Revive Our Hearts Podcast

— Audio Player —

The Power of a Mother’s Prayer

Dannah Gresh: As we approach Mother’s Day weekend, listen to what one mom wrote to Revive Our Hearts.

Woman: Thank you so much for all this ministry does. I was hooked on God’s Word at the first program. I still cry almost every time I listen now, because of how true and biblically sound the material is. I have told, and will continue to tell many, many women about how God has used it to change my life. Motherhood is tough. Working is tough. Homeschooling is tough. Marriage is tough. But God has completely changed my perspective! Yes, all of it is hard, but so worth it! I have so much peace and joy despite hard situations, even desperate situations —something I never had without Christ.

Dannah: Life is tough. And even more so as we've had a global pandemic raging around us. But as this woman said, life with Jesus is so worth it. It’s humbling that God would use the ministry of Revive Our Hearts to draw people, like this woman, to Himself. She also added this:

Woman: I help lead a Wednesday night class for girls at church, and wow, how I wish all of the moms would go through the book Lies Girls Believe with their daughters! I’m praying about ways to introduce this to the moms.

Nancy: And moms, we’re thinking of you, here at Revive Our Hearts—especially as we celebrate you this coming weekend. We love being able to provide resources and encouragement for moms, and for women everywhere. Whether you’re an empty nester, a single woman, a widow, or newly married—we want to reach all women with the message of freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. I'm so thankful for listeners who support us with their prayers and their financial gifts so that we can continue reaching women around the world.

When you donate to Revive Our Hearts, you’re not just donating to an organization. You’re sharing the truth of the gospel. You’re helping women, like this mom we just heard from, thriving in Christ, even as she is navigating difficult life challenges.

Now, we understand that we've been living in some very strange times. Lockdown, and economic downturn have possibly been very challenging for you. So even as we make you aware of our ministry needs at this time, we realize that you may not be in a position at the moment to financially support Revive Our Hearts. But you know what? You can pray for us. You can support us in that way. And I want to ask, "Please do that!" We need your prayers!

But if the Lord has met your needs and the needs of your family and your church, and you are still able to give to Revive Our Hearts, it would mean so much to us.

Our fiscal year ends on May 31, which means at that time we’ll be closing our books on this past year of ministry and making decisions for what our outreaches will look like for the year ahead. We’re praying for the Lord to provide $750,000 by the end of this month. Even as we do, we are trusting the Lord to provide exactly what He knows is needed.

If you'd like to give a gift at this important time, you can visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or, you can call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for Wednesday, May 6, 2020. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer here in the United States. I think you’d agree that our nation and our world have never needed prayer more. I hope you'll set aside time tomorrow, and pray for our nation.

You can find out more about the National Day of Prayer and what you can do to participate by going to our website, ReviveOurHearts.com. The message we are about to hear today is centered on the importance of in one woman's life.

Nancy: We’re going to focus on the power of a mother’s prayer. You’ve may have heard about the brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick who are the producers and directors of movies like: Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Overcomer, and War Room. Today, we’ll hear about an unsung hero in the lives of those brothers. I first heard this story from Stephen Kendrick as he shared about his mom, Rhonwyn Kendrick, and how God had used her prayers in his life.

Our team traveled to Mrs. Kendrick’s home some time ago and filmed a moving video of this story. You can see that video at ReviveOurHearts.com. As you listen to these next few minutes, I hope you’ll consider the ways that your prayers could help change the world.

Dannah: On April 13, 2013, Rhonwyn Kendrick wrote a very specific prayer on a sticky note. She wrote it down but didn’t tell anybody. Now, remember the sticky note, because you’ll hear about it again.

She planted that sticky note in her Bible, in faith that—if it were God’s will—He would bring the request about.

A lot of Mrs. Kendrick’s life is spent planting seeds in faith that something beautiful will grow. That’s true for prayers—and it’s also true for literal seeds.

Rhonwyn Kendrick: I love being outdoors. I guess it’s part of growing up on the farm . . . planting something and then just watching it grow.

