Cry Out for Revival
About the Guest
Cry Out! A Nationwide Prayer Event for Women. September 23, 2016.
The Gathering. September 21, 2016. To unite the Body of Christ in America - all believers, regardless of race, age, or denomination - in prayer for forgiveness, wisdom, and provision for our nation.
books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—...more
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth talks about an exciting new event called “Cry Out For Revival” by Revive Our Hearts. Nancy invites women to cry out to God together in prayer for our broken world.
Cry Out for Revival
Bob: It’s almost reflexive for us in times of trouble, or hardship, or calamity to cry out to God. Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
Nancy: Whether it’s a broken marriage, a prodigal child, a nation that’s a prodigal nation, or a prodigal planet—we see the invasion of evil, and immorality, and terrorism: “What can we do?” People kept saying to me about this upcoming election: “What can we do? What can we do?” And I’ve been saying, “Well, I know what I can do, and that’s call women to pray.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, August 12th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Can it really make a difference in a nation if God’s people cry out to Him in prayer and ask Him to heal their land? We’ll talk about that today with our guest, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. I think a lot of listeners would probably be surprised to know that, back in March of 1863 / in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called the nation to a day of fasting and prayer.
Bob: The thought of a President calling the nation to fast and pray seems so out of character. In fact, today, you think—if a President did that, there might be civil libertarians who would be upset at the call. But in that day, people not only heard the call, they responded to the call and prayed for God to be merciful to the nation that was so divided.
Dennis: He believed that God was the Lord God Almighty and whatever freedoms America had came from God. He did call upon Almighty God to come and heal our country.
There is another cry going out today by a friend of ours. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth joins us on FamilyLife Today. Nancy, welcome back. It’s been a long time since you’ve been at FamilyLife.
Nancy: It has. It’s so good to be back—all those years ministering together as Nancy Leigh DeMoss—
Nancy: —and now, here, as Nancy Wolgemuth—it is a joy.
Dennis: It is fun to have you back. I’ve got something in the front of my Bible that really pertains to what we’re going to talk about today—we’re going to talk about crying out to God. I have a unique habit—I collect memorial programs from funerals and memorial services that I go to. Now, that sounds kind of morbid at one point. But Ecclesiastes 7 says that it’s good to go to the house of mourning—in the end, that’s where we’re all headed—and it says the living, who attend those events, “…take it to heart.”
And as soon as I open this, you’re going to recognize whose service memorial—
Dennis: —I have.
Nancy: Yes; Vonette Bright.
Dennis: And I write on these. I write how people described her.
She was a woman of prayer.
Dennis: She infected you, as a young lady, with her love for prayer. It had a great impact on your life.
Nancy: She’s really like a second mother to me, and she was—can I use this word?—indefatigable about getting people to pray—and particularly, calling women to pray. At one point, she said—this was a couple of years ago—and she knew that she didn’t have long to live—she said, “I think we’ve got to get 100,000 women together in the Cotton Bowl to cry out to God and pray.” Now, she’s handing me this baton and saying, “You need to do this.”
Dennis: You know, it occurs to me—some of our listeners may be thinking, “Now, I’ve heard that name, Vonette Bright.” Well, she was a cofounder of Campus Crusade for Christ®—now Cru®—the wife of Bill Bright. It’s the organization that started FamilyLife and FamilyLife Today.
Bob: One of the times when you visited with Vonette about this subject, you were starting to seek the Lord:
“Is this what He would have you do? Should you try to marshal women to gather together for prayer?” You recorded the conversation.
Nancy: I did. Actually, she wasn’t doing well, physically, at the time—she was medicated. She was kind of out of it, but I said to her at the end of our visit: “Vonette, I just love to hear about your burden for women and prayer.” I took an iPhone—just stuck it in front of her face—and she gave us several minutes. She became so lucid / so clear and just opened up her heart about the burden to get women to pray.
Bob: We’ve got the audio of that. We’re going to let our listeners hear—what was then—just a one-on-one conversation. It does, I think, clearly present what was the burden of her heart and what has become the burden of your heart on this. Let’s listen to Vonette Bright.
Vonette: We are at a time of moral crisis in this country. It’s just been building for a number of years. Nobody is saying, “No,” today.
We’re just letting people haphazardly go about whatever they want to do. It just seems that we’re falling apart with all of the brutality that is taking place. Who would have ever thought that, in our lifetime, we would see the slaughter of people being beheaded—it is so senseless! We’re not standing up against this.
