Together in PrayerTogether in Prayer
Leslie Basham: When Priscilla Shirer spoke at True Woman ’12 this past September, she was impressed by how much time was spent at the conference in prayer.
Priscilla Shirer: Very rarely do you find a conference setting where there are so many women gathered. Maybe at a smaller setting, maybe if there are 50 or 100 women you see this more frequently, but when you get into the thousands, you very rarely see so much time set aside where together we are literally grabbing hands, and we’re saying, “Lord, come and revive our marriages; revive our children; revive our own hearts.”
Very rarely do you see time actually scheduled for that. There might be a prayer chapel somewhere, and you can go pray if you want to, and that’s a valid thing. But very rarely do you say, “All 8,000 of us, we’re getting ready to pray, and we’re going to do it all together, and you’re not going to leave and go to the bathroom or go get some coffee. You’re going to pray, too, because this is equally important as worship time, equally important as listening to that speaker that you came to hea. Us seeking the face of God is important.”
It certainly is a model that I’m going to try to seek to stress and follow even in our own events and conferences where the Lord may put us, just to impress upon people the importance of getting on our knees together and seeking the face of God.
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, December 7.
You know how you always hear that public speaking is a situation most people fear the most? Well, imagine getting up in front of 8,200 women, unsure of what to talk about. Nancy Leigh DeMoss was in that situation. Today you’ll hear how God provided just what she needed.
Here are a couple of other reasons to listen: You’ll hear several impassioned prayers for women in various seasons of life. You can pray along and be encouraged when you hear prayers that pertain to you.
And finally, you’ll be reminded of the value of prayer. You’ll be inspired to pray with those around you who need encouragement.
Here’s Nancy describing her preparation for the conference True Woman ’12: Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In the months leading up to the True Woman conference, I knew that I was scheduled to speak at the beginning of the conference on the opening night, and then also to give a closing message at the end of the conference on Saturday morning.
I got direction for my opening message to do a session on seeking the Lord, but over the course of those months, I could not get any sense of direction about what the Lord wanted me to share for the closing session.
I prayed. I sought the Lord. I tried. I studied. I fought hard. I jotted down a lot of notes about what might be the way to close the conference, but I could not get any direction that I felt really clear about.
And that went on until the conference started. Still at the opening of the conference, I thought, “I don’t know what I’m speaking about during the closing session,” which was on the printed schedule that I would be doing a closing message.
Once the conference started, it was non-stop activity, speaking sessions, meeting women, and just no time to work further on that message. So we got to Saturday morning, and I still did not know what I was going to be speaking on.
I took with me to the session that morning a document that I’d printed off my laptop. It was a few pages of miscellaneous notes, some thoughts that I’d had, but nothing that had come together as a message.
The other thing that had been on my heart for some weeks, and I’d been asking the Lord about, I’d just felt we needed some meaningful way to close the conference—kind of a put a bow around the package that would be memorable for the women and would be a take-home for them. I couldn’t get any great ideas on that either. So I’d been thinking about it, pondering it, and, again, I went into that closing session Saturday morning still not sure how we would end the conference.
Well, the first part of the morning was so meaningful as we heard from Janet Parshall—she shared a spiritual state of the union message. Then we heard Pastor Bill Elliff and the director of our ministry, Byron Paulus, share about the OneCry for Revival initiative.
We challenged the women about seeking the Lord together for spiritual awakening, and there was such a great response of the women—a heartfelt response—that we not only needed to cry out to the Lord on our own behalf, but that we needed to be crying out on behalf of others—our churches, our communities, our nation, and the nations of the world.
So finally the time came for me to get up and close the conference with a closing session. As I’d been sitting on the front row and thinking that morning, I was reminded of a burden I’d had over the past several days, and that was to pray for the women at the conference—women in different demographics and seasons of life—and to take some time to cry out on behalf of those women.
It became apparent to me as I saw there that that’s what we needed to do to close the conference; that there was a reason the Lord hadn’t given me direction for that closing message; that we were to close that conference in a way similar to how we had started it—and that was in a prayer meeting.
We didn’t have this planned. We didn’t have it scripted. I was sitting there on the front row, again, just thinking, “How can we do this? What are some different categories of women who are experiencing needs in their lives that we could pray for corporately?” And those categories began to come to my mind.
