Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Are there people in your life who will help you do things you’ve been called to do? Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In the family of God, in the body of Christ, we should not have to be running this race alone, waging this war alone, raising kids alone, loving husbands alone, in the workplace alone. That’s where the body needs to be the body.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, August 11, 2014.

For a couple of weeks Nancy’s been exploring the early life of Joshua. It’s been such a helpful study on God’s power to fight for us in any situation.

We’ll hear from Nancy Leigh DeMoss in a minute, but first a group of women have been listening to the series with us, and we’ll hear how they’ve been applying the story of Joshua. Our first guest is Stacey Smith. She works with women in prison, encouraging them to pray for those outside. In the teaching on Joshua, she was struck by Joshua’s mentor, Moses, and how he interceded for others.

Stacey Smith: I think about the ladies in prison. First of all, I think of their spirit of intercession. Prayer is just probably the most important aspect of our life. My desire is that God’s people would be victorious and that they would learn His ways. I think I saw that clearly when you explained how Moses wanted that.

But I think also about how the Lord is my banner when you took us through the banner of going from the beginning. I always saw the banner being the parade at the end, but I didn’t realize that the banner is with you throughout the whole battle. Then at the end, the cross is actually our banner. So that was very clear to me today, and I just appreciate that.

Kay: The thing that stood out to me the most was the recognition that we all need others to come alongside us, both physically and spiritually, lifting us up in prayer. We can’t do this battle alone. We do need others to lift us up and encourage us.

Some of us are leaders and some of us are followers, but we’re all part of the ministry. I think sometimes we lose sight of that. We get so consumed in trying to get the job done on our own. We think we are doing it alone when we’re not. We certainly can’t do it that way.

Nancy: Kay, can you think of someone who has been that kind of support to you in your life as you have been in the spiritual battle?

Kay: I used to have this one lady who’s an accountability partner for me. I was in a position at that time where I was in extreme warfare, and I know I could not have gone into that every single day without her prayers. On the flipside of that is, I would always be informed of her day’s events to come. She would say, "These are things that you need to pray for me today."

I think we all need that. We all need to know that we have this personal someone that is on the mountain praying for us while we’re in the valley in the midst of battles that sometimes become extremely demanding, extremely difficult and that we just have to humble ourselves and ask for those people to intercede for us.

Nancy: That’s great. Anyone else? Someone that God has used in your life that comes to mind that has been an Aaron and a Hur or a Moses to you as you have been in the battle. You really see how God has used that person and their prayers or their support to keep you steady in the battle. Anything along that line?

Gert: A few years ago I was separated from my husband. I was alone, asleep one night. At 3:00 in the morning, God woke me up. I sat straight up in my bed, which I have never done before. He asked me to pray for my husband. I learned shortly after that that he had been robbed and shot that night.

Ever since then, God told me that I need to be praying for him. And I have continued to pray for him, and I have forgiven him for a lot of things that he has done. It was amazing to me that God would just use me in that way to intercede in his life, to be his prayer warrior.

Nancy: And whether your husband is on the street doing things he shouldn't be doing, or he's a devoted, mature believer doing what he should be doing, he needs your prayers. When those promptings come, don't ignore them. Take that seriously for your children, for your mate. Only God knows how many times we have had danger averted in our lives—spiritual or physical—because someone has been praying at God's prompting.

Tracy: I have a dear friend who a couple of years ago gave me a phone call in the middle of the day. She told me that she had just found out that her husband had been having an affair. This is a couple that you wouldn’t expect such a thing to occur—a very godly couple. She said, “Tracy, you just have to pray.”

I fervently prayed and prayed and spent time with her, and my husband spent time with her husband. Fervent prayer and that marriage is restored and healed only through the grace of God. Knowing and seeing that happen and having the blessing of knowing that her first response was calling someone and you have to pray. I wonder would I be able to do the same.

Nancy: You wonder how many marriages that are in shambles today and haven’t been restored or children’s lives, adult children, who are in shambles and haven’t been restored, how many of those God might have turned the events of their life in a different direction if somebody here on earth had been holding up the rod and lifting it up toward heaven.

Had Moses not taken that place on the hill, the Amalekites would have won that battle. Now God can win battles without anybody holding up a rod. God is sovereign. He is able to win the battles, but He has chosen to operate through means, and one of those means is the prayers of His children.

I’m just thinking how many battles have we lost and are we losing for the souls of our young people. I’ve been realizing recently just more of what’s happening with our young people. I heard a statistic recently that said that 80% of our children who are growing up in Christian homes and evangelical churches are leaving the church when they get out of high school and never coming back.