Dannah: This is Rhonwyn Kendrick’s son, Stephen. 

Stephen Kendrick: You can take the girl off of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl. She goes out and works outside all the time.

Mrs. Kendrick: For the spring garden, we planted green beans . . .

Stephen: It’s therapy for her.

Mrs. Kendrick:. . . sweet potatoes . . .

Stephen: It’s a joy for her . . .

Mrs. Kendrick: . . . squash . . .

Stephen:. . . to get her hands dirty and see something bloom.

Mrs. Kendrick:. . . zucchini . . .

Stephen: She has transformed her back yard from an ugly backyard into something very beautiful over the years.

Mrs. Kendrick: Last year I tried corn. That didn’t work!

Dannah: Mrs. Kendrick not only cultivates her garden every day. She also cultivates a close relationship with the Lord.

Mrs. Kendrick: In the mornings I like to take my Bible and I go to my kitchen table. I put my Bible on the table, and I stand. If I stand, I don’t doze off. And I just start praying.

Dannah: Mrs. Kendrick uses a lot of Scripture when she prays.

Mrs. Kendrick: In the mornings I like to read Psalm 23: “The Lord is [our] Shepherd, [we] shall not want . . .” And then, Psalm 25: “Show [us] Your ways, O Lord; teach [us] Your plans” (v. 4). Deuteronomy 28: “We’re blessed in the city, blessed in the field; blessed is the fruit of our body . . .” (vv. 3–4 paraphrased).

The verses in Psalm 34: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. . . . They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (vv. 1, 10). Psalm 37: “Delight thyselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (v. 1).

“This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). Isaiah 54: “All of your children shall be taught of the Lord” (v. 13). I have quoted this for years. Galatians 3: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (v. 13). Psalm 91: “[We] will say of the Lord, He is our refuge . . . He covers [us] with his feathers, and under his wings [do we] trust” (vv. 2, 4).

Dannah: At a young age, Mrs. Kendrick discovered the power of prayer in a very dramatic way. 

Mrs. Kendrick: I was six years old; this was on April 1, 1948.

Stephen: A tornado came, and it hit their property where there was a farm.

Mrs. Kendrick: I remember Mother taking my sister Carol and my sister Bonnie and me, and she put us under the kitchen table.

Stephen: She says she remembers looking up and watching her mother cry out to God!

Mrs. Kendrick: I remember her just crying out to the Lord; she was just crying at the top of her voice, asking the Lord to protect us! 

Stephen: A few minutes later, the sound died down. They walked outside, and all around them there was devastation!

Mrs. Kendrick: The roof to our barn, which was next to the house, was blown off.

Stephen: And they never found that roof!

Mrs. Kendrick: Two huge oak trees in front of our house, across the highway, had fallen down.

Stephen: Power lines were down in the front yard. The church across the street was rocked off of its foundation, but their house was left intact—and preserved.

Mrs. Kendrick: Our house was not touched! I think I learned from that that we need to be able to call on God anytime, in any circumstance and that God is near, that He loves us. I saw a very quick answer to prayer!

Dannah: When Rhonwyn married Larry Kendrick and began a family, prayer was a big part of their daily lives.

Mrs. Kendrick: Before our children were born, my husband and I prayed over them, that the Lord would have His will, His way with them.

Stephen: We heard the Word of God, growing up. Some of it we would memorize in Sunday school, some of it was at Christian school that we went to in our later years, and then at home we were hearing God’s Word quoted.

Our mom often would say, “Our children will be taught of the Lord; and great will be the peace of our children. No weapon that is formed against them shall prosper, but their righteousness is of the Lord. . .and whatever they do will prosper, for they will be like trees planted by the rivers of water” (see Isa. 54:13 and 17, and Ps. 1:3).

They would just incorporate Scripture into their prayers over our lives.

Dannah: Stephen Kendrick remembers the way his mom used to pray for him and his brothers before school.