I wanted us to pray for women who were in difficult marriages, for women who had prodigal children, for single women, and several categories like that. And then I thought, “The speakers for this event had been so engaged, so present throughout the weekend in seeking the Lord together and in the months leading up to the conference as well. We had been seeking Him together.” And I said, “Let’s get these people together and up on the platform so that they can join me in leading this time of prayer.”
So I was making notes on a little piece of paper as I walked up to the platform. I didn’t have time, really, to give a lot of direction to the speakers and leaders who joined me on the platform. But the Lord knew this was exactly the way we needed to close this conference.
So these several women came and joined me on the platform at the podium. And what was particularly sweet about it was that throughout that whole convention center, during the conference, we had at different places on the floor white circles that we had invited women to step into and to pray, “Lord, please send revival to this place, and let it begin inside this circle. Let it begin in me.”
And the most obvious white circle in that convention center was on the floor around the podium. So any speaker who came to the platform to speak was standing inside that circle. It was a symbolic and powerful and beautiful thing for those of us who stood in that space to realize that we are saying, “Not only are we asking God to send revival to others, we’re asking God to send revival to us, to start the work in us.”
So as we all went to the platform—five other women and myself—we stood inside that circle on the platform, and the women in the auditorium could see that we were joining together, seeking the Lord, letting Him work first in our lives, and then letting Him use us as instruments of revival to intercede on behalf of others. As we came together, we joined our hearts, our hands, and linked together to cry out to the Lord on behalf of the women in that auditorium.
It’s hard for me to describe exactly what took place over those next twenty minutes or so at the close of that conference as women in different categories would stand in order to be prayed for. Women were saying, “My marriage is in trouble. I need prayer” or “I have a prodigal son or daughter or grandchild. I need prayer.” They would stand for prayer, and then the women around them—all across that auditorium—would come around them and put their hands on them or just circle around them and join in praying as one of the speakers would lead us in prayer from the platform.
All I can say is that auditorium became a giant birthing room, to use an analogy that all moms understand, as we cried out to the Lord in labor and travailed on behalf of those with these various areas of need.
I don’t know that I can remember a time when I’ve heard a group of women more earnestly, fervently cry out to the Lord corporately, seeking Him together, one cry, one heart cry, saying, “Lord, we need You, and we cry out on behalf of these who’ve expressed this need.” It was so powerful, so precious, so moving. I believe God heard those prayers as we united our hearts to seek Him together.
What a powerful ending it was to that event, and yet, not an ending. I believe it was, in many senses, a beginning, as we’ve now heard many stories of women who left that conference to go back into their churches and their communities to be intercessors, to start prayer meetings in their local church, or to prayer walk in their neighborhood, to cry out to the Lord with others who have a similar heart and say, “Lord, please come and revive Your people, revive our hearts, glorify Yourself in our day.”
I’m so thankful that our media team was able to capture some photographs of this really special time as well as some video of segments of this prayer time. Let me encourage you to go to our website, www.ReviveOurHearts.com, and there will be a link there to that video and some of those photographs, so that you can enter into this experience in a more personal way yourself.
My prayer is that not only will you join with us in praying together as you hear these prayers, but that your heart will be stirred to join with others across this country and around the world who are crying out to the Lord in prayer.
Undoubtedly, there are people around you who fall into one or more of these categories. Maybe their marriage is in trouble, or they’re crying themselves to sleep at night over a wayward son or daughter or grandchild, or they may be a single who is experiencing loneliness during this holiday season of the year. God may want to use you as an instrument to reach into their life and to say, “I’d like to pray for you” or “I’d like to get a group of people to pray together for you.”
Maybe you’re saying, “I’m in one of those categories. I need someone to pray for me.” Listen, don’t hesitate. Whatever your need, whether it seems big or small, to reach out to another believer in your life and say, “I need prayer. Would you pray for me?”
We need each other. We need to lift each other up to God’s amazing throne of grace so that we can find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. That’s really what happens as we cry out to the Lord on behalf of each other in prayer.
Nancy (conference): I’m going to ask Priscilla if you would lead us in praying for these women with prodigal children, that God would intervene in those kids’ lives and give these mothers grace and wisdom to know how to love well, when to speak, when to be quiet—hundreds and hundreds of women in this situation. Let’s all join our hearts together and just pray, if you would, and lead us as we cry out for these women.
Priscilla (conference): I just wonder if you might reach out and touch a mom that’s near you, if you’re not already—let’s just be the body of Christ and surround them as we pray for them.