There’s something wrong with that picture. There’s something wrong with the picture of how many Christian marriages are ending up in immorality, infidelity, divorce. Now life is hard, marriage is hard, growing up is hard. It’s a hard world. We don’t make demands on God. We don’t tell Him what to do. But I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that we as women are not taking our place on the hill with the rod of God lifted up and saying, “Lord, would You intervene down in the valley in the lives of those that we love.

So Tracy, you took a role there that . . . we all have friends in that situation. Sometimes—and this bothers me a lot—I look around in our churches and in our best of churches, there are a lives that are in shambles. There are marriages that are in serious trouble. There are young people who are in serious trouble. We almost get the sense of just resignation to that’s the way it is. Now we’re not happy about it, but I think sometimes we just have this sense of helplessness, like there’s nothing we can do.

Now I’m not saying we can control the situation. You can’t control your children’s lives. You can’t control your husband’s responses to the Spirit of God, but there is something we can do, and that is to pray. I think sometimes our praying is more from a sense of despair and helplessness rather than waging war and saying, “God, we’re calling out to You in the name of Jesus to glorify Yourself in this situation. You deserve to be honored in the life of this couple. If this Christian couple goes through with this divorce, this is going to be a blight on Your name and on the picture of redemption that You intended Christian marriage to be. God, would You please turn their hearts?”

Where’s the fervency? Where’s the earnestness? I’m saying this to myself. As I’ve studied this passage and have been dwelling on it, I’m realizing there is a crucial role. More crucial than my teaching of the Scripture are those women who are on the hill praying with the rod of God lifted up in their hands.

You’re hoping your husband will listen to Revive Our Hearts or some other program and God will change his heart. God may be waiting for you to get up on the hill and do the praying for God to change his heart. That’s where the battle is won or lost.

Holly: Tracy and Gert, what you were saying a minute ago about your friend, I think Tracy was a faithful friend to lift her up. But on the other hand, if her friend had been too proud to be honest about what was going on in her life, if she had not made that phone call, she might not have had part of that equation that God used to turn the heart of her husband.

I think our tendency sometimes is to cover the things in our life that are not going well and not to let other people know where we are. Then we lose a huge component of what God intends to put in place because the person on the hill can see differently than we can in the valley. Their perspective is different. So they can see things about it maybe that we can’t even see as they pray.

Nancy: Holly, you and I have had that kind of ministry going both directions in each other’s lives over the years. Particularly in recent weeks and months, both of us have been through some things, and we’re not talking about affairs here. It’s not all sin issues. Sometimes it’s just life issues and pressure issues.

Alternately we have called each other at different times, at various hours of the day and night, and said, “Here’s something I’m dealing with. I just want you to be aware of it. Can you pray for me?” We have prayed on the phone.

We talked the other night while you were, after midnight, driving—long story, short. We were praying together on the phone and just praying that God would—I was standing on the hill at that point for you because you were open enough to say, “This is what I’m dealing with.” There have been lots of times when you’ve been standing on the hill for me. We do need to be open and honest and humble enough with each other to say, “This is what I’m facing. This is what I’m dealing with. This is the battle I’m facing. Would you pray for me?”

Any other way that you’ve seen that illustrated in your own life on one side or the other? You’ve been the one on the hill or the one down in the valley needing the one on the hill.

Holly: I found myself thinking as you were teaching on Moses, What if he had been too proud to say, "Yes, I weary; pick up my arms"? What if he had said, "I can handle this; I'm okay; I'm fine"? God knew the only way the victory was going to come was if there were three people on that hill involved at that moment. He was humble enough to let them lift his arms. Because of that, there was victory.

Nancy: Any other way that you've seen that illustrated in your own life? On one side or the other? Either being the one on the hill or the one in the valley?

Woman 1: I justed to say about Moses, if he had been too proud, it was obvious that he was failing. I think that fact that he had two people with him . . .  He didn't go up on the hill alone; he didn't expect to be alone.

Nancy: It's interesting to me that the Scripture didn't tell us whether he solicited their help or whether they just saw that this man is in trouble and they reached out to help. I think sometimes it happens one way and sometimes the other. Sometimes we can't even catch our breath to say, "I need help."

But when we as the body of Christ see someone else who is gasping for air, whose hands are weary, who is falling in the battle, we need to come to their side, whether they have asked for it or not, and say, "Can I lift up your hands? Can I pray for you?" Then the person in need needs to have the humility enough to say, "Yes, I'll let you."

Jean: Another thing’s been brought to mind during your teaching and it’s with my son. He got through a meth addiction and has been off that for six years, but he has fallen into another immoral lifestyle, and I have dropped the rod. I haven’t been on the hill. The embarrassment, it’s hard to even talk to people and let them know, but I need to ask for help with prayer.