Stephen: We heard Psalm 91 just about every day, it seemed, going to school, growing up. We would be in the car and she would make it personal. When Mom would personalize the chapter, she would say, “We dwell in the secret place of the most High: we shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. We will say of the Lord, He is our refuge, our fortress: our God; in Him will we trust. Surely he shall deliver us from the snare of the fowler, from the noisome pestilence. He will cover us with His feathers; under His wings we will trust” (see Ps. 91:1–4).

And then, she would go through the whole chapter, as we’re in the car: “Only with our eyes will we behold and see the reward of the wicked. A thousand may fall at our side, ten thousand at our right hand; but it will not happen to us” (see Ps. 91:7–8).

At the end of the passage it talks about the Lord’s blessing and protection over our family. Having sons caused my mom to pray for protection a lot. She would pray Psalm 91 protection over us as we would be out in the woods—swinging on vines, trying to be Indiana Jones as kids.

A mom could look at her children saying, “I’m trying to protect them and keep them safe”—but your prayers will go with them. There were many times where we almost died as kids, growing up—runnin’ the car out into the street, driving it as a three-year-old. I backed the car out in the street two different times.

Over the years, the things that we have experienced . . . But Mom was always praying for us behind the scenes, asking the Lord to put His angels’ charge over us and keep us safe. And so you may be looking at your kids thinking, I’m so worried or fearful about them because I can’t always be with them wherever they go.

Well, the Lord is with them and His guardian angels can be charge over them. When you pray for their protection, they’re in the Lord’s hands, and you can rest at night knowing that He has a better plan than you do for their lives.

Mom and Dad made prayer a part of everything they did. We’re not only praying before meals, but we’re praying before major decisions. One thing that we would see in our parents was, they wouldn’t hold back in their prayer lives.

They wouldn’t pray just small prayers, but they believed that God could provide, He could protect, He could do things. So, there was a sense of, “The Lord is able to carry us through this and provide what we need.”

Dannah: Today, all three of the Kendrick brothers—Shannon, Alex, and Stephen—are involved in filmmaking. Their films include Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. On the set of each film prayer has been a crucial part of their process.

Stephen: All the films that we have produced have really been a string of one answered prayer after another. We’re praying as we’re writing. We haven’t had the script writing training so we’re laying it before the Lord, saying, “Would You enable us to develop these characters?”

As we’re casting, we’re praying over the casting process. Every day on set, we’ll have a prayer team be part of that: “We’re dedicating today to the Lord.” And then, we have prayer warriors that we will email each week and say, “Here’s how you can pray for us; here’s what’s coming up.”

We have seen again, consistently, that when we bathe things in prayer, when we fight our battles in prayer first, the Lord is faithful to answer those.

Dannah: Their film, War Room, went to number one at the box office. It was specifically about prayer.

Stephen: We didn’t know what was going to happen with it, but War Room was more successful, the impact has been even more far-reaching than the other films. We can see now that the timing was perfect for a call to prayer to the church!

Dannah: War Room shows the relationship between a younger woman learning how to pray from her mentor—Miss Clara.

Stephen: I think the character, Miss Clara, was the combination of many godly elderly women that we’ve known over the years, and our mother is definitely one of those who helped inspire that character. Oftentimes, we’ll call and we’ll say, “Mom, here’s what’s going on. Here’s how we need your prayer support.”

As we’re travelling, as we’re working on production, she’s praying for us—and we consistently see the rewards of that. You can sense sometimes, “There’s somebody who’s been praying for me.” I am so grateful for a praying mom!

Dannah: Over the years, as her sons gained a national platform to speak about the Lord, Mrs. Kendrick has preferred to stay at home. She’s been spending her time caring for her husband, who’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, praying for hours in her kitchen, and—of course—working in her garden!

Stephen: One thing that we saw happen, though, is she would be out there working hard by herself—she’d be carrying buckets, and she’s in her seventies! She'd carrying fertilizer and those kind of things.

We would say, “Mom, you need to be really careful! If something happened to you, since you take care of Dad, you know, it could be tough on everybody! We want you to be safe and to be healthy, and to be in a good place.”