Lord Jesus, I thank You right now that You have made these women with tender hearts for those children that You have given them. So Lord, I pray right now in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, that You would arrest the heart of every son, of every daughter, of every daughter-in-law, of every grandchild, of every son-in-law that is represented by the mothers and the grandmothers in this room.
I pray that right now, in the name of Jesus, wherever that child is, whatever they’re doing, that they wouldn’t even recognize that You are weaving a web of events right where they are, to turn their attention back to You and bring their hearts back home to their moms and their dads.
Lord, I’m just praying that You would weave together a web of events that begins to turn them inside out so that they cannot escape; they cannot run from the destiny You have planned for their life.
Lord, would You be the hound of heaven? Would You hunt them down, Lord Jesus? Would You not let them get away and escape Your plan You have for them, Lord Jesus?
I pray that if the enemy has any assignment against these young folks and their families, that right now that assignment would be cancelled in Jesus’ name and by His blood shed on Calvary.
In the meanwhile, Lord, I’m praying that You would give an extra measure of Your patience and Your peace and Your joy to these moms and grandmothers that are represented here; that You would give them longsuffering in their prayer. Lord, keep them on their knees with their faces turned toward You in full expectation and anticipation. May the work You have started, not only in the lives of the kids but in their lives as well, that the work You have started, You are faithful, and You will bring it to completion.
In Jesus’ name we commit these families to You, expecting to see a great harvest. In Jesus’ name, all God’s women shouted and said, “Amen.” (Applause and “Amens”)
Nancy (conference): Amen. Thank you so much. Okay, I want to ask pastors’ wives (and we’re just going to move through several categories here) . . . If you’re a pastor’s wife or your husband serves in vocational ministry of some sort, would you just stand? We want to thank the Lord for you. We want to pray for you. And Rebecca, come join me if you would. (Sounds of applause.)
I want Rebecca Lutzer, who is the wife of Dr. Erwin Lutzer, the pastor of the Moody Church, to pray and cry out on behalf of these women. Again, if one is near you, come around her, put your hand on her, circle her, pray for her. We want her to know that she’s loved and carried to the throne of grace. Rebecca, lead us if you would.
Rebecca Lutzer (conference): Oh Almighty God, Heavenly Father, we are a broken people. We’re broken from sin and from trials and poverty in spirit, and perhaps poverty in finances, and so many things are overwhelming us in our world today. We come to You now and ask that You would break us in spirit as we’ve heard so much truth; that we would not let this go.
And Father, I do pray for these precious women who stand beside the men of God that You’ve called to open the Word of God and to teach us and break the Bread week after week. Oh Lord, would You strengthen them emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. There’s so many demands and so many expectations, and they don’t always match up.
And, Lord, for these women, may they trust You to give them everything they need, to honor You in their marriage, to encourage their husband, to build him up, to stand beside him.
And then, Lord, for their families and all that You’ve called them to do, may they be careful to choose the right and the best things.
And as they are examples, as they are walking and standing in front of so many other women, may their lives be pure and holy, and that You would just help them in every way to honor You.
Thank You for the privilege that we have to be pastors’ wives. May we have a gentle, quiet spirit as we walk in Your Word and in Your will.
Thank You for this weekend. Thank You for what You’re doing. Do Your God-work in each one of us, we pray, in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
Nancy (conference): Amen. I want to ask Dannah Gresh to pray for these young women and for mothers of teens that God would be passing the baton of faith on to this next generation, that they would be true young women of God. Pray for the moms and the daughters.
Dannah Gresh (conference): Father God, we just thank You that they are here to fill their hearts with truth, to plant themselves in the presence of the loving, living God of the universe. Father, may they live above the lies of this culture, the lies of the enemy, and the lies that they themselves have been empowering by dwelling on them. And may they instead live in permanent truth, that it might be staked in their heart, and they might live it out.
Oh Father God, I pray that You would move them out of their prayer boxes where they use crutches. Father, good things like prayer meetings and prayer times in the morning and journals, but, God, move them out of those places into a prayer life where they have a living, loving conversation with You every moment of every day, where their heart is obedient to You and listening.
