Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Kindling a Passion for Prayer

Episode Resources

Watch Ron Kasik's story.

Leslie Basham: What is it like to grow deeper toward the Lord in prayer? Here's Ron Kasik.

Ron Kasik: Many, many times the request is something like, "God, I don't know how to pray. Spirit, lead me through this." Those are sweet times when you're totally dependent upon God's Spirit to pray the words that God wants to hear.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Monday, July 4, 2016.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: All this year we're focusing several series on Revive Our Hearts on prayer. As part of that theme, on this Independence Day holiday, we're going to hear from a man who knows what it's like to be intimidated to pray.

He also knows what it's like to be drawn deeper and to see that intimidation give way to a passion for prayer. Ron Kasik will be with us this September for the True Woman '16 Conference. But you probably won't see him on the platform much, if at all.

That's because Ron, along with a team of other men, will be working hard behind the scenes at the conference praying for the women in attendance. In the opening session, we invite all the women to fill out a prayer card and to say, "Here's how you can pray for me and for my family."

And then this amazing team of praying men spends the next three days praying, one at a time, over those individual requests. This is a burden that God has put on Ron's heart over the past several years. Today, we'll hear the story of how he learned to embrace this role at True Woman.

As we listen, I hope the Lord will put a greater burden on your heart to pray. Perhaps you won't have the exact same role as Ron Kasik, but who is God putting on your heart who needs intercession? How might the Lord be drawing you into new seasons of prayer? Let's listen to Ron's story.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. In 2008, Ron Kasik approached prayer like any other believer in Jesus. He wouldn't necessarily have thought of himself as a great prayer warrior.

Ron Kasik: I don't know if I ever prayed more than fifteen or twenty minutes at a time.

Leslie: But that began to change when Ron went with his wife, Kathie, to a Revive Our Hearts women's conference. Kathie wanted to hear Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Back then, she was still known as Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Kathie Kasik: The first time I heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss was at our little church in St. Joseph, Michigan. It was a women's weekend of Bible teaching; of course, she was the only Bible teacher. That was really special to have her come.

I didn't know who she was. I knew nothing about her. She came and spoke on the book of Ruth and took us through . . . I just had never heard anyone speak to the Scriptures like that before. That's when I came home, and I said to my husband, "Wow, I just heard this amazing Bible teacher! I don't know who she is. I don't know where she came from."

That was the very first time. It stirred me to go further into Bible study. Today, many years later, one of my great loves is to study God's Word and share it with women and talk about it with women—the applications of the Word.

Leslie: So Kathie heard Nancy speak in Michigan, and she wanted to hear Nancy again at a Revive Our Hearts Conference at a church in Houston. Ron was pretty much just going along for the ride. A Revive Our Hearts staff member noticed Ron, and asked if he wanted to fulfill an important role at this women's conference.

Ron: One of the men, I believe it was Jim Lang, had asked me, "Ron, would you like to pray over these women?"

Leslie: And this man, who hadn't prayed longer than fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, had an unenthusiastic response.

Ron: "Yeah . . . I could do that."

Leslie: Ron got to know the other men who had gathered that weekend to intercede—like Ed Villalba and Al Whittinghill.

Ron: You learn praying from men who pray, and there were a lot of men—godly men—like Ed and Al that I learned so much from.

Leslie: At the start of the conference, Nancy asked the women in attendance to fill out cards and to write their prayer requests.

Ron: We collected the cards on that Thursday night, and I remember coming back on that Friday morning. It was just Ed and I up in the room, and he brought the box of cards that had been collected the night before.

The two of us prayed over those cards. I get to be an emotional guy, sometimes, and I remember just weeping. I remember saying this to Ed, "This is such a sacred, solemn time, because we're going to get to pray over what God has put on these women's hearts. It's like being on the side, listening to a conversation that God had with this woman, and He said, 'This is a need you're going to put on this card.'" And I went, "Wow!" I was just overwhelmed. Ed said, "Well, we're going to pick up the cards, and we're going to pray over them."

Sometimes there were two guys in the room, and then sometimes three. I remember being on my knees, and I didn't know how long I was there. Jim Lang would tell me, "I came into that room multiple times, Ron, and I saw you. You never got up!"

