Revive Our Hearts Podcast

An Invitation to Cry Out!

Leslie Basham: Do you ever look at the direction the world is headed and feel like it's hopeless? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says you can play a powerful role in making things different.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I don't think that most Christian women realize the incredible influence they have—in our culture, in their churches, their homes, and in their communities. And for sure, there is one thing we can do, perhaps the most important thing we can do . . . and that's to join together in united prayer and cry out to God.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

Nancy: Over the past couple of years, the Lord has been putting a fresh burden on my heart, and I've been sharing bits and pieces of it with you on the broadcast and through our various other outlets.

Today, I want to share a bit more fully. I don't know that we've ever devoted a whole program to something this specific. But, this is really on my heart. I want to encourage you, whatever you're doing right now (short of, if you're in the car driving somewhere you have to get to at a certain time), to listen carefully and to ask the Lord what part He might want you to have in this undertaking.

I'm sure your heart is heavy, as is mine, as we see the proliferation of violence, the celebration of evil in our world. We see this nation having lost any sense of the moral compass it may once have had. It's systematically standing against the Word of God and the gospel of Christ. And it's not getting better!

I cannot even begin to imagine where it's all heading. We were saying that a few years ago: we could not have imagined we would be where we are today. And if we ever wonder, it's becoming increasingly clear that our hope is not in any human institution or solutions—including in the political arena, right?

There's a lot of hand-wringing over the options before us right now, in the United States of America. I think we're all understanding that nothing short of Divine intervention will do. But . . . this is not a time for retreat; this is not a time for despair. This is a time for us to turn our hearts and our eyes toward heaven and earnestly appeal to the God of the universe for help.

That's why on Friday evening, September 23, Revive Our Hearts—along with several other ministry partners—is going to be hosting something we're calling Cry Out! It's a nationwide prayer event for women.

Many of you are aware that we have the True Woman Conference coming up, as we do every other year, in the fall. It will be September 22–24. We're expecting about 6500 women to join us in Indianapolis. (By the way, it's not too late for you to register for that. We still have some seats left. We do expect to sell out shortly, so if you are planning to come to Indy, you need to get your registration in).

This time, as part of that event (where only 6500 women can come—that's the cap, that's the most we can handle this time), we're going to do something we've never done before.

On Friday evening, September 23, in the middle of that conference, we're going to be hosting a three-hour, nationwide, simulcast prayer meeting. I want to unpack that for you a little bit, because people have been asking questions—they're good questions. I want to just give you a sense of what all that means.

Here's the bottom line: We're asking the Lord to bring together at least 100,000 women that evening (it could end up being hundreds of thousands of women) to cry out to Him in united, fervent, focused prayer.

Now, we have women in this room today from all over the United States, and I want you to just imagine where you come from. Imagine women gathering in your home town, the place where you live—in churches here and there, in homes and schools and businesses—gathering in groups. 

Then imagine women gathering in thousands of locations all across this country in all sorts of venues, in groups of various sizes: some may be twenty, some may be 200, some may be 2,000, but they're coming together to pray and to link arms with women who are praying in all those other locations, beginning with the host site in Indianapolis. Then all together, joining our hearts for three hours to cry out to the Lord.

And, thanks to the involvement of a number of friends of the ministry, we're offering this simulcast to groups of any size at no charge. We're thrilled to be able to do that! Our agenda is very simple—it's to humble ourselves before the God of heaven and to cry out to Him on behalf of our world, our nation, our churches, our communities, our homes. 

You've been hearing about the violence going on in Chicago—just one city. And it's not the only one. You just pull up the news every day and it's something new—but it's really more of the same.

We need to be crying out to the Lord (as many are already and have been) on behalf of our cities, our homes. We need to be pleading with God for mercy (we don't deserve it!) and for supernatural intervention.

There are a number of other ministries who have a similar heart, who are partnering with us in this undertaking. That includes: Moms in Prayer (so thankful for their involvement both at the conference and in the prayer meeting that night), OneCry (part of our parent ministry, Life Action) and others are partnering with us. You may have heard the name Bob Bakke. He's been involved for many years in prayer efforts across the United States and around the world—the Global Day of Prayer. He's going to be leading the evening with me.

The focus is not going to be on big-name speakers, but it's simply going to be on crying out to the Lord. However, there are a number of Christian leaders and intercessors who will be joining us and participating with us that evening, from around the country.

That includes people like: Joni Eareckson Tada, Kay Arthur, Janet Parshall, Stephen Kendrick (who will be speaking to us at the event and then participating that night), and many others as well.

Now, you may be wondering as you've been hearing about this, What in the world are we going to do for three whole hours?! Will I be bored? (People have actually asked that.) Will I be uncomfortable? Will I have to pray out loud?

These are good questions. They're honest questions—things that you, or others you know, may be wondering about Cry Out!

