Roger Marsh: Welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. There is power in prayer. Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. And just as a mom wants to know how her child's day was, the Lord wants to hear from you as well. That is the message that Sally Burke had for us yesterday here on Family Talk. Sally is back again today to finish that conversation with our own Dr. Tim Clinton, talking about how prayer can make real, tangible change in your life. She'll also share more on the Moms In Prayer event, which is coming up here in Colorado Springs on March the 25th.
Now, if you're not familiar with Sally Burke, let me tell you a little bit more about her. Sally is the President of Moms In Prayer International. When she came to faith in Christ, God placed a calling on her heart for prayer. Sally faithfully became a Moms In Prayer group leader back in 1990, and then she became a regional coordinator for a county with half a million students. After that, she became the director of field ministry for Moms In Prayer, back in 2008. And then in 2015 when founder Fern Nichols decided to step down from the presidency of the organization, Sally stepped into that role.
In addition to being President of Moms In Prayer International, Sally Burke is also the author of Raise Them Up, Start With Praise, and Unshaken along with the accompanying study guide. Sally and her husband Ed have four grown children and four grandchildren, at last count. Let's join our own Dr. Tim Clinton right now in his conversation with Sally Burke as they continue the discussion about prayer, right here on Family Talk.
Dr. Tim Clinton: It was a sobering, really a sad day in the early '60s there, and I think 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled prohibiting state-sponsored prayer. That was a day that "God got kicked out of the classroom," if you will, Sally. Ever since then, we've been trying to figure out what to do. And I just am so thankful about what you all are doing through Moms In Prayer International.
Sally Burke: When you think about that time, what happened after prayer was taken out of the schools, we saw a great decline in all areas. And it was just a sweet blessing that they prayed over, that the children and the teachers prayed together, acknowledging who God was, asking for blessing on their day. So in 1984 when we began to pray, we brought prayer back into those school campuses. We pray either in somebody's home or in a church, but it doesn't matter. God moves on those school campuses so powerfully that even non-Christians will come up to me and thank me for the prayers that they're seeing on this campus. Nothing should stop us from praying. No matter what court order says that there's no prayer allowed in schools, we can continue to pray and watch God's presence move on those campuses.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And He is moving. We know that. Sally, yesterday we touched a little bit on the battle for the hearts and minds of our children. And I know that there's a raging debate about what we're seeing show up in our schools. We see up on social media, all the way to TikTok. It's horrifying to think about some of those people having influence in the lives of our kids. And that's what we're praying over and praying for and about and praying that God would move in the midst of it. But Sally, I wanted to ask you, COVID threw everybody's sideways, with the loss, the lockdowns, and everything else, and by the way, kids, a lot of kids lost a lot of their academic life because they were locked up at home and had to start studying online. And by the way, Mom typically became the school teacher on top of everything else. What did you start seeing and what are you hearing about all that and how has it impacted moms and dads and kids?
Sally Burke: It impacted them greatly, but it did not take God by surprise. He knew that this was going to happen. And it did not stop us moms around the world. Google Chat, whether we used Zoom, we continued to pray for them and to witness. I am witnessing today a great revival I did not see before the pandemic. I did not see on the campus hundreds of kids standing up to receive Jesus Christ on public or private schools. I am witnessing God take that pandemic, and transform it into a great need, a great desperation for God. The world is shaken. But yet God is not and He is the one we go to. I think about that mom out there. She feels shaken. The Scripture you chose yesterday, she can boldly and confidently enter that throne room of grace to find mercy and help in her time of need. And that is every single day. Whether we think about it or not, we need God in our kids' lives.
At Moms In Prayer, we pray for the children by name. On my kids' elementary school we pray that each child would hear the good news. God brings the good news club onto our campus. I witnessed hundreds of kids hear the good news. And today they're teachers, they're preachers, they're men and women of God because we took that moment of time and we interceded on behalf of the children at that school. Take this opportunity, take what has shaken the world, and proclaim Christ. Call upon Him and witness what He will do.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, when my daughter Megan, she's our oldest child, was headed to kindergarten, and I dropped her off and I remember walking away from the classroom and I got out in my truck and I was a mess. I got to thinking about how I just left her with this classroom of kids and that teacher who probably would have as much influence in her life every day that I would get to, and Julie would. And I'll tell you what, that really sobered me. And I know that in this world today, one of the things I really care a lot about is our mental health around our children. We're in such a mess. Our kids are in a disaster mode, if you will. The CDC recently came out with a study on girls and they're suffering from depression and anxiety, even suicidality. Up to 30% of girls in 2021 wrestled with suicidality. And that just breaks my heart. I mean, we're in a war, and Sally, if we don't get on our knees and we don't win this war?