It was an overwhelming experience, realizing that God was allowing someone like me to be part of that, and it just changed my whole attitude toward prayer.

Leslie: Up until then, Nancy spoke at regularly at Revive Our Hearts Conferences in churches, but the Lord was moving the ministry in a new direction, calling women together from across the nation. The first nationwide conference like this was True Woman '08.

This much larger conference meant there would be many more prayer requests, and Ron was excited about that challenge.

Ron: I said, "This is something I want to be more involved in," so Ed encouraged me. He said, "Well, come to True Woman in October." That was up in Schaumburg, Illinois, and it was another experience like that first one.

And then, in the subsequent ones, I got a little more involved in the mechanics, in bringing it together, and some of the guidelines for the men. I remember Chattanooga, Indianapolis and, from there on, it's hard to describe.

Leslie: While praying at all these True Woman Conferences, Ron has seen a passion grow in his heart—to be praying all the time.

Ron: I find myself on my knees in my study every morning, and it's Who you're talking to that makes it so easy. I pray a lot of Scripture back to God, because I think He loves to hear His Word. It's made praying more personal for me. I love it!

Leslie: In order to pray for each request that is submitted, a certain amount of preparation and organization takes place before and during an event. Again, here's Ron Kasik. 

Ron: I have a mailing list of praying men that starts all the way back from 2008, and we just built on from that. Of course, then I encourage the men, "Could you come back? Would you be interested in coming back?" The men say, "Oh yeah, I want to do this again!"

That's where we build up that core, and getting the word around. We always have a time of fellowship, and we get to know each other. It's a very open time. I say, "We need to prepare our hearts before we come before God's throne."

Many times, there are times of confession. Before we pray, before the men even get the cards, we are in that time of openness and repentance. You can't bring a proud heart before the throne of God.

In Scripture, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, ". . . my people . . . humble themselves . . ." then pray. If there is any pride in your heart, then it's like banging on the walls. God's not hearing. But, with a humble heart . . . When we do that, it's a time of confession, and of course, that's essential in preparation for the men.

We bring in the cards the night that they're accumulated, that very first night, which is the bulk of when they come in. Then they kind of dribble in through the next several days. We pray over them, we collate them because sometimes they're not broken apart properly.

We put them in stacks of either twenty-five or fifty. (Guys like to know they can start and finish something. That's a guy thing: "Okay, I've got that stack done." Then they can pick up another stack. It also helps us count them, because Revive Our Hearts likes to know how many cards came in.)

We pray over them every morning before we start, then the cards are gathered up, and then they're safeguarded. Those cards are never out of the sight of someone. The other thing, to protect confidentiality, the men are told to always look for the name first on the cards, and if you recognize that name as somebody you know, pass it on to someone else.

Nancy tells the women, "Whatever God is placing on your heart that you need prayer for, write it down." So, there's a conversation between God and the woman. Every time, during our men's prayer time, we talk about, "This is a sacred, holy, solemn time. If you think about what you're holding in your hands, it's a copy of a discussion this women had with God. She put down what is on her heart, and we get to be partakers. We get to become participants in calling out to God on behalf of that encounter."

There are men who come in the room sometimes saying, "I don't know if I can do this." We've had that happen. We will encourage them. Sometimes we'll lay our hands on men to anoint them for this task, because it's strenuous.

I can't tell you how many times in a room you can hear weeping, because men will either go off in a corner or sit in a chair. They'll be on their knees in certain areas of the room, and they'll just be in tears.

Some men are groaning, and some men are just weeping out loud. We, as men, we come alongside. We've laid our hands so many times, on men, tasking them. We know who's going to be attacking our ability.

Once we started in the morning with our intercession, and there was a man who took a deep breath and said, "Ron, I don't know that I've ever prayed more than fifteen or twenty minutes." And by noon, four hours later, he said, "This has been incredible, this time together with God!"

You rely on God's Spirit to lead you in what to pray for. Many, many times, the request is something where I say, "God, I don't know how to pray. Spirit, lead me through this." Those are sweet times, when you're totally dependent upon on God's Spirit to pray words that God that wants to hear, and the guys know that.