I believe that women can make a change. I have felt, since I was a young girl, that women largely hold the key to the moral factors of a nation and of any society and the standards of women determine the moral standards of the society.
And I don’t know whether the Lord is getting ready to come or just exactly what’s happening; but I believe that our greatest source for change is prayer.
As we pray, God will give us influence to see what we can do to make change. I’ve had a burden for a long time to see 100,000 women come together to call out to God in unity for a spiritual awakening in this land. Now, I don’t have any strategy for this or anything of the sort; but there are women that God’s going to put His hand on, I’m sure, to say, “This is a call for you.”
When women pray, God works—whether it’s in a home, or whether it’s in a community, or whatever. God honors the prayers of the wailing women. We need to be crying out to God to show us what we can do personally, but that—what we might be able to do, united, as women, to make a difference in this land.
Dennis: She was exactly right.
Dennis: Our country, as never before—and Barbara and I went to bed the other night—after watching a documentary on certain matters that are impacting our nation right now—just really burdened and troubled. It’s like, “I don’t know what else to do.” This is a matter of God reaching down, and touching lives, and changing hearts, and creating a new fabric of love, and of morality, and of peace, and kindness, and graciousness to one another. The Christian community ought to lead the charge.
Nancy: And you know in the Scripture, there were so many times when God’s people were in desperate straits. I’ve been living in the Book of Jeremiah for the last several weeks. There and elsewhere in the Scripture, you see that God’s prescription for these times—
—that God actually uses these times to bring us to the end of ourselves to make us realize that we have no other solution / no other hope other than to humble ourselves and cry out to Him.
When we get to the place that we realize, “There’s no political party / there’s no person in the White House that’s going to be able to solve these issues—the issues are going to be solved in God’s house”—then, you read in Jeremiah 9—“Call for the wailing women to come.” That’s what Vonette referred to in that little clip there. And the women who are grieving, who are mourning, who are burdened, who are concerned, and who know that God is our hope—and as Psalm 34 tells us—that when the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears.
And you see this over and over again through Scripture. When people’s backs are against the wall—whether it’s an individual, or a family, or a country—the people of God, when they cry out, God hears and God changes things.
Now, He may not change everything now that we would like to see changed; but there is no hope apart from divine intervention.
Bob: Vonette talked about God putting this burden on the hearts of other people.
Bob: You’re one of those people. You, actually, have an event scheduled where you are hoping that women from all around the world—actually, this is something that women in any country can be a part of—a night of intercessory prayer. It’s called Cry Out, and it’s happening on Friday night, September 23rd. There’s going to be a group in Indianapolis that’s going to be praying—several thousand women there. But there are going to be tens of thousands—hopefully, hundreds of thousands—joining them via satellite in local churches / in living rooms, all across the country, as a part of this Cry Out event.
Nancy: Yes; Vonette’s vision was that we would get 100,000 women together in one location.
You know, she didn’t understand, I think, the power of social media, and internet,—
Nancy: —and technology to bring women together, who weren’t in the same venue. Actually, I love it this way because I’m envisioning that there will be thousands of groups of women, in locations all across the United States and around the world, who will come together that night for three hours. It may be 20 people in a living room. It may be 200 people in a church. I know a woman in Texas who is renting a convention center because they want to be a part of this.
All they need is Wi-Fi and a screen to show the event. It’s not a spectator event. We’re going to be crying out together, joining hands, linking hearts to say, “Lord, we need You.” People like Joni Eareckson Tada, Kay Arthur—they and others will be joining with us from different places around the country and leading us in praying about different aspects of the things that are on our hearts as women.
Dennis: This idea of crying out comes from Psalm 34, verse 17. It says, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Comment, if you would, Nancy, just your own experience and, also, the experience of others who cry out. God is near—He’s near the brokenhearted and wants to reach out and help.
Nancy: I’m thinking about—many years ago, when I had just had a breakup with a boyfriend, and I called my dad to tell him what had happened, and I was kind of heartbroken at the moment—he said to me / I was living in a different state—he said, “Honey, do you want me to come down there?” He heard his daughter’s cry; and he said, “Do you want me to come?”
And over and over again—in Scripture, and history, and in our own lives—we see this pattern that, when we get to a place where we have no hope, no help, we don’t know what else to do—
—we’re at our wits end / our back is up against a wall—when we cry out to the Lord, He hears and He comes. Now, He doesn’t always answer in exactly the way we would want Him to or the way we would script it; but He answers in a way that will bring Him glory. The Scripture tells us, that when we cry out to Him, He hears and, then, He is glorified because everybody knows, “Only God could have come and rescued this situation,”—whether it’s a broken marriage, a prodigal child, a nation that’s a prodigal nation, or a prodigal planet.