Sally Burke: Yeah, yeah. We have this period of time. So you think about it, God sent out Israel to bring glory to God's name. There was a battle for the children of Israel. Yet Moses and Aaron and Hur stood and prayed for their children of Israel so they could be victorious over the battle. You think about Moses' arms grew tired, but his two friends came alongside of him until they were victorious and God told him, "Remember this day. Tell it to Joshua." This day our children are in the same type of battle and it's incredible battle. But God has already given us the victory. We just have to step into it. Unless we're on our knees, unless we're praying, the children will be taken captive. Their minds. Are they going to be conformed to this world or will they be transformed by the renewing of their minds? We must be about prayer. Our vision is that every school is covered in prayer worldwide so that every child can be prayed for so that they have an opportunity to fulfill the great destiny that God has created them for.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, let's talk about the power of prayer for a moment. I mean, can you tell us maybe some stories through the years of how prayer has changed the lives of students, moms, even schools, again?
Sally Burke: Oh, totally transformed schools. I was just listening to a teacher speak about my children's elementary school, where I was there 14 years, four kids. And she said this public school became as if it was a Christian school. We saw 14 out of 22 teachers come to know Jesus.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Wow.
Sally Burke: They began a prayer group on that campus. These teachers were praying on public campus. So many students came to know Jesus as their Lord and savior, even our bus driver. She witnessed answers to prayers. She came up to me, says, "If you can do this, I'm starting a Bible study." One after another answered to prayer. Women in desperate places, being locked in during COVID, locked into their apartments, did not stop praying. They knew that their prayers we're going to bring life and hope to their children and a future, and we see it. It doesn't matter what country they're in. And I'm watching our women more passionate than they ever have been before. Even though this world's getting darker, God's light is shining brighter.
So He is moving on all campuses. On my daughter's high school campus, it was a Christian school, 91 kids fell on their face her senior year to repent of their sins and come to know Jesus as their Lord and savior. Nobody's too hard. No school's impossible. No curriculum. We just watched in my hometown, Temecula, where the school board took out CRT. They will not allow it to be taught on our school campus. That can happen on any campus, on any school district, if we will but pray.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, I wanted to ask you, and I think the question begs to be answered, some people don't feel adequate to pray. There are a lot of barriers to prayer. I believe, because it opens heaven's doors, all hell comes against active prayer lives. And so, Sally, what do you teach these women?
Sally Burke: it's so fun because I was that person. Never prayed out loud. Brand new Christian. Walked into that Moms In Prayer group. We use four simple steps of prayer. It's all based on God's Word. We start with praise. Who God is. And think about this. God enters the praises of His people and the enemy must flee. And so we begin with getting to know who our God is. Just simple, short, simple prayers. Lord, I praise you because you are a sovereign Lord. I praise you because you are good. Using His word. Then silent confession. That's where we let go of our fears or worries, whatever it is, silent confession. Then thanksgiving, I call that a Holy Spirit party. We share answers to prayer from the smallest, that a kindergartner learned to tie a shoe, to a big one, where somebody let go of their addiction or somebody that was saved from suicide. Big to little. It's a Holy Spirit party where we're witnessing God answer prayer. And then our last step is intercession. How do we know God's going to answer our prayer? If we pray according to His will? What's His will? The mighty Word of God.
So we literally put our child's name in Scripture like, "May Ryan love You, Lord, with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, all his strength. May he love others as he loves himself." And then that other mom just goes, "I agree in Jesus' name," and agrees and puts my child back into that scripture. Then we pray for the other mom's child in that Scripture, and then we pray for all the other children. We may pray, "Lord, may their eyes be open. May they turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God so they can be forgiven of their sins and have a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ." And we watch God answer that. We pray for teachers by name. We watch them come to know Jesus. We watch them be transformed. We pray for that school. "Oh Lord, may Your wall of protection be around them, Your glory within."
So just four simple steps. I taught it to my kids when they were ages two and up. They learned to pray these four steps. So it's very simple. Very, very simple.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I, through the years, have wrestled and really tried to understand the significance of prayer. My mom and dad were prayer warriors, and so in the midst of it, I remember reading a book by Richard Foster on prayer, and in it he said one of the greatest deterrents, Sally, "was the belief that everything had to be right in my life before I could pray." If that was true, I don't think we'd ever pray. You know what I'm saying?
Sally Burke: Nobody would pray. Nobody would pray.
Dr. Tim Clinton: But God just wants us to come to Him. And something happens when we get in alignment with God and we open our heart up. That's just like a mom and dad.
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You want your kids, if they're broken, if they're wrestling, if they're going through difficult times and they don't know what to do or say, you want them to come to you. And God wants us to come to Him and open that up and pour it out before Him. And it's amazing when we get into the presence of God, how the power of God becomes active in the midst of it.
