Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Mercy Drops Falling Around Us

Leslie Basham: Here's Barbara Blanchard. 

Barbara Blanchard: God has not forgotten these prayers. They are all stored up, and when the time is right, I believe He will burst forth in some glorious manifestation, because He wants to make Himself known.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, February 17, 2015. 

Does it ever seem like you're powerless to affect the tide of evil in our world? Yesterday we heard from a woman who said there is something you can do that's very powerful. She's chosen to do it. She's praying for revival. Barbara Blanchard and Nancy began a conversation yesterday about revivals through history and the prayer movements that preceded them.

Let's pick back up with part two of their conversation.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now, when you had that group of women praying in your home at 5:30 in the morning, for however long, did it ever get discouraging that you weren't seeing the answers to those prayers? What kept you persevering?

Barbara: Well, we saw God was among us, working with us. We saw God knitting our hearts together. That is a very good question. No, I don't think we ever did get discouraged. I'm trying to think why it ended. I think some people who lived way across town said, "Could we have a prayer meeting over in that area?" That changed things.

We saw that revival that I just told you about, that came into our church, and they came with me to that Women in Evangelism thing that you were part of. Forty-seven of our women went there. We were deeply moved; we were moved to be evangelistic, too, when we returned home. We were moved to just speak to our neighbors about the loveliness of Jesus Christ. We were constantly being motivated to walk on with the Lord. He gave us joy.

Nancy: So, for some woman who is listening to us today and this is resonating with her—"deep is calling to deep"—but she's thinking, I don't know sixteen other people who have this burden; I don't think I know anybody else who has this burden. She feels very alone, but God seems to be putting this in her heart. What can she do?

Barbara: Well, that's something that happened to me in that very church. I thought I was alone. One day a woman walked into our church; she was going to another church. And when I spoke to her, I found that she had the same heart. We began a prayer meeting that was used across the city. In fact, she's still going on in prayer today (I no longer live there).

When that happened, my heart beat fast. I thought, Oh Lord, thank You! There's one other person who has this burden. Actually, I think I just had the burden, and I kept talking to the women and telling them about it and then they took it on. Then there was a man who also joined us, and other men began to, too.

I guess [my advice would be] to just start praying and going on in a natural way in the Spirit (if you can say that those two work together). Then see what God does. I was naturally enthusiastic because God was blessing me and giving me that heart. So they just came alongside me. It was a wonderful thing.

I think any woman could do that. Just start with one other person and say, "Would you pray with me?" With another woman, I started something called Intimacy with the Almighty. Now that was something we did where we just met together. We'd maybe read a book that was gripping us spiritually or some Scripture, or we would just share together once a week and have refreshments. Bring in five or six people and talk, ask questions sometimes, and pray.

That just fueled the fire, too. There are so many ways you can do that. You're not really alone. You have the Lord. Just walk on with Him. Ask Him, and He'll direct. That's what I think; that's a pretty simple answer, but that's the way He works.

Nancy: I know you've traveled to many different countries of the world. Are there places where you've seen God work in a way that makes you long to see Him work here in the United States?

Barbara: Well, unfortunately, sometimes you see there's a great hardness, too. I can remember going to a wonderful cathedral and talking to someone, and they said, "All I need are the stained glass windows." And then again, I rode in a taxi, and there was a refugee who was the taxi driver. He told me how in the refugee camp he had seen a Bible. He started to read and became a believer. You see one thing and another.

Now, I really do think much of Europe is very cold, and it certainly is a mission field today. But I did get to visit Herrnhut, Germany, which is eastern Germany where Zinzendorf was with the Moravians.

Nancy: Tell us a little bit about that.

Barbara: Oh, that was wonderful! In some strange way, I was partnered with a woman whose husband was an historian. I went to the Czech Republic where they showed me the persecution. Did you realize that in the Czech Republic, or that area, there used to be ninety-percent believers? 

And at the time of Jan Hus, [John Huss in English] in 1415, he was speaking for the people to be able to read the Bible in their own language and to be able to take communion—the cup and the bread. Simple things . . . things that Wycliffe, over in England, had been working for, too.

Hus was a great professor right there in Prague. He went to defend himself, and he thought he would be safe, but instead he was burned at the stake. And out of that little group of Moravians (many of them had to flee because of persecution), they prayed, "Lord, over time, save a remnant."

And this remnant went into Kunvald, which was a little town, and they hid in the caves and the trees. It was also the Valley of Weeping as well as a Valley or Prayer, and when I went there I could sense it. Even now, to this day, there was something holy and sacred in that place.

