Dr. Tim Clinton: Welcome into Family Talk, the broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, cohost at Family Talk. I also serve as president of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Thank you for joining us today. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need." Hey, you know 1 John 5:14 says this, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
Prayer is at the heart of our Christian faith. It's the way that we communicate with the Lord and we bring our hearts to Him. Today's guest looked toward the stars as she began her career as a space shuttle engineer. Now, she has a calling that serves our Heavenly Father as president of Moms in Prayer International. Her name, Sally Burke. In 1990, she was introduced to ministry and felt a calling to pray for children and their schools. She reached out and prayed with other moms, and soon thereafter, she got involved with grassroots prayer group called Moms in Prayer. Dr. Dobson has interviewed their founder Fern Nichols many times before.
Sally, as a faithful prayer warrior, became a Moms in Prayer group leader and then a regional coordinator. In 2008, Sally rose to the position of director of field ministry at the Moms in Prayer headquarters, where her mission was to spread their ministry message of prayer across the world. In 2015, Sally became president of Moms in Prayer International, where she shares her vision that more moms and children will experience God and the life changing power of prayer. She's the author of Raise Them Up, Start with Praise, Unshaken, and an accompanying study guide.
Sally and her husband Ed have four grown children. They have four grandchildren. I love that. And they make their home in California. Sally, welcome into the broadcast. We're so honored, so delighted to have you join us. Dr. Dobson, his wife Shirley send their regards.
Sally Burke: Hi, Dr. Tim. It's so exciting to be with you, and Dr. Dobson is such a dear friend of ours. I've been with him a few times, but the first time Fern was with him, it helped explode our ministry. And I always think you all are partners with us, impacting more children and schools for Christ as we gather together to pray.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, I know this. Dr. Dobson has a fond place in his heart for you all and your ministry. Hey, Moms in Prayer, what two words couldn't be more significant in our culture, especially for such a time as this? Sally, hey, just a quick update on you and Ed and your family. How are the children and the grandchildren?
Sally Burke: Oh, I am so blessed. I have four grandchildren, which of course, I start with them, dear to my heart. And I have four grown children. Three are married. One is engaged. It's just so fun to watch as I have spent years praying for them to see God's hand upon them. And they still need prayer, even though they're grown, even though they're raised. God is still moving in their lives.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, I don't know about you, but for me and Julie, this second go-round, if you will, with these grandkids, it's fun to watch childhood development all over again. When I come home, Olivia grabbed my hand. "Papa, you want to play Pac-Man with me? Papa, you want to go down and ride the bike with me?" Sally, it's amazing. And I'll tell you what. It is everything I was told and everything I thought it would be.
Sally Burke: Yes. Yes. To be a grandparent is a gift from God. And I think about the greatest gift I can give them. I taught the children the word of God, and we send them forth, but we continue by giving them and our grandkids the gift of prayer, unleashing God's power upon their lives, and God has called us to do that. Yes, as we cherish our kids and our grandkids, we must be about prayer on their behalf.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, as a boy, I have a vivid image in my mind that's gone with me throughout my life, and that image was of my dad for a moment. My dad was a pastor, and then he also drove a school bus. And what he would do is he would pick the kids up on the country roads, the dirt roads, and bring them out to the paved roads to meet the big yellow bus. Okay?
Sally Burke: Wow.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And it was a way to supplement our income as a family, but Dad would pick up the high school kids first and then the elementary kids second. Okay? And I remember going by what we called was George Hunter's Garage. It was an old, rundown gas station.
And my dad would be parked there, and the school bus would go by there. And he, every day, would have a book in his steering wheel. And I asked my dad one day, I said, "Dad, what are you doing there?" And he said, "Oh, Tim, that's my private quiet time, and I read the Bible, and then I pray for all of you by name."
Sally, every day, I drove by there and had that in my mind as I looked and saw my dad. I will never forget that. I can still, as a boy, remember listening to my mom on Sunday mornings. We grew up in small country churches, and she would play the piano. She would practice the piano, and I could hear her praying as I was in bed in the mornings. That stuff really does matter.
Sally Burke: It matters eternally. God tells us we have not because we ask not. God knows the plans that He has for our children, far greater than we know. He knows what He wants to do, and we get to partner with God on behalf of our children as we pray. And we want the very best for our children. What a blessed legacy that you have and that you get to pass on to your kids and your grandkids as your parents gave that to you.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, Sally, I know that's why we're here today. We're going to talk about Moms in Prayer, and God has done something that's just been, it's spectacular. It's remarkable. Dr. Dobson had some connection with it. But take us back to Fern Nichols, the founding of all this, and then how you got involved. And give us a quick update on what's happening with Moms in Prayer International.