Let me just say, first of all, you will not be bored. The time is going to pass very quickly. You'll wonder where it went, and how it went so fast. It's going to be a very interactive evening; it's going to include a lot of variety.

There will be different short, meaningful segments that will include: singing to the Lord, reading Scripture together, listening to short messages about the spiritual condition and the needs of various components (areas) of our land and of our culture. You'll be led in prayer by different speakers and leaders, and then, praying in small groups about specific concerns that are addressed. And I want to just say this: no one, no matter what size your group, is going to be pressured to pray out loud.

If you're going to try, this would probably be a good place to try, but if that's not something you're comfortable with, you can be there and participate and you can pray in your heart—the Lord can hear all that!

All of these things, we're going to be doing together—six-thousand-plus women in Indianapolis joining with potentially hundreds of thousands of other women, in thousands of other locations!

I just get so excited, thinking about what this would be like. I don't know that anything quite like this has ever happened—where we're joining our hearts as women together to cry out to the Lord, bowing before the throne of heaven, and pleading with the God of the universe to intervene . . . praying for His kingdom to come in our world, and in our day.

Now, leading up to the actual event (which is why it's important that you get signed up), there will be ten days of heart-preparation. It was after ten days of heart preparation that the Holy Spirit came, at Pentecost.

I'm not saying that's what will happen here, but I do think it's important to prepare our hearts, so when we hit that start time on that Friday evening, our hearts are ready to pray and cry out to the Lord!

And then, following the event, we're going to encourage and resource women to keep praying together. That will look different ways: some groups may want to continue as that group; they may want to form other groups . . . but, especially to continue to praying n the six weeks between that night (September 23) and our national election, six weeks later.

But, this is not a political event. We are praying for our country, for our leaders, because God has commanded us to do that, but we're going to pray about a lot of others things as well—and not pray just up to our election, but beyond that—because we need it desperately!

So, as impacting as this single event could be, we also realize the need to encourage ongoing movements of prayer for revival and awakening. I'm believing that this event could be catalytic in helping to spark that kind of prayer moving forward.

Now, it's easy for us as women to feel hopeless and helpless as we consider the magnitude of the problems facing our nation and our world today. What can we do against such a tidal wave of evil and—as I've taken to saying in recent days—craziness. (And evil does make things crazy.)

I don't think that most Christian women realize the incredible influence they have—in our culture, in their churches, their homes and their communities. For sure, there is one thing we can do—perhaps the most important thing we can do—and that's to join together in united prayer and cry out to God.

Throughout the Scripture, and then again throughout history, when there have been similar situations—desperate times—over and over again God's people would go to prayer and they would cry out, and God would hear, and He would intervene.

Let me just read you one example, found in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20 (portions of verses 5–12):

After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat [the king of the southern nation of Judah] for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea" . . .

Then Jehoshaphat was afraid [of course he was! You would be, too; I would be, too! So, what did he do? He didn't first call out the army; he first . . .] set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, "O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven?" So, he didn't focus on the enemy; he didn't say, "Do you see these Meunites and these Moabites and these Ammonites?" He said, "God, You are God, You are over and above all of these powers!

"You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you."

So, he starts with worship, he starts with exalting God, he starts by lifting his eyes up.

And then, beginning in verse 10 of 2 Chronicles 20, he tells God the situation (it's not like God didn't know the situation); he says, "This is what we're up against." And then he ends, in that very familiar verse 12: "O our God . . . we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." That's the prayer.

We see the same concept in Esther's day, when God's people were threatened with annihilation. Two Jews, Mordecai and Esther, called people to fast and to turn to the Lord, and God heard. He intervened, His people were spared; disaster was averted.

I don't think we will ever know what God it is could do in our day if we don't stop what we're doing and start getting on our knees and calling out to the Lord together to intervene.

In Jeremiah 9:17—at a time when Israel was in great distress—the Scripture says: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Consider now, call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us . . .'"

These, of course, are mourners. They're saying, "There's been a death, there's death in the streets. Call for these wailing, mourning women to come; let them come quickly and wail over us. . . till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids" (Jer. 9:18 NIV). And that is exactly what we're planning to do through Cry Out! Call for the wailing women to come. 

It's time for us to stop wailing to each other, "Oh, this is so awful! What do you think? Who's going to do this and who's going to do that?" Stop wringing our hands, get on our knees, join our hands together, and cry out to the Lord God in heaven.

Now, there are a lot of prayer initiatives taking place this year—and many of them with a similar burden—and I am so thankful for every one of them, and for how God is calling His people to prayer. We can't have too much of that. In fact, there's another one happening in Dallas, Texas the same week as this one.

But I'm not aware of any other initiative that is specifically appealing to women to come together in corporate prayer. There may be one—and if there is, I'm thrilled for it!—but I think this is something unique.