I woke up on a Saturday morning, the day of her birthday, and I sat up in bed, and I had this strong feeling that I needed to go buy Mom a golf cart. So, I called my brothers and my dad and I said, “A golf cart’s thousands of dollars. What if we all pooled our money together and got her a golf cart?”

And they all said, “Yes, let’s do it!”

Dannah: Oh course, this was before the COVID-19 crisis.

So we all went over to Mom’s house—all nineteen grandchildren were over there—Mom and Dad were there. We said, “Mom, we have a birthday gift to give to you.” So we took her outside, we said, “We need you to close your eyes,” and we pulled this golf cart around.

Mrs. Kendrick: In just a couple minutes he said, “You can open your eyes.”

Stephen: She opened her eyes and then . . . Mom started to cry!

Mrs. Kendrick: He had driven up in a red golf cart. I looked at it, and it was hard to believe.

Stephen: She said, “I just can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!”

Dannah: Now, do you remember the prayer that Mrs. Kendrick wrote on that sticky note I told you about it earlier in the program? She had written it down about a week before her birthday. When she received the golf cart, she went and got that note out of her Bible and read it to the family.

Stephen: And it said, “Dear Heavenly Father . . .”

Mrs. Kendrick: ". . .based on John 16:23, I ask for a golf cart for my birthday. I ask for a golf cart in excellent condition, a beautiful golf cart that I will love. So I’m asking You, Lord, if you would give me—for my birthday—a golf cart.”

Stephen: She had prayed that and written it down and not told anybody. It was just between her and the Lord. We were so excited! We brought all the kids around and we said, “Listen to this! Mama K was praying for a golf cart for her birthday. She didn’t tell anybody, and this morning, the Lord prompted us to go buy her a golf cart!”

God can do whatever He wants to—He is Sovereign. There are times in Scripture when you see David praying for the baby to not die, and it dies. Or you see Paul saying, “Remove the thorn.” And the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you in this situation.”

The Lord can veto any prayer that we pray. He has every right. In His loving mercy and kindness, He chooses to do what He knows is going to be for our good and His glory. But we see in Scripture that He has the heart of a loving Father. He does not withhold anything good from His children.

Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not withhold his own Son . . . will he not freely give us all things?” Jesus repeatedly would use the analogy of a loving Father when He was discussing prayer. When we come to Him, He wants to give us good things. When we are right with Him, and we’re asking for good things, He won’t hold back.

God’s timing is always up to Him when it comes to prayer. There are things that we would pray for and the Lord answers right away. There are some times when it’s like planting a seed, when you pray and you wait and nothing happens for a while.

It may be months, years, decades down the road before the Lord decides to answer that prayer in His perfect timing.

Alex and I had been praying for the Lord to be glorified through our lives; our parents were praying over us as we were growing up. He had a vision for making Christian movies one day—a dream that he wanted to do that. But it was over a decade later, after he was praying, before the Lord answered that prayer and enabled us to make Christian films.

When we look back now, we weren’t ready when we were young to do that. But God’s timing is perfect, and we can see that all the years of ministry, serving in the local church, studying the Word of God was helping to prepare us to be able to make movies that hopefully demonstrate biblical accuracy but also a sense of a love towards God and a fear of the Lord, and the discernment of what is appropriate, in the film.

I would say to young moms that if you know Jesus and you will get right with Him and be in a daily abiding relationship with Him, you are positioned through Christ to approach your heavenly Father with boldness and with freedom. 

Ask for the moon for your children. Ask the Lord to do more than you can ask or imagine. Whatever is in your heart, lay that before the Lord. Pray for their protection, pray for wisdom. And find Scriptures that you can stand on, and pray those before the Lord.

Just keep knocking on heaven’s door with those requests. God loves your children more than you do, and He will be with them throughout their lives, beyond your influence and beyond your control. But your prayers will go with them.

The Lord can do wonderful, mighty things through your kids, if you will trust the Lord with them. I am so grateful for a praying mom! We don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve all that she has done for us, but we are grateful for her.