Sally Burke: Oh, I would love to. Well, Fern Nichols was a mom with two kids that were entering middle school, and she was worried about them. And I believe God allowed that burden to be so heavy on her that she could not carry it alone, so she grabs another mom and says, "Will you pray with me for my children?" And for her children too, and the school.
And that's how it began. It began with just two moms coming together with a burden to pray, and God worked through Fern to give us four powerful yet simple steps of prayer. And we're still two or more women that gather together locally, and we pray. Yet God has exploded this ministry into over 150 countries around the world.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. There's nothing like Mom getting down on her knees and crying out to God for her kids. And Sally, 150 countries. Could you even have imagined the possibility of this? You referenced it, as we were talking before we got on the broadcast, as a sisterhood, that God is binding the hearts together. Tell us what you mean by that.
Sally Burke: Yes. Yes. As we come together, as we pray for one another's children, we fall in love with each other's children. We fall in love with each other. Whatever country I visit, those are my sisters. It can be in Africa. It can be in South America, Central America. It can be in Europe. It can be in the Middle East, or it can be in Oceana. It doesn't matter. We come together with one heart.
God enters the presence of His people as we come together, and that's what He has done. He has transformed our hearts and our minds, and we come together just battling for the lives of the children together.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, everybody has a unique story. Yours is fascinating to me. You started out as a space shuttle engineer. That was where you began your career. And then suddenly, there was a change. Tell us how all that came together.
Sally Burke: Yeah. I always like to say I was a space shuttle engineer BC. That was before children. And that's when I had a mind. After you have kids, you just kind of lose your mind and-
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's funny.
Sally Burke: ... after two kids, I came home, because children were a lot more complicated than any space shuttle, so I needed to come home and focus on them.
My husband was driving back and forth to work, and he was listening to a radio station, and he heard the gospel. He heard who Jesus Christ was. And he comes home, and I have one child in my arms, another one holding onto my hips, and we're welcoming him home. And he had tears in his eyes. He said, "I just received Jesus as my Lord and Savior." And my reaction was, "Whoa. What has happened to my brilliant husband?" And so he bought me a Bible for Christmas, which I thought was unusual, but I read it, and there I saw Jesus was God, and I surrendered my life to Him.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, as I listen to you tell the story, I remember as a boy in church, and I don't know if you remember that old hymn they used to sing, My Mother's Prayers Have Followed Me, but when we used to sing that in church, I remember as a kid, I was kind of sensitive in my heart, about my mother who was down the pew from us. By the way, if we acted up, she'd give us that look. You ever seen that look?
Sally Burke: Yes. Oh, yes. I've given that look.
Dr. Tim Clinton: It's like, "You better straighten up right now, or we're going to drag your tail out of this church. You got what I'm saying?" But I used to think about her praying, and as a boy, it would bring tears to my eyes thinking about how much she loved us and would pray for and over us. Sally, it meant everything, that.
And here, this piece starts getting wired deep into your heart, and it really goes deep. You make a full, wholesale transition into a whole different calling in life.
Sally Burke: Well, a woman invited me to hear Fern Nichols speak about prayer, and all I knew, I was brand new Christian, never prayed out loud, was... I wanted my kids to be blessed by God. I wanted them to find favor in their teacher's eyes. And I went, and I heard Fern, and all I heard was that her kids had been blessed by the hand of God. I went into that first Moms in Prayer group, and I sat there, and I could just feel the presence of God. They welcomed me in. I did not pray out loud at first. I was learning to express myself through prayer, and it took me a few weeks. And that group just kept welcoming me in.
And I began to see answers to prayer, like my son's first grade teacher who asked me to pray for a child that was in the hospital and probably was not going to make it through the weekend. Would we pray? And we prayed. Moms in Prayer, we prayed. That Monday, I ran into her classroom. I go, "Tell me about this child. Tell me about his family." She goes, "He's healed." I'm like, "How did that happen?" She goes, "You prayed." That was my first experience of witnessing the power of prayer.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Man, when people get into trouble, I know this. The first thing they do is to ask somebody to pray. We saw that in a football game recently up there in Buffalo, where Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety, who was injured in national TV on Monday Night Football, the entire world watching that game. And what'd they go to?
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: They went to prayer. And Sally, when we pray, it opens heaven's doors, doesn't it?