Of course, you probably know the story, that some of those people came onto the estate in Germany called Herrnhut. It was the Zinzendorf estate. He was a Count, really, who lived at the time when Dresden had a ruler, and they were very, very aristocratic. They were enjoying flourishing things in the world.

But Zinzendorf knew the Lord. And he said, "Okay, I'll take persecuted Christians from the countries around here onto my estate, and I'm willing to help them." However, they fell into disunity with one another. (And that's another story of tremendous revival.)

Nancy: Well, take us to that revival and this hundred-year prayer meeting.

Barbara: Well, I love the story there. As you know, they were from different denominations, so they had differing ideas, and they just began to be at odds with each other. Finally, Zinzendorf went in, and he knelt down with each one of the families in their homes, and he just said, "You're welcome to stay here, but not with a disunity and not with the kind of bitter attitudes you have."

The Lutheran pastor of their local church wouldn't even give them Communion because he could see what was going on. I might be wrong [on the timing of this], but I think it was in May or so that they created a little article on unity. They signed it and said, "We will dwell in unity." And in August, after many, many days of prayer and sometimes long nights of prayer on the part of some of the leadership, they went to church and were given Communion.

And at that time in 1727 (no one can really describe what happened), the Holy Spirit fell on them in such power! I don't think with many great [outward] manifestations. I don't know what happened, but they went together afterwards, and I think the Count said, "Bring in some bread and some water," and they enjoyed being with each other. They loved each other. It was a supernatural love, as it were.

They were united. Somehow or other they got the idea that they should have a prayer meeting. They had two people who prayed every hour of the day and night. Actually, the bell ringer would even ring the intervals during the night, so they would know how long their hours were, and they say this went on 100 years.

I was so privileged, because by the time I went over there, the country was just opening up after the Berlin Wall fell. They just spoke German; they didn't know English much over there. They had been under Russian domination.

Since I knew a little German, I could go to bed-and-breakfast inns and just kind of sit there and pray and ask God, "What do I do today?" I was able to see the prayer tower from which they prayed. I was able to go and see Zinzendorf's old castle where his grandmother raised him. As a four-year-old, he used to throw letters out to Jesus. Did you know that?

He wrote little notes and threw sent them out the window to the Lord. He always had a heart that was deep, and then eventually he went to study. He studied pietism, so in a way, he came to understand a personal relationship with Christ that wasn't just a formal religiosity.

Nancy: And that prayer meeting had fruit that long outlived it. Talk about some of the outcome of that. 

Barbara: Oh, the implications of that are so amazing! And I think maybe we have no idea. But they did start into missions. They would pray over who should go and where they should go. Some of them went to the West Indies. Some of them even said, "I'll be willing to become a slave."

I'm not sure they had to become slaves, but they worked among the slaves in the West Indies and poured out their lives and lived simply for the sake of the gospel. That began the mission movement.

Actually, Zinzendorf knew the King of Denmark who had also told him about a little mission that they had started. But once the Moravians went, and so many of them did, year after year, then William Carey, who was with the Baptists in England said, "If those Moravians can do it, we certainly can!" So that started that movement. I think American missions came out of this, too, and our Great Awakening. 

Nancy: William Carey was the shoemaker who gave India the Bible, right?

Barbara: That's probably a good way to say it.

Nancy: One of the first mission biographies I ever read as a little girl was the life of William Carey.

Barbara: Wow, his life was something else. But I do think something else that was very interesting was that the Moravians lived very simply, and they were very consistent Christians. Then, of course, pockets moved out from the eastern German area and set up other Moravian groups, one of which was Aldersgate in London.

As you may recall, Wesley went out from Oxford. Remember, there had been a "holy club" at Oxford, and George Whitefield, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, had been a part of it, as well as a few others. They went to do a mission—not even being saved yet, not knowing the Lord—down in Savannah, Georgia. And they had vast success.

But they remembered the Moravians on the ship. When there was a terrible storm, the Moravians had perfect peace. When the two Wesley brothers got back to London, they looked up the Moravians and were saved!

And then it was soon thereafter that Whitefield came into salvation. I think it was first Charles Wesley, then John Wesley. Then they just began exploding in their ministries in the U.K.—often out in the open fields because the regular churches didn't let them come in.

Nancy: And then to our own shores . . .

Barbara: And then to our own shores . . . Of course, Whitefield came over. I have ancestors that I think started the Log College, which became Princeton. So I know through that in the middle colonies we had Frelinghuysen and the tenants, that's who they were. And then, of course, we had Jonathan Edwards. 