Nancy: I think sometimes it’s hard because it’s been a long time and people have prayed for us. They have supported us. And I sometimes feel and, Jean, I think you may as well, people have carried us for so long, do they really care enough to continue carrying this with me. I think some of the embarrassment is just having to go back again and saying, “There’s still this situation going on.” But it’s interesting that this was not a short haul situation for Moses. It was till the going down of the sun that he accepted the help, that the help was there.

Ladies, life is messy and sometimes we just need to get with each other under that burden, under the rod, in the battle, over the long haul. We’re asking people through this ministry to stay faithful in their marriage even if it’s difficult over years and years and years in some cases, but I think it would be really wrong if those women had to do that alone.

Now they’re the one who has to do it, but they should have people around them who are praying, carrying that burden with them, same with the son or daughter who’s in long-term issues or failure or need. Nobody should have to carry that burden alone. If you don’t need it now, you may be in a position of giving it to somebody else, but the day may come when you are the one needing it.

We alternate sometimes in those roles. Jean, you have been in a huge position of lifting up other people's arms in their battles. You've done that for me many times. As I'm listening to you I'm saying, I need to have a role of lifting up Jean's arms and helping her stay steady to the going down of the sun.

We need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul with each other. It’s not easy. As I said, intercession is work. It’s hard work. It’s long work. But it’s vital, fruitful work. God hears and answers prayer.

Kathy: I think it’s been about twelve years ago that I had a friend say, “I have a friend who is pulling her children out of the public school and is going to begin home schooling and her oldest was an eighth grader." I casually said, "Sure, I’ll pray," and I did. But the blessing has been all mine and through the years God has lifted her up to hold my hands up faithfully.

It has been amazing the similar journey that the Lord has taken us on. I can remember the year that both of us lost our fathers and the Lord has been faithful to have us be there for one another. We have loved each other’s children and prayed for one another’s children through the years. I have often accused her of loving my children more than I love my children.

She prays deeply and intimately for them. It’s been all my privilege when I casually said, “Sure, I’ll pray.” So I’m grateful to the Lord for her willingness to be that Moses and Aaron in my life and we have spent many hours at Sonic praying in our cars for one another.

Nancy: Kelly, do you have any perspective on this? Do you want to add?

Kelly: I would just say that the Lord has blessed me beyond measure with Kathy and she truly is a spiritual warrior. I know that just as she has said, I think she has loved my children as much or more as I love them. It has been a privilege knowing that when the battle gets tough, she is on that hill making intercession for me and my family. I’m just grateful to the Lord for her friendship.

Nancy: How many of you want somebody praying for your children and you not having to do that battle alone? So many seasons in your children’s lives . . . Let me say, some of you older women, that may be the time for you to get on the hill for some of these younger moms. Some of you younger moms who are gasping for air right now, the time will come when you will be doing that for maybe your children and their children.

In seasons of life we move in and out of these roles. At any given season we’re probably a Moses in someone’s life and probably an Aaron and Hur in somebody else’s life. At all times we’re a Joshua, needing the prayer of the one up on the hill.

In the family of God, in the body of Christ, we should not have to be running this race alone, waging this war alone, raising kids alone, loving husbands alone, in the workplace alone. That’s where the body needs to be the body.

There are practical ways we can serve one another. There are practical ways we can help each other and support each other. Moms need practical help sometimes with their young children, but there is no more practical, meaningful, powerful way to invest in someone else’s life than to be lifting them up in prayer.

I hope that you have a friend like Kathy and Kelly have been to each other. That you can go through the long haul with each other. You say, “I don’t have anybody like that in my life.” Then you start investing in someone else’s life that way and when you need the Aaron or the Hur to come to your side, God will bring that person.

There are people who pray for me that I don’t even know pray for me. You say, “How do you know if you don’t know?” Well, I get letters from people, emails, I meet people in conferences saying I pray for you every day. People I’ve never met. People I’ve never heard of. But God put it on their heart to pray.

I’m saying, who is God putting on my heart? Somebody I don’t know personally but somebody who maybe is in public ministry or someone that I see with an area of need. Who is God putting on my heart and am I fulfilling my role that God has given me in that person’s life? If we are asleep on the job, who is going to do it?

Who is going to pray for your husband and his moral faithfulness, his spiritual growth, his walking with God, his being protected from the evil one? Who is going to pray for that if you don’t? Who’s going to carry that burden more than you do? Probably no one. Who’s going to care for your children, that you become a Moses and an Aaron and a Hur for their lives as they’re growing up? Then we come alongside and do that for each other.

Anyone else?

Susan: God has just richly blessed me with a woman who loves the Lord and loves my children as much as I do. Ten years ago my husband and I were separated and on the verge of divorce, but God in His infinite grace and mercy tendered my heart and showed me areas of sin in my life and humbled me, showed me pride that I had in relationship to my husband and how I was defaming him.

