpoints of light—people coming with torches, some of them carrying chairs, making for the little mission hall in the middle of village, crowding it out. It wasn’t announced. The people just came, hungry for God. “I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.”

How many of us are thirsty? Or are we like the Laodicean church, neither cold nor hot? “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

God is a great God. As Duncan Campbell used to cry out, “God, You are a covenant-keeping God.” I am here tonight to testify that God is a covenant-keeping God and that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd that gave His life for the sheep, the Son of Man who came to seek and to save that which is lost.

Nancy: I don’t know about you, but that story makes me just so thirsty and so longing to see God do in our day a fresh work of revival by the power of His Spirit. We’ve been listening to the testimony of Mary Peckham, a young woman who was converted as a teenager in 1950 as God moved in revival on the island of Lewis just off the coast of Scotland.

What Mary has been sharing really reflects my burden and my heart for the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. This is what we’re all about—believing God to do in our day a fresh work, sending revival to our land. Don’t you agree that we desperately need such a revival?

As I listen to those stories, I’m tempted to think, “Well, how could we ever experience that in our day? I’m just one believer. What could I possibly do that would make a difference—this kind of difference in people’s lives?”

Well, did you catch what Mary said about the influence of the praying people that God used as the feeder streams to give birth to this revival. As Mary says today, she is so thankful that when she was out in the world, not looking for God, these elderly women, these elders in her church were on their knees crying out to God for revival in the church and for the conversion of the lost.

You may be a mom at home with several toddlers. You may be home schooling your children. You may be an empty nester. You may be a widow living by yourself on a limited income. I don’t know what your season of life is, but I know whatever your season of life, it’s the time for us to get serious about praying and saying, “Lord, would you use us as women to be instruments of revival in our day?”

Ladies, I just have to tell you that I believe as we get on our knees, as we humble ourselves and cry out to God for mercy in our day, I believe that you and I may well live to see a great outpouring of God’s Spirit in our land. Who knows but that 50 years from now, there may be another Mary Peckham who’s telling her story and she’ll be saying, “I’m so glad that when I was out in the world, not interested in God, there were some moms, there were some grandmoms, there were some single women who prayed, who believed God, who cried out for revival and my life is the fruit of that.”

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back to pray. Isn’t that an appropriate response to today’s program? We heard how effective the humble prayers of a few people on the Isle of Lewis were. God will hear your prayers too.

To encourage you to pray that way, we want to give you a copy of Mary Peckham’s testimony on CD. You can have it at no charge this week. We broke Mary’s message into pieces to air on the radio; but when you ask for your free CD, you can hear Mary’s talk in its entirety, without interruption. This story will help the desire for revival to grow in your heart.

We’ll also send you a booklet called “Preparing for Revival.” It’ll help you evaluate your own heart, get right before the Lord and be ready for whatever incredible thing He wants to do in your life. We’ll send Mary Peckham’s CD and the booklet, “Preparing for Revival” at no charge when you call and ask. The toll-free number is 1-800-569-5959.

Or look for this special offer when you visit While you’re there, I hope you’ll stay and browse a while. Find out what other women think of today’s program by reading our listener blog. You can even add to it yourself. You can also find a lot of helpful resources on revival. Take a look at Nancy’s books and transcripts of past broadcasts to learn more about this important topic.

Can you imagine people sighing in church so loud that you can hear it? That’s what Mary Peckham remembers. Nancy’s going to interview her tomorrow and get an inside look at revival. Now, Nancy’s back to pray.

Nancy: Father, as I’ve heard Mary Peckham’s story again this week, my heart cries out, "O God, You are a great covenant-keeping God." My heart cries out, "O God, would you do it again? What you did back in 1950 on the island of Lewis, You can do today. You have not changed. You still have the power to draw people to Yourself, to quicken Your church, to revive Your people and to bring the conversion of the lost."

So, Lord, we join our hearts together and pray would You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You and that Your name may be known throughout all the earth? For Jesus’ sake we pray it and for the sake of His great kingdom, amen.

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

All Scripture is taken from the King James Version.


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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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