Whitefield comes along and he just sweeps through, speaking in a powerful way. He was an interesting speaker, too, they say. Apparently it was just amazing the way he could articulate things and make use of his tone of voice. He could really emotionally grab people, but he was intellectual, too.

He didn't speak in the same way Jonathan Edwards did. They were different, but Jonathan had been preparing his people, and God swept through.

Nancy: So, as you read those things which to some would just seem like dry, dusty history, what does that do to you?

Barbara: Oh, it thrills my soul! I just long for us to long after God and be blessed by Him as those people were. But we know that it was years and years of praying—individually and corporately—walking with God, and making choices that were right, before this whole thing happened.

You think back to 1727, the Moravians praying, and then this happening in our country. It's years and years. Stoddard, the grandfather of Jonathan Edwards, started praying for revival sixty years before his grandson came on the scene. Then Jonathan Edwards' grandson was Timothy Dwight, and he was part of the revival that happened on Yale campus. 

God has His ways and His people, but we have to wait on the Lord and not expect it in the next ten seconds, or in the next year, necessarily, or be asking, "Is He going to move?"

Nancy: So as you pray today, I assume you long to see God pour out His Spirit in those ways we've read about. You want to see that in your lifetime. We heard Richard Owen Roberts, who's an elderly man now, say that yesterday [at a conference]. He longs to live to see this.

But you trust the sovereignty and the good pleasure of God and know that the prayers that you're praying today may be seeds that are being sown for a future generation.

Barbara: Yes, that's right. Then I think back to all the people who prayed before—like Stephen Olford. 

Nancy: People who went to heaven before ever seeing their prayers come to full fruition.

Barbara: Isn't that the truth? And then I remember being on the Mall, too, with Promise Keepers. Our whole family was there. You saw all these people praying for our nation at that time. God has not forgotten these prayers. They are all stored up. And when the time is right, I believe He will burst forth in some glorious manifestation, because He wants to make Himself known.

If you read the Bible, over and over again in the Old Testament God says, "I'm going to do this so that they will know that I am the Lord." I think that He wants every people group to know Who He is, and we're in an age of technology where it can be done. Wycliffe (the organization) tells us we're not too far off from reaching the different people groups—especially as we have computers to help us in translation.

This is a great age in which to live. I do want to say that some of the people I prayed with years ago have gone on to Glory. But one woman, a Canadian, said to me, "You know, Barb, it may have to get darker before we see revival."

Now that was back in the nineties. We have gotten a lot darker since then. And we are right now at the edge of knowing we are in darkness.

Nancy: Yes. We were talking yesterday about this OneCry movement that we have both been blessed to see unfolding. We heard some stories yesterday about pastors gathering together to pray for revival, cities where God is moving among pastors, and that was all so encouraging. I love hearing those stories. 

But something has struck me as I'm listening to all this, I'm not sure, today, where the praying women are. At times in the past there seemed to be more praying women than there were the pastors and the men praying for revival. But now we're hearing more stories about groups of men and pastors and Christian leaders, denominational leaders across denominational lines, praying together for revival. 

I said to you yesterday, "Where is this happening? Are you seeing this happen among women?" I'm certainly not seeing it on any great scale, just probably in pockets.

Barbara: Not in any organized way. But you know, in a way, it's not too sad, because we remember being women who were praying for that and we weren't seeing the men. Now we have the men praying, and we had better circle back around and think about it, you and I. What shall we do to have a little more organization, a little more purposeful structure?

Nancy: And who are the women, maybe listening to this conversation, who in their hearts, their hands being raised, are saying, "I want to be a part of that." I think there are women like that. As you're saying, some of them are older women who don't feel that their lives are making any huge contribution right now.

But what could be a greater contribution than to be going to the throne of grace, crying out to the God of heaven, the King of the universe, to hear, to see, to move—to move in our young people, to move in our centers of influence and education and government and entertainment, and to move in our world!

When you think that the promise of Scripture is that kingship belongs to the Lord and He rules over the nations, then how appropriate it is for us to cry out to our Father in heaven, "May your Name be hallowed! May Your Name be reverenced. May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven."

Barbara: Not only is it a significant ministry, but it's a great joy! Is there anything more wonderful than to lay hold of Him and let Him lay hold of us—when we think of Who He is, the power that He has, the ability that He has—and then begin to pray, "Do exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ask or think," and then just be an instrument in His hands.