We see the invasion of evil, and immorality, and terrorism—“What can we do?” People kept saying to me about this upcoming election: “What can we do? What can we do?” I’ve been saying, “Well, I know what I can do; and that’s call women to pray,”—that we can do.
Dennis: At the very essence, prayer demonstrates faith.
Dennis: And as you were talking, I was just reminded again of this passage from Hebrews 11:6:
“And without faith, it is impossible to please Him”—speaking of God—“for whoever would draw near to God”—listen to this / it says—“must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”
Dennis: The essence of faith is, first, that you believe God is there—and He is—and He continues to do it through individual followers of Christ, today.
Nancy: And I think there is something particularly powerful along that line when we come together to cry out to the Lord—whether it’s a couple, a married couple, or a family, or a church, or a nation of believers. When we come together—I’m thinking back to—Bob, you referred earlier to a historical moment in 1863—but I’m thinking back to 1857 when the nation was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution. People were making money, hand over fist—they didn’t feel any need for God. There was a businessman in New York City who said:
“We need God. We need His intervention. We need to pray.” He posted a sign and called for people to come and pray at noon on September 23, 1857.
Now, September 23 is the day we’re having this Cry Out event for women; but I didn’t remember the connection when we first scheduled that day. Well, it was that day, and only six people came to pray. How disappointed he must have been in this city of so many thousands of people that there were only six who wanted to come and pray. But he said: “We’re not going to stop. We’re going to keep crying out.”
So, the next week they came together, there were more. The next week, there were more. Within just a few weeks, a financial crash hit this country. All of a sudden, where do you think people went?—to the churches to pray. They were desperate, and they started crying out to God. Within a matter of several weeks, there was a reporter who went through New York City to try and find out how many people were really praying at noon day.
It wasn’t just once a week—it was every day by this time. He lost count at 10,000—10,000 businessmen praying every day at noon.
The prayer meetings expanded—they increased. People were praying through the day / through the night at churches, not only all over New York City, but in cities all across this country. In the next several months, historians tell us that, perhaps, a million people—in a nation of 30 million people—came to faith in Jesus Christ. We call it the Third Great Awakening / The Great Prayer Revival. It began with one man who had a burden and said, “We don’t know what God will do, but we know we have to pray.”
Bob: The burden that God has put on your heart—there are others who have a burden as well. Tony Evans—
Bob: —two nights before the Cry Out event that you’re hosting, he’s got an event called The Gathering that’s happening in Dallas with Christian leaders coming together to lead a time of prayer. I think that’s going to be circulated nationally as well. I have to believe, between now and the end of the year, there are going to be more churches, and pastors, and Christian leaders, who are going to say, “We’ve got to pray.”
Bob: Certainly, we would look at our world—and as you said—many people saying, “What do we do in our day?” when we don’t know what else to do. Actually, whether we know what else to do or not, we ought to start by praying; shouldn’t we?
Nancy: You know, I think of that importunate widow in Luke, Chapter 18, who went to the unjust judge and wanted her needs met. She knocked, and she knocked, and she knocked, and she knocked. He didn’t love God / he didn’t care about people; but finally, he just got annoyed with her persistent coming.
I remember the venerable, old Dr. W. A. Criswell, who was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas for many years. I was talking with him one day about his burden for his church and God to send revival. He said, “We’ve got to pray, and we’ve got to pray, and we’ve got to pray until God says, ‘I do believe they’re going to knock the door down if I don’t come and answer.’” [Laughter]
I envision us like that persistent widow saying: “Lord, we need You. We need You. We need You.” What father would not come to the rescue / the attention of his children when he hears that heart cry?
Dennis: A couple of months ago, Barbara and I came up and visited you and Robert and had a delightful meal—just a great time of dinner and fellowship and, also, being on your radio program, Revive Our Hearts. We talked, at that time, about you calling women to pray. I’d have to say, Nancy, I felt that urgency then; but on a one-to-ten point scale, I was about a three or a four. Events that have followed in the last couple of months and since—
Dennis: —have moved that way up.
Dennis: I think we really are in a major crisis and a fork in the road around the soul of this nation.
I think we have to address this spiritually. It is only as we come before the Lord God Almighty that I think we have a chance of seeing Him work and provide the healing and the hope that our country so desperately needs.