He broke my heart and brought me back into a right relationship with Him and my mother-in-law faithfully on a daily basis stood in the gap for both me and my husband and our relationship is restored. My husband’s not walking with the Lord at this point in his life, and I am weary. Your teaching today, Nancy, has shown me that I’ve got to come along beside other sisters in Christ and ask them for help. I just praise the Lord for you and your ministry and especially for my mother-in-law. I’m so thankful that God allowed her to come with me today.

Nancy: Thank you, Susan. Holly, I want you to just move over to Jewel here. Don’t make her stand up. This is Jewel, the mother-in-law. Jewel were there times, have there been times in that battle when you were tempted to give up or got weary in the praying?

Jewel: Yes, there is times that I have tried to give up, but I have the one son and I love Susan like she’s my daughter. I always have. But I keep on. We’re both praying for my son.

Nancy: What keeps you keeping on?

Jewel: I just cannot give up. He’s my son. I love him, and I love the Lord, and I love my grandchildren better than anything in the world. I just can’t give up. I don’t think any of us can give up on our children.

Nancy: Thank the Lord for moms and grandmoms and mothers-in-law who have said, “We’re not going to give up.” Who realize this is a spiritual battle. You don’t fight spiritual battles with criticism, with negativity, with anger, with resentment, with bitterness. You fight it with the "weapons of our warfare, which are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:4–6 NKJV). That’s spiritual warfare. You do that in the place of prayer.

Susan: I’m one of these . . . you talked about a stubborn determination to do it all on your own. I’m the oldest in my family, so I’m supposed to be the strong one. I’ve got a younger sister. She was telling me the other day that when my mom died eleven months ago, she said, “Susan, it just seemed like you never cared because you never seem like you grieved.”

I said, “Well, I just felt like I was supposed to be the strong one for my dad because I told my mom that I would take care of my dad and my sister.” So I’m stubborn and the one who’s supposed to take care of everybody else.

Three or four days before my daughter was going to get married, my dad went in the hospital. I stayed with him all day and I was just crying out to the Lord because there were so many things for the wedding I needed to do. On that Thursday when he had his stroke, there were so many friends—old friends from my past that loved my father. He was such a godly man. They all came.

They were in and out all day long and one of them came twice and she said, “Susan, I know you’ve got things you’ve got to do. We all love your dad, and he would want you to go help your daughter.”

So she said, “I will organize people to pray, and I will organize people to come stay with him.” My husband offered to come that night till midnight and then she had people come in all the next day. That just showed me that I don’t need to be so stubborn that I don’t accept people’s help in prayer and practical things.

The next day Colleen and her husband were getting the church ready. They’d been there I think since 6:00 or 7:00 that morning, and we got the call of code blue for my dad on Friday. They just said you go on and Brian will take care of it here. I had so many people that took care of so many things for me, and I’m so grateful. I don’t think I realized that so many people were there and would be there.

When he died that Friday night, so many of these older friends that have loved us for so long were at the hospital with me and my sister and I had to make that decision, and I think it was the hardest decision ever to actually ask them not to bring him back. They were all there praying with us and lifting us up during that time.

Then the next morning for the wedding in some ways it was a relief because I knew I did not have to worry about getting a call during the wedding or something. All day long it was almost like I know there were so many people praying because there was such a peace and a comfort there that only could have come through people’s prayers. 

Leslie: A powerful reminder that we need each other. Some of our listeners have been sharing some of the insights they’ve gotten out of our current series from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s called "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 1): Learning to Be Victorious." This series shows why biblical accounts of Moses and Joshua are more than just nice stories. Studying the Bible can sustain you in a hospital room or wherever your battle finds you.

Do you ever have trouble developing a consistent habit of being in the Word of God? We’d like to help you get more out of time alone with the Lord through the Bible and prayer by sending you Nancy’s book, A Place of Quiet Rest.

She knows what it’s like to feel like roadblocks or busyness are keeping you from spending time with the Lord. She addresses those problems. She shows you why connecting with Him is so important. She explains how to develop more of a hunger for the Lord. And she gives you helpful strategies for a more consistent devotional life.

When you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any size, we’ll send you A Place of Quiet Rest. It’s the final day we’ll be making this offer, so give us a call and ask for the book—one per household. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Do you ever dream about the wonderful ministry you could accomplish if others would just give you more responsibility. Well, tomorrow learn how to faithfully serve even if you’re bursting with ideas and the people in charge don’t seem to listen. Joshua was a follower before he was a leader. We’ll continue looking at his example on Revive Our Hearts.

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

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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