Oftentimes we will call and we’ll say, “Mom, here’s what’s going on. Here’s how we need your prayer support.” Or, "Will you pray for our protection in this situation?”—and she will. We’re very grateful for what God has done through her!

I believe the enemy is attacking in a greater degree. Evil is upon our generation. We cannot rely upon our best efforts or just the human counsel that we have around us. We have to be relying completely upon the Lord for our children and for our grandchildren—watching God take them and do with them more than we could ever imagine or do on our own.

Dannah: You’ve been hearing the story of one specific answer to prayer, but what’s striking when you get to know Mrs. Kendrick is that this kind of thing happens all the time. She has a lot of stories of answered prayer, just like this golf cart.

The golf cart story just illustrates a bigger principle: that God hears our prayers. Mrs. Kendrick and Stephen both realize that we need people who will be crying out in prayer like never before!

Mrs. Kendrick: I believe that God wants women to pray over their homes, pray over their husbands, to pray over their children every day—that God will have His way, will have His will with us.

Stephen: When we look at our country, we look at how dark our world is right now—how the Church, with broken wings, is sick in so many ways—it is “for such a time as this” that I believe the Holy Spirit is calling people—and calling women—back to prayer . . . for their husbands, for their children, just like our mom has done for our father and for us over the years.

My prayer is that God will grant repentance to the Church across the nation and that as believers are praying, the Holy Spirit will move in, in power, and change hearts and shift the course of our country!

Mrs. Kendrick: I believe we need to cry out to the Lord!

Believers right now need to be humbling themselves and seeking the Lord, crying out to Him in prayer, and I believe that we’re going to see a great harvest in our generation.

Dannah: Well, we’ve been hearing about the power of a mother’s prayer from film producer Stephen Kendrick and his mom, Rhonwyn Kendrick. Nancy, I think that story can encourage us in a few different ways.

Nancy: For sure, it reminds us that we have a God who actually listens to our prayers. He cares about a mom who needs a golf cart to get around her property.

Dannah: And He cares about every single person who’s been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. He cares for each one grieving the death of a loved one. And He cares about you!

Dannah, the other thing I'm reminded about in this testimony is that each of us can go to the throne of God on behalf of others just as Rhondwyn Kendrick did for her children. If you have children or grandchildren, you can do just what she’s done by lifting them up to God in prayer.

Dannah, as I've known you over the years I've seen you as a praying mom—praying for your children and now your granddaughters.

Dannah: It is my great joy. And even if you don’t have your own children, you can still be crying out the Lord for the next generation. Nancy, I've seen you do that so beautifully. You model that for all of us.

Nancy: Thank you, Dannah. Our prayer is that the Lord will raise up thousands of women—whether they have their own children or not—just like Mrs. Kendrick, who will daily, consistently, fervently cry out to the Lord to revive His Church and to bring about a spiritual awakening in our day, which we so desperately need !

Dannah: Which reminds me that tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. It’s a great opportunity to join with other believers from around our nation, to pray for our leaders, and to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Nancy: And would you also pray for Revive Our Hearts as where asking the Lord to provide signficant funding as we come to the end of our fiscal year this month. Even as we talking here Dannah, I'm reminded of a stanza of the great hymn by John Newton, the slave trader turned author of "Amazing Grace," as he wrote: "Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring. For His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much."

Here's the thing, when we pray, we're talking to the very same God who answered Rhonwyn Kendrick's prayer. So let's ask Him to meet our needs and the needs of our world in a big way in these days. He's a big God!

Dannah: As you pray for the needs of Revive Our Hearts, would you also consider supporting us financially. You can get all the details on the fiscal year-end needs and how you can get involved at ReviveOurHearts.com, or give us a call at 1–800–569–5959.

Now, if you could describe your mother with just one word, what would it be? Tomorrow, Nancy, her husband Robert, and I will reminisce and honor each of our own mothers, and you’ll hear what one word we choose for our moms. I’m Dannah Gresh. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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 …

Read More