Many times, you will pick up a card and read what God has put on a woman's heart, and you will see yourself there. This is a need, this is a concern, and you can put yourself as a man into that situation.

Many times, I've prayed and said, "I'm going through that as well. God, I need that as well—me—I need it." That's made a big difference in my life, even as we pray. I think our prayer time from conference to conference has gotten richer . . . richer.

There are times in the prayer room, when we encourage the men if they're reading a card and it just rouses their spirit, I tell them, "Just interrupt the entire team, and we'll pray together over that card."

Men would rise up and say, "Guys, this one is just breaking my heart!" And we pray together, out loud, corporately. You listen to those prayers and it just . . . When you're on your knees with God for four or five hours, you're in His presence, and it changes you . . . it just changes you.

In Chattanooga, we had a pastor come, and we laid hands on him as a pastor, when he came to pray. He wept like a baby. He said nobody had ever laid hands on him and prayed over him in his entire life. Just times like that. His life, his ministry, was transformed from that point forward.

I still keep in touch with him to this day. He's followed True Woman Conferences since then. He's been at about every one of them. It just transformed his life completely.

We had a pastor from Alaska, in 2014, say, "I've never prayed like that before!" This has meant so much to me. When they write their testimony and say, "I'm there. I want to come back." For guys who have never prayed that long, for them to say, "I want to come back." God's really done a work in their lives!

I've been involved in prayer efforts before, and it's an encouragement to men to come and pray. It's something that will change your life. It's changed mine, and it's changed every man's life that has come into that room. There's never been a man that's walked out who is not different than when he walked in.

Leslie: This intensive prayer time has affected several dozens of men over the past eight years. And it also made a big impression on the women who have attended these events. Here's Kathie Kasik describing what she saw at one True Woman Conference.

Kathie: Nancy mentioned that there were men praying for the women, and I remember the gasp that went up from the women. "Ohh!" They just couldn't believe that there were men praying behind the scenes for them. I think it just kind of opened up another avenue of the Spirit working at those conferences.

Ron: There was a woman who had actually been in True Woman '14. She said she had come as a woman wanting to have a child, but was not able. She approached me at 2015 and said to me, "Ron, I want to tell you, your prayers . . ." (Not my prayers, but the men's. Multiple prayers were lifted up on her behalf.) She said, "I've been praying that I would have a child," and she just pointed and said, "There he is!"

It was interesting that, in the green room that morning, we had prayed from Psalm 29, that the voice of God is thunderous, it's mighty, it breaks us, it twists us sometimes. In the ESV version, Scripture says [in verse 9], "The voice of the Lord . . . give[s] birth."

I tried to share that with her. I tried to find her again, but I saw Vicky, and I said, "I want you to take that back and tell her what the voice of God does. The voice of God brings forth birth. Amen!"

Leslie: We asked Ron what his reaction is when he hears these stories of answered prayers.

Ron: "Thank You, God! Thank You, thank You!" He answers prayer—not always right away, but He always answers. He's the God-hearer, and He's the God-answerer. Amen.

Leslie: Maybe, after hearing Ron's story, you've been challenged about your own prayer life. How does a person learn to pray or increase a daily time of prayer with the Lord? Ron's wife struggled in her prayer life as well, but over the years she has learned some practical ways to cultivate times of prayer.

Kathie: One of the biggest things that changed my own personal prayer life was learning the attributes of God. When you go into your prayer time, a lot of times you're so distracted. You can't focus. Things are coming into your mind. 

I find that even if you have a list in front of you of God's attributes, and you start praying those . . . "God, You are Holy; You are my Rock; You are my Fortress; You are Alpha and Omega . . ." You just keep doing that and doing that.

I find that helps me to really focus and get my thoughts in line with what the Spirit would want me to do as I continue in prayer time with the Lord. I do tell a lot of women, and young women . . . In fact, I give them a sheet of God's attributes. 