Bob: You know, people who feel the same way you do—where there is an escalating burden for our world—can respond to that easily. I was on the Cry Out website—in fact, you can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and there’s a link to the Cry Out website. You can get the information you need about all that’s happening by going there.
But I was there, and I saw the map. And there are pins all around the United States where people have said: “We’re hosting an event. We’re calling people to pray in our city / in our community.” Your church can sign up. There is no cost involved with this. All you have to have, as Nancy said, is a Wi-Fi connection, speakers, and a projector; and you can join the prayer meeting.
You can do it in your living room and call others to come join you for an evening of prayer.
This is on Friday night, September 23rd. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com. The information you need about how you can be involved in this is available there. The website, again, is FamilyLifeToday.com. If you have any questions about the event, call 1-800-FL-TODAY; and we’ll help you with this.
I was just sitting here, thinking, “If there was a blockbuster movie that premiered that weekend, and 100,000 people went to see it—well, it wouldn’t be a blockbuster if it only made a million dollars / they’d say that wasn’t a big deal at all. What if we could gather together more people than would go see a blockbuster movie that night?—and would—you don’t have to pay the $10 to come see the movie—you just come cry out to the Lord.
And I know, this is for women; but I’m just wondering, “Can men sneak in the backdoor and pray?”
Nancy: Listen: women can pray, men can pray, children can pray—anyone can pray. But we’re targeting women in this particular event—
—and going back to that burden that I got from Jeremiah, Chapter 9: “Call for the wailing women to come.” I think, when women get a burden about something, it really impacts the lives of their husbands, their children, their community. Women don’t realize the influence they can have if they will cry out to the Lord.
Bob: Well, once again, if you would like more information about the Cry Out national prayer event on September 23rd, there is a link on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com; or if you have any questions, call 1-800-FL-TODAY.
Dennis: Nancy, I want to thank you, not only for a friendship that goes back several decades, but just for your faithfulness to follow Christ and to be tender to what God wants you to do. I’m glad you are leading this. I’m glad these ladies are coming together, and I hope you have a million.
Dennis: I think that could very well happen because I think there are a lot of people concerned. Would you just pray for our listeners right now? Some of them are in personal situations that, frankly, overshadow what’s happening in our country.
I think they need the prayer of someone who can cry out to God on their behalf.
Nancy: Oh, yes.
Lord, we do come into Your presence / to Your great throne of grace. You’ve told us to be bold and to come and ask You for mercy and to ask You for grace to help us in our time of need.
So, Lord, sitting around this table with these men and those listening in a car, or a living room, or a workplace—we all have different needs, and burdens, and concerns. We, right now, together, lift those up to You. We lift our churches up to You, and we lift our nation up to You and this world. You’ve got the whole world in Your hands. This is not too big for You. We’re not asking for more than You can do. We’re saying, “O Lord, would You have mercy, and would You show grace to Your children as we cry out to You?” As Jehoshaphat of old said:
“We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon You,”—they are, Lord—please!
And into a listener’s heart, into a home, into just an individual situation—I pray that You would extend the helping/healing hand of Jesus and that there would be divine intervention in individuals, in homes, in churches, and in our world.
Please, God, come. Thank You that we know the end of the story—that You win, and that Your kingdom will come, and Your will will be done on this earth as it is in heaven. So, may it be done here and now. We pray for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Bob: Amen. Nancy—thank you for being with us. I think we’ve got just enough time—I’ve got to share a story with both of you. You know, we’ve been celebrating anniversaries all year long. Today, we want to congratulate the Reverend Eldon and Mary Coffey, who are celebrating 70 years together.
The Coffeys live in Grand Junction, Colorado. Eldon Coffey was an Evangelical Free pastor there for 50 years. They’re both in good health as they celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
And here’s the cool part of the whole story—as they celebrate their 70th today, their grandson, Andrew and his new bride, Hannah, are also getting married today. They are both recent graduates of Wheaton College and are going to be living in Wheaton, Illinois. So, what a great day, August 12th, is for the Coffey family as they celebrate a 70-year legacy and as they start a new legacy with Andrew and Hannah getting married today.
We think anniversaries are important, whether you’re celebrating 70 years or just starting your journey.
And at FamilyLife, we’re here to provide you with help and hope, day in and day out.
And with that, we’ve got to wrap things up for this week. Thanks for being with us. Hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend. And I hope you can be back on Monday when we’re going to talk about one of the hardest things any parent will ever have to go through—and that is when a child becomes a prodigal. Phil Waldrep will be here with us. Hope you can join us as well.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
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