Sally Burke: Oh. Oh. One of my favorite things to witness is women come in with all their fears, all their worries, all their anxieties, and they come in as a frightened kitten, but they leave that Moms in Prayer group as a roaring lioness, and nobody messes with a lioness and her children and her cubs. And that's the transformation that comes there, that these women enter the very throne room of God on behalf of their children, and on behalf of all the children on that campus, and the teachers, and the school.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Moms in Prayer International is an organization that really is committed to engaging moms to pray for, with, and over their children, especially as they go through their school years.
Let's go back to 1949. Prayer was legally recognized by 12 states, and that grew to 42% of schools across the country that were allowing or requiring daily Bible reading and prayer. And then in 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that prayers in public schools were unconstitutional. 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that the Abingdon School District v. Schempp case was prohibiting state sponsored prayer.
That's got to be a real struggle in the midst of all this, that, because boy, what we're seeing today from CRT, critical race theory, to transgender ideology, to think of things like bullying and what we're seeing in this online world and this porndemic that's going on in our world. I'm telling you. Most people are petrified about their kids in school and what's happening.
Sally Burke: There is a tremendous battle for the hearts and minds and souls of the children. It has been, since the beginning of time. In the Garden of Eden through the history books, we see that. But our battle that God has given us, our weapons of our warfare are not carnal. They're spiritual weapons that knock down everything that raises itself up against the knowledge of who God is.
When there is a school covered by Moms in Prayer, you will see such answers to prayer as teachers coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, curriculum that we just prayed, "Lord." We don't have to be political here at Moms in Prayer. We get down, and we go, "Lord, we want Your will to be done. Lord, if this curriculum's bad for the children, remove it." And I witnessed one precious young mom, young teacher, who was bringing a curriculum that we were not happy with. We began to pray. We began to pray for her salvation. We began to pray that God, if it be His will, He would remove that curriculum. Well, that teacher came to know Jesus Christ. Her husband came to know Jesus Christ. That curriculum never got taught.
Our victory is on our knees. It doesn't matter what's coming our way. God is far greater than that. And that's what we're seeing on the campus, whether it's public, private. It doesn't matter. Homeschool, charter school. If two or more women gather together just one hour, God does that which is impossible. He does immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. And that brings Him glory and salvation and revival that you're hearing and seeing about. It's happening all throughout United States. It's happening around the world, where 900 students in December in Switzerland surrendered their lives to Jesus.
Dr. Tim Clinton: God is moving. Hey, you're listening to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, cohost. Our special guest today, Sally Burke. She's the president of Moms in Prayer International, fascinating organization that God has exploded, not only all over this country, but around the world. They're in more than 150 countries. It's amazing what God's doing.
We're talking about prayer and praying for, over, and with our children for such a time as this. Sally, I wanted to come back to that very thing. I think we're in a war like we've never seen before. This isn't like 10, 20, 30 years ago. This is a whole new place. We're not talking about just an education. There's indoctrination going on, and so much more. And I know it's really got a burden in the hearts of a lot of families out there. And this is really a battle for the hearts and minds of our children, isn't it?
Sally Burke: It is. It is. And again, I'll say as many women out there, come join us, because wherever there's Moms in Prayer, we are seeing revival, and we are seeing spiritual awakening. The children of this world are going to make a choice. Will they rise up and put their hope and their confidence in God? Or will they be conformed to this world? And we stand in the gap. We're face to face with God on behalf of the children of this world. We think about Ezekiel 20 when God says, "What man will stand in the gap for Israel?" And He did not find one, and they were taken captive.
We have an opportunity right here, right now, to do as Moses and his friends did, to stand in the gap for the children of the world and watch God transform them, watch God bring them to repentance and to a knowledge of Him. God has an incredible plan for this generation. We cannot be deceived by the enemy that we have lost the battle. The schools and the teacher, an opportunity for them to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And that's what we're about.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, God certainly is working. I know we're battling time here, Sally, and we're going to have you back tomorrow on the broadcast, because there's so much more to talk about, the power of prayer, the four steps to prayer, how to be engaged in a group, what you're doing with Girls in Prayer and more.
I know you guys are having an event coming up in Colorado Springs on March 25 called Rise Up Colorado. Can you talk to us about where you're going and what this is all about and what you're praying God will do for such a time as this?
Sally Burke: Come join us. Go to our website, momsinprayer.org. As you put in your information, somebody will contact you and then invite you to join a local group, a group for your children's school, and you will begin to pray and witness what God is doing. We are going around from city to city, place to place, to share about Moms in Prayer.