Train us to live godly, self-controlled lives in this corrupt generation. And, Lord, may they do that as they wait for the glorious hope of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because if they are married one day, that marriage will be a picture of the gospel, a picture of Christ and the Church. Father, we just say that the enemy cannot have that picture, in the name of Jesus, this generation will carry it well. In Your holy name we pray this, amen. (“Amens” and applause)
Nancy (conference): Okay, I want to ask if you are married and in a difficult marriage, or your marriage is struggling in some way and you want prayer for your marriage. Now, if you’re standing, that doesn’t mean that your marriage is hanging by a thread necessarily. We’re not going to judge. God knows the hearts. But if you want prayer for your marriage, I want to ask you to stand. I’m going to ask Kim to intercede. Again, come around these women who say, “I need prayer for my marriage.” Put your arms around them. Intercede in your heart for them as Kim leads us in prayer.
Kim Wagner (conference): Oh God, we do cry out to You. You are the faithful Father. You are our redeeming God. I ask that Your transforming power would fall on the lives of these women, and that as they return home, they would return home with a desire to glorify You in their marriage, that revival would begin in their heart, that it would overflow into their marriage, and into their home.
I ask that You would do the same work You did in my life with my husband and our marriage. Would You do that work? I’m asking for an Ephesians 3:20 work that is beyond what these women can think or imagine in their marriages, in their homes, and it would affect their children, and it would affect the other marriages around them. It would affect their churches and their communities.
Oh God, would You bring revival through marriages being a demonstration of the gospel. As other people see these lives changed, they would say, “There is a God. There is a God who can bring transformation.”
Would You do that work, oh God? And not just for the joy that it would bring to the husbands and wives, and for the security that it would bring to their children. God, would You do this transforming work in marriages for Your great name’s sake, that people will know that You are the life-changing God?
Would You bring transformation for Your glory, that Your glory will fill this earth? And we ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Nancy (conference): I’d like to invite all my single sisters to stand—never married, single again, widowed, whatever season of life you’re in. If you are a single woman, I’d like to pray for you.
Oh Lord, I pray for my sisters who are in many different seasons of life. I pray for those who are longing for something that You have not yet granted—a godly husband. I pray, Lord, that You would grant the desire of their hearts if that is in accordance with Your will. I pray that whether You do or don’t, that those desires would not become demands.
I pray that You would satisfy their souls in a deep way, in a way that only Christ can, whether a woman is married or single. Encourage them, Lord, strengthen them, and meet their needs, I pray, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Nancy: Well, we’re still hearing stories about what the Lord did in the lives of the 8,000+ women who were part of the True Woman ’12 conference that Revive Our Hearts hosted back in the fall. Let me tell you about one of them:
A woman wrote us and said, “I was about to divorce my husband when I left to come to Indianapolis.”
While she was at the conference, she says, “God got my attention.”
She went on: “I realized that my unhappiness was a heart condition and had very little to do with my husband or children. My attitude had been horrible.”
Well this woman attended a breakout session at the conference with Elyse Fitzpatrick, and she said, “Elyse’s session on the gospel was truly life changing for me. I’d been trying so hard to live up to the good-Christian-girl image. I had felt a constant sense of failure. This conference renewed me and brought me peace that I had not felt in a very long time.”
Well, that’s just one encouraging example of many women who came to a turning point in their lives during the True Woman conference. We’re asking the Lord to multiply stories like these many times over in the year ahead.
There are so many women out there, like this one, about to do something tragic, like file for divorce. The Lord is using Revive Our Hearts to get the attention of these women at just the right time.
Did you know that you can be part of their stories? Let me explai. December is a critical month for Revive Our Hearts. Usually about 40% of the donations that we receive for the entire year arrive during the month of December. So your donation right now will make a big difference in our ability to be there for women when they need to hear biblical truth.
Recently, God put something special on the hearts of some generous friends of the ministry. They wanted to be part of the story, to partner with Revive Our Hearts in 2013. So they are doubling the gift of every listener this month up to a matching challenge amount of $450,000. That means that when you donate by December 31, you’re helping us to meet and, Lord willing, to far exceed this challenge, and we really do need to exceed the challenge.
So if this ministry has been a blessing that God has used in some way in your life, and you’d like to be part of the story God is writing in others’ lives, we need to hear from you. You can go to ReviveOurHearts.com where you can get details on the matching challenge and on our year-end needs. And when you go there, as the Lord prompts, you can also make a donation.
Or if you prefer, you can give us a call and let us know you’d like to contribute toward this matching challenge. The number to call is 1-800-569-5959.
Thanks so much for partnering with us and being part of the story that God is writing in the lives of women.
Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.
Wonderful Counsel, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace—do you feel like you hear these names of Christ more at Christmas than other times? Nancy Leigh DeMoss will explore these important names starting Monday. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.