It is a joy! We can have the most wonderful life as we are just nestled in His arms, as it were.

Nancy: We've been listening to Barbara Blanchard as she and I have been having a conversation about prayer for revival and spiritual awakening. Barb, I want to thank you for all the years that you have prayed; that you have been faithful; that you have persevered. That's been an encouragement and a challenge to me, even afresh this week as we've been able to reconnect.

I know there are hearts of some listening right now, that this has been expressing their longing. I would like to close this time by inviting you to lead us in prayer for revival and awakening. Let me just suggest to our listeners, if you're somewhere where you can stop what you're doing (maybe pull your car over to the side of the road if you're able to do that, or maybe there in your home or your workplace, there by your computer) just stop and join us.

Maybe you're with somebody else, maybe two or three of you. Maybe you're with your kids in the your van. Maybe you could just stop, and let's join our hearts together and agree as touching on this very thing. There's power in united, concerted, fervent prayer.

I'm going to ask my friend, Barbara Blanchard, if you would lead us to the throne of grace, and we'll join our hearts in praying with you.

Barbara: Oh our blessed Lord—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we love you! We want to know You. We want to know You much more deeply than we know You now, and we want our lives to count for You! But we're impotent. In ourselves all we can do is come and say, "Here I am, Lord, use me."

And, Father, we thank You that You were willing to send Your Son. And oh, Jesus, how we praise You that You were willing not only to die on the cross, but to live through the years when people did not know Who You were and mistreated You, our Creator. You came unto Your own, and they knew You not.

And Holy Spirit, how we praise You that You speak to us; You instruct us; You direct us; You just teach us all the time and give us more understanding and fellowship. Oh Lord, I hardly know how to pray, except to say that You are so wonderful. You are so mighty. You are beyond our imagination, but You have called us to Yourself. You've allowed us to believe You. You have given us the things for desiring You, of thirsting and hungering after You, and You really have shown us our need and our dependence.

We want more of You, Lord. We want more for ourselves, and we want more for the world around us. Mostly, we want this for You, that you might be exalted and lifted up in the earth. We, being mere mortals, don't know how to well enough make You known. We can speak to others, but it is Your work of bringing them to Yourself.

We just ask You once again that You might be made known in our country and around the world. We ask You to come among us in a manifestation that is powerful, that cannot be mistaken. We ask you to come even as You came among the 120 who waited [at Pentecost] and the place was shaken and filled with Your glory!

The power came upon those who were waiting, and they could speak for You in ways that were so convincing, and multitudes came to You. We've seen the effect of the church increasing, from the band of just twelve disciples—simple, simple men. We long now for Your kingdom to come, for You to be made known in every people group of the world.

And we believe this will happen before You, Lord Jesus, come again the second time. You say Your sign will be seen in the sky and every, every tribe will grieve, and every eye will know You are Lord. And every knee will bow to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And so, while we have breath, while we can think, we ask you to make us servants. Take us as servants, and make us part of whatever You want to do. Show each woman who's listening, what is our part, Lord? We would be like Mary, who said, "Behold, I am your handmaiden, be it unto me according to Your Word." 

And so, Lord, we do pray that you'll do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, for Yourself, because You're worthy; You deserve it. I believe this is what You want, to be made known in all the earth. Glory be to You, our blessed Lord. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen. 

Leslie: We've been hearing from Barbara Blanchard and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Barbara has a passion for prayer and revival—a heartbeat in sync with Revive Our Hearts. If you missed any of this two-day series, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Have you ever spent much time thinking about the childhood of Jesus, the teenage years of Jesus, the masculinity of Jesus? We're very excited, because starting tomorrow we're going deep in studying the life and person of Jesus. We'll cover all those topics and many, many more in a series called "The Incomparable Christ."

Nancy will be showing us Jesus in this in-depth series between tomorrow and through Easter. I hope you'll join us each day. She's following an outline in a book by J. Oswald Sanders called The Incomparable Christ, and you'll get so much more out of the series when you follow along in the book.

Nancy's teaching is related to the book, but different and expanded. So you'll get insights on Jesus from Sanders and from Nancy when you read and listen. We'd like to send you the book, The Incomparable Christ, when you donate any amount to support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

You'll also get a journal that goes along with the study. It will lead you through practical questions so you can live out what you're learning in the teaching. We'll send one book and journal per household for your donation of any size. Look for The Incomparable Christ at ReviveOurHearts.com, or donate by phone. The number is 1–800–569–5959.

Make sure to join us tomorrow as we begin this season of reflecting on Jesus. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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