I say, "Here. Start with this in your prayer time. It will help you get focused, it will [center] your mind on who God is, what He is for you in your life. Then from there you can begin thanking Him using a lot of those attributes to thank Him."

"Lord, thank You for my salvation; I never want to take that for granted!" Just start that way. It's a small way to start, but it really can develop into something very, very profound for you in your personal life.

What made an impression on me was hearing other women pray. I learned from other women how to pray, and to start this way, with God's attributes. Of course, it started small, and as the years have gone by, one thing I do really look forward to every morning is my prayer time and coming into God's presence.

It seems as though there are so many people and so many needs you can pray for. Sometimes you can't remember all the prayers that people ask you to pray for, so I do write them down and I refer to them. I have a little prayer journal.

My prayer time can just keep going and going and going . . . until the phone rings (that kind of disturbs your train of thought) or whatever. But the time that I pray now is far longer than I did before.

I have to say, some of that comes with age and not having the responsibilities of raising a family. So I think that has a lot to do with it, too, as far as the length of time that you can devote to prayer.

Leslie: That's Kathie Kasik, giving some practical advice for how to cultivate a life of prayer. This year on Revive Our Hearts, we're focusing on calling women to prayer. This study will culminate at the conference: True Woman '16: Cry Out!

This event will be a chance for women to come together and cry out to God for revival—for our homes, our churches, and the world!

As you might have guessed, Ron and a team of praying men will be there, too, supporting this effort in fervent prayer.

Ron: We're already thinking about how we can begin praying for Cry Out! Some of the men have even already gotten in touch with me, saying, "Here are some ideas. We need to start now. Let's being to cry out now for God to work mightily."

If revival doesn't come, nothing else will matter. If revival does come, nothing else will matter. It's the only thing that makes sense right now. I think God is calling His people to do that.

This is a ministry where God has infused the ministry with truth, and He will honor that truth. The reason Kathie and I support Revive Our Hearts is because of the truth that is in the message. It's all about Jesus Christ. It's all about Him, and I can't think of anything else you would want it to be about.

If it was about Nancy, if it was about the music, we wouldn't be partners in this, but seeing her humble heart before God, that's why we feel we get to partner with this ministry.

Leslie: We're been listening to Ron Kasik here on Revive Our Hearts. He's been telling about a journey he's been on in prayer. When he first traveled with his wife to a True Woman Conference, he was invited to join the men to pray all through the conference. His been telling us how his intimidation for that role turned into excitement!

Ron: There was a different sense of crying out for God's presence there, with an urgency that I don't know that we, as men, had ever experienced. There were only sixteen men there at Indianapolis, but it was an intense moment.

Then, we heard that Friday night when Eric Mason preached, that so many women came forward. There was just joy in that room, and, "God is here!" There was an urgent, desperate cry for His presence like none other before. He honors that.

There was a lot of humility. When humble people bow before Him, He shows up, because He's near the broken and the contrite and the humble. Those are the ones He abides with.

Leslie: That's Ron Kasik. He's been telling us his story of growing in a deeper prayer life. He's been telling us how praying with a group of men during the True Woman Conferences has had such a big effect on teaching him to pray.

And, Nancy, that story is going to be continuing this year.

Nancy: Ron and this dedicated team of praying men will be joining us again, praying for the attendees at the True Woman '16 Conference in Indianapolis, September 22–24. Now, the last I checked, we were close to being sold out for the conference.

To get the latest on availability, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. If you can't make the conference in person, you can watch the entire event by means of LIVE stream. For details, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

I especially hope that you will join us via that LIVE stream simulcast on Friday evening, September 23, when we'll be joining together to cry out in prayer. Rather than just joining us by yourself, I want to encourage you to get some others to join with you for the simulcast that evening.

You can cry out with your own group, in your community, knowing that you're joining the six-thousand women in Indy, and, Lord willing, joining with at least one-hundred-thousand other women in groups all across the country and even around the world!

For all the details on how to register your group for this free event—Cry Out!—visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Just look at news headlines today, and you'll find plenty of temptations to be afraid. Tomorrow, Trillia Newbell and Erin Davis will show you how to approach dangerous times with faith in the Lord, instead of fear. 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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