And what could be more vital, more critical for such a time as this than for women to get on their knees together and to cry out to the Lord, repenting, pleading with Him to have mercy and to intervene in our world.

There's a promise from Psalm 34:17, "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears" (ESV). I love that!

In 1857, a Manhattan businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier, posted notice of a prayer meeting to take place at noon on September 23. Here was the situation: In that day, it was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution and people were making money hand-over-fist. They were wealthy, smug, self-satisfied. They had no room for God.

Lanphier was a businessman, and he saw this, and he said, "We need the Lord!" So he posted a notice in New York City, saying, "Come and pray, in [this particular church] on September 23 at noon." That day showed up and six men came to pray—just six! A pretty small beginning.

I don't know about you, but I think if that would have been me, and that was the outcome, I would have thought, Maybe this isn't the right time; maybe I'm not the right person; maybe we just need to move on.

But Lanphier posted again and said, "Let's come back next week and pray and ask God to come and meet with us," and the next week twenty showed up. And they said, "Let's come back again next week." And the next week forty showed up. 

And the following week, there was a financial crash. All of a sudden, people who had been making tons of money lost it all! And do you know where they headed? To the churches, to pray. To pray!

It was said in New York City that during those days you could go from one church to the next. One newspapermen on his horse actually went from church to church counting up how many people were in the churches praying at noontime—not just once a week, but every day. He lost count at ten thousand in just that one city. 

They were coming together day after day—not just at the lunch hour, but through the day, through the night—the churches were crowded with people crying out to the Lord. And it was not just in New York City, but in Chicago and Philadelphia and all across this country . . . as the news spread about how people were seeking the Lord.

People dropped what they were doing; they began to cry out to the Lord and to pray. Some people estimate that one million people came to faith in Christ as a result of what came to be known as the great Prayer Revival of 1857 and 1858 in just over a several-month period.

Well, in God's providence, we didn't know this when we picked the Cry Out! date. We just had arranged it with the convention center—this was the date they had open for the True Woman conference. But as the Lord would have it (I love living under Providence), thousands of women will be coming together to pray on September 23 (the same date as when that great prayer meeting in 1857 started).

I don't know what God will choose to do this time. It won't look like it did in 1857, or in any other great revival or awakening. God knows what's in His heart, but our prayer is, "Lord, would You do it again? Do it again! Would You come? Would You move?"

We're praying to a God who hears, who cares, who can help. He has done it in the past. He can do it again—calling, turning the hearts of His people, first, and then the heart of the nation, the hearts of nations of the world to come and seek the Lord . . . as, one day, all peoples of the world will do.

So we're praying, "Lord, have Your way. Bring Your kingdom to come in this world, and have Your will done on earth as it is in heaven."

Now, this is a major undertaking; it's a costly undertaking. It's costly in terms of our time, our staff. I didn't know, when we first launched this, that I would now be married, with a much fuller life (if that was possible).

It's expensive financially. It's a great cost to the ministry to promote this and make this happen, but we're stepping out in faith because we believe this is something we have to do. We've got to do this! And I'm appealing to you to join with us.

If you're listening to this right now, I don't want you to think, Oh! I hope my pastor's wife . . . or I hope our women's ministry director . . . or I hope this praying woman I know at my church . . . I hope they get a burden for this.

I hope you will get a burden for this. God may not use somebody else who normally is the person that does this kind of thing. You may never have done anything like this before, but God is speaking to your heart.

I've watched as I've shared this with women over the last few months. There are just some in every crowd that come up afterward and say, "We have to be part of this. I have to do something. God's putting this on my heart."

So here are a few ways you can be involved, and we'll be letting you know more about that in the days ahead: First of all, start praying! Don't wait until September 23 to pray. Pray for revival, for awakening, for Divine intervention. Pray for God's help and His blessing on this undertaking. Start praying.

Then, go to CryOut16.com and sign up to join the prayer meeting on September 23 . . . wherever you're going to be that night. Sign up to be a part of that. Circle the day on your calendar; make sure you don't have anything else come up that evening. You can sign up for that at CryOut16.com. There are a lot more details there about the time, and how you do this.

And then, I want you to pray about getting a group of women together, in your church or your community, that evening. We've already had 1,200 women go to the website and say, "We want to host a group." I'm praying there will be thousands of such groups around the country!

Encourage the people in your sphere of influence to participate in this special evening of crying out together. One woman in Texas I heard about recently, said, "I'm going to rent a convention center. And we're going to call people in our town to come and pray and cry out to the Lord."

Some of our staff just gave me some illustrations about what people are doing already: There's a major seminary in the southwest that is coming around it, making it available to their student wives, moms' group, etc., saying, "Yes, we want to be a part of this."