This event, Rise Up Colorado, we're going to teach and empower and equip to fulfill the great destiny God has called that woman to. But also, we're going to teach them the four steps of prayer. They're actually going to be praying at this event, touching heaven, unleashing God's power to do His will.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Nothing of eternal significance happens apart from prayer. That's what EM Bounds said. He also said this, "Little prayer, little power. More prayer, more power. Much prayer, much power."
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, I believe this, that all hell is against what's happening, the family, and so much more. But when we come together and pray, it's like Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them." And that God is moving. I believe with you that God is moving like we've never seen before.
Sally Burke: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And how we need to pray that today's generations would awaken and rise up for such a time as this. Tell us a little bit more about Rise Up Colorado and how they can get more information, maybe be a part of it if they're listening in the state of Colorado. And then what if they're not from the state of Colorado?
Sally Burke: Oh, my goodness. If they're not from the state of Colorado, you're going to see more events that will be happening throughout. Just go to our website, momsinprayer.org/events, and you can find out more about the event that we're having in Colorado.
I look forward to meeting you, but every time somebody comes there, there's always those connections. You're going to meet a mom probably from your children's school. You're going to be connected with somebody. You're going to be strengthened. You're going to be empowered. You're going to be transformed. When you leave there, you're going to be a different person in Christ.
And so we're at Colorado Springs. It's at Pike's Peak Christian Church. It's going to be a reenergizing time, a refreshing time. And I promise you, you are not going to leave the same. But then we're going to be in Rise Up Arkansas. We're going to do that April 29. And then we're going to do North Texas September 30, and then New Orleans. And we continue forward. But don't miss out. Come find out what God has in store for you, what God has in store for your children. He has a mighty plan for this next generation, and we must be about prayer.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hey, Sally, would you mind closing our broadcast today just with a brief word of prayer?
Sally Burke: Yes. Yes. Father, thank You so much for each one who's listening. Father, they're not listening by a mistake, that You have something for them, something divine, something special for them. Father, I pray each one who has an ear, may they hear what the spirit has to say.
Lord, may they know. They may not know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit will pray through them. Father, I pray they will not hesitate, that they will go to the website and become a part of this amazing sisterhood, a sisterhood that is all over the world. Father, I pray too that they know they're not alone when they're carrying burdens about their children, Lord, that You're right there with them. You're for them. And if You're for us, who can stand against us, Lord? I pray too, Father, that they'll be brave enough to come and be a part of this life changing ministry of prayer, Father.
Thank You for Dr. Dobson. Thank You for Dr. Clinton who's willing to be a part of this ministry, Father. May You continue to bless Family Talk. And Lord, bless each one here, Father. I pray that You will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine according to Your powers at work within us. May You and You alone be glorified, and I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen. Our special guest again today has been Sally Burke. She's the president of Moms in Prayer International. For more information about them, go to their website, momsinprayer.org. That's momsinprayer.org.
Well, Sally, on behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife Shirley, the entire team here, we're so encouraged by what God's doing in and through you and pray that He will give you more strength and boldness on the road forward. Thank you for joining us.
Sally Burke: Thank you, Dr. Tim. I really enjoyed our time together.
Roger Marsh: Such a beautiful prayer from Sally Burke, president of Moms in Prayer International. She'll join us again tomorrow for part two of her conversation with our own Dr. Tim Clinton about the power of prayer over our children and our nation's schools. As we read in Psalm 127 verse three, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him."
You know friends, children truly are our greatest national resource, given to us by God as a gift, and we are to act as custodians for Him for their lives. In that spirit, Dr. Dobson has always said, "Family is the bedrock of our culture, and family policy within our government should matter to all of us."
Consider listening to the new podcast from Dr. Dobson's Policy Center called the Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom Podcast with Gary Bauer. Gary is the senior vice president of public policy here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. He shares his unique perspective on current public policies through the lens of the US Constitution and an unapologetic Biblical worldview in an easy to understand way. To listen in, just go to our main homepage at drjamesdobson.org and selected the Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom Podcast. You'll be directed to the podcast page, and from there, you'll be able to select your favorite listening platform such as Google, Apple, Spotify, or Stitcher. Then listen and enjoy.
I'm Roger Marsh. So glad you've joined us today here for Family Talk. Be sure to join us again tomorrow as we hear part two of Dr. Tim Clinton's powerful conversation with Sally Burke of Moms in Prayer International. 'Til then, may God's richest blessings be upon you and your family as you continue to grow in relationship with Him.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.