Here's a group in western Kentucky, getting groups together to participate via the simulcast. By the way, people are saying, "What is a simulcast? I don't know how to do that!" You just have to have an Internet connection that's fast enough to stream video, and then a screen that's large enough for the participants to see well. And if you say, "I couldn't do that!" Ask your fourteen-year-old grandson. He knows how to do it.

There are people in your church, people in your life, who know how to help you with that. You don't have to be the technical person. I'm not the technical person, for sure, in all of this, but we have people around us who know how to do this. It's very simple.

When we say, "simulcast," you think, Oh, that's something I don't think I can do. Yes, you can do that. It will be available on some major national radio networks. You could join it that way. But if you join it through the Internet, you'll be able to see and hear and really participate in what's going on.

You're not going to be spectating; you're going to be part of this great assembly of women coming together to cry out.

Here's a church in Michigan that's hosting Friday night for their whole community. Here's a lady in Brazil who wants to host a gathering in her home and translate it into Portugese as it's taking place. (You probably won't have to go to that much effort!)

Here's a group in rural South Dakota who says, "We have a church lined up with Internet and indoor plumbing." She says, "My goal is to invite all the little churches in the area to join us for this prayer time."

Here's another group that's actually going to host the entire True Woman '16 conference Friday and Saturday, in addition to the Friday evening Cry Out! portion. They're creating a mini-conference at the church, with meals and snacks, and inviting all the churches within a several-hour radius to come and be a part of this.

It's a way your church can serve your community. There may be lots of churches in your community . . . or it doesn't have to be in a church. You might want to get twenty women together in your home. You will want to do this together with other women.

If you have questions about how to join this simulcast, contact our ministry; we'll help you. You'll find a lot of your questions at CryOut16.com. Our team is here to serve you, to help you. You might say, "I just have a burden for this, but I don't know how to get started."

We have resources, we have things you can hand out—church bulletins—a lot of things you can download from that website. All of those kinds of things are available.

Now, the burden for this event really began a couple of years ago when a lifelong friend of mine named Vonette Bright said to me, "Honey, we've got to get women praying for revival!" She said, "I want to see 100,000 women come together and pray for revival!" And I could not have fathomed how that would happen.

She pestered me, she kept calling me. She had leukemia—cancer. She was getting sick. She was not doing well. In fact, just several months ago she went home to be with the Lord. But before she did, she handed me this baton, and she was a woman of prayer.

God used Vonette greatly, as one who lobbied Congress back in the 1970s, to get Congress to announce an annual National Day of Prayer. She just didn't let go. She worked day and night, getting women to pray. I'm asking myself, Who's doing this in this generation?

Well, she said to me, "I want you to be one of those people who does that!" So, I'm trying to be one of those people. 

Several months before she went home to heaven, Robert and I were visiting with Vonette in a facility where she was going through rehab. She was actually feeling very poorly and having a hard time putting sentences together.

But just as we were getting ready to leave, I pulled out an iPhone, stuck it in front of her face, and said, "Vonette, would you just talk to me about woman and prayer and why this is so important?" And I want to share with you now, in these closing moments, what she said in that conversation we had about women and prayer. Here's Vonette Bright. 

Vonette Bright: We're at a time of a moral crisis in this country. It's been building for a number of years. Nobody is saying "no" today, and we're just letting people haphazardly go about whatever they want to do. It just seems that we're falling apart.

With all of the brutality that is taking place . . . Who would have ever thought that in our lifetime we would see the slaughter of people being beheaded? It's just so senseless! We're not standing up against this. I believe that women can make a change.

I don't know whether the Lord is getting ready to come, or just exactly what's happening, butI have felt since I was a young girl that women largely hold the key to the moral factors of the nation, of any society—that the standards of women determine the moral standards of the society.

I've had a burden for a long time to see a 100,000 women come together to call out to God in unity for a spiritual awakening in this land. I don't have any strategy for this, or anything of the sort, but there are women that God is going to put His hand on, I'm sure, to say, "This is a call for you."

When women pray, God works—whether it's in the home or the community or whatever. God honors the prayers of the wailing women. We need to be crying out to God to show us what we can do personally . . . but also what we might be able to do unitedly, as women, to make a difference in this land.

Leslie: That's Vonette Bright, who went home to be with Jesus last year. Before her death she passed on a big idea to our host, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, of calling together at least 100,000 women to cry out in earnest, fervent prayer.

Nancy's been describing the need for that kind of prayer, and she's been inviting you to join. All that's left is to let you know that you can sign up for the free Cry Out! simulcast for women by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com.

Again, put your group together and visit ReviveOurHearts.com to register your group and get all the details.

Tomorrow, we'll hear from Bob Bakke, who will be co-leading the Cry Out! prayer event with Nancy. He'll tell us about an exciting time in history when God did an amazing work in revival Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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