Sally Burke: Oh. And you think about that, prayer is just a conversation with God, just like you would talk to anybody else. It's talking to Him whether we're out loud or within the stillness of our heart. It's Him talking to us, whether it's through His word or in the stillness of His heart. And yet we become His vessels in which He unleashes His power to bring revival and spiritual awakening.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sally, you were talking about teaching your children to pray, and my mind cycled fast through my parenting years, and, by the way, you never stop being a parent, but the one thing I tried to do was to read to my children at night and pray with them at night. And it's interesting, Sally, I often asked them what they remembered most about growing up, and both of my children would say, "Dad, when you prayed that you would ask God to help you to be a better dad." And in the midst of that, I wanted them to know Him. I wanted to reflect God's heart to my children. And, Sally, what about teaching our kids to pray? There's nothing more beautiful in all the world than to give them the gift of prayer, if you will.
Sally Burke: Oh, it is, because you're teaching them about a relationship with God. You're teaching them who God is. You're showing them that God is accessible, that you can come to Him in good times and bad times.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yes. Sally, I wanted to kind of shift for a moment. We've learned through the years that prayer really has, there's scientific evidence of the power, the positive impact, of prayer. A lot of people don't understand that. They know that we ought to pray without ceasing. They know that prayer opens heaven's doors. And we struggle because I think Hell wants to interrupt, if you will, the communication patterns. If you're in war, first thing the enemy does is he blows up your communication connectivity. And he wants us to believe that prayer doesn't matter, that God doesn't hear our prayers or that you shouldn't pray because of what you're doing in your life. You know that? But we want to rip down those walls and we want to get people into the presence and power of God because when you're there, it changes everything. But the benefits, if you were just to study, the significance of what prayer does in the life of a person? And then by the way, what it can do to impact organizations, schools, and more? And when you pray over your kids for protection and everything, boy, I'll tell you what? It just starts moving stones.
Sally Burke: Yeah. You know what's so amazing? I went to Moms In Prayer to bless my children, but God totally transformed my life. My life has never been the same. He blessed me beyond measure. I mean, you get to know who God is by name, character. God says "Those who know the name of the Lord will be strong and do great exploits," but He's going to do those through you. He tells you, "Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, let your request be known to Him." And then what's His promise? He'll give you that peace that's beyond understanding. He's going to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What a great thing. Here, Lord, I'm worried about this. I'm fearful about this and this and this, but thank you that you know about it. And what does He promise? He's going to give us that peace that's beyond all understanding. He's going to guard our heart and our mind in Christ Jesus. You are transformed by the renewal of your mind as you enter into His presence in prayer. And that's what prayer is entering into His presence.
Dr. Tim Clinton: There's something about when women come to these groups, if you will, or they get connected up online and begin to pray in their community over their schools. Tell us about what you've seen happen and the bonds that get forged out of all this and why it's so meaningful.
Sally Burke: Well, one, you become best friends in Jesus Christ forever. That's how close we become. We're one for another. But you think about Scripture, how the prayer of one sends 10,000 to flight, the prayer of two, it's multiplied forward. And we think about that, so as you come together, God is empowering you, and greatly. You come together as a mighty team, an incredible team, and God empowers you forward. It's an amazing gift to have that. And then you have people for you. I mean, I love each one of those children that I've prayed for and those other moms love my kids as if they're their own.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You guys are also now encouraging girls in prayer to do the very thing that Moms In Prayers all about. Olivia is our oldest granddaughter, sally. She's four years old. My daughter Megan and her husband Ben are teaching Olivia to pray.
Sally Burke: Oh.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And you ought to hear her at dinner. "You want to pray?" "Okay, I'll pray Papa, okay."
Sally Burke: Oh.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And she prays for Bubba and Honey. That's our dogs. And she prays for Papa and Gigi. And something begins to stir in the hearts of those who are awakened by the touch of God.
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And the presence and power of God. And that's what we're talking about here, Sally, as we pray over our schools, our children and the war that they're in, and we bind our hearts together.
Sally Burke: Yes. Yes. I've just watched my youngest daughter recently share at a church about Moms in Prayer. She doesn't have children of her own, but she testifies to the power of prayer, not only as she prays, but as she's been prayed for. There's a battle until Jesus returns, until we're in Heaven. And the power that God has given us is an unstoppable power and we must teach them to pray using God's Word. That's why we have Girls In Prayer. We want to teach them-
Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen.
Sally Burke: -to use God's word. People get disappointed because they pray according to their will. "Fix my child." But God says, "Oh, oh, just wait. I have a mighty plan for that child. I know what I'm doing in that child's life." I think about my oldest when he was on baseball team and sitting on the bench. I'm like, "Oh, Lord, may he hit a home run. May he do this and show the coaches." But at Moms In Prayer, I was praying that he would do all things without grumbling and complaining so he can be a pure and innocent child of God, holding out the word of life. The coach comes up to me and goes, and he's only 12, "Is your child a Christian?" I'm like, "Yeah." He goes, "I could tell. He does all things without grumbling and complaining." And God just opened up my eyes. He goes, "I know what I have planned for your son. So come to Me with My word and I'm going to unleash my power to do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine."
Dr. Tim Clinton: I love the words of John when he said, "I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in the truth."
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And boy, oh boy, we win that battle on our knees.
Sally, I want to close this way. Two things. One, probably a lot out there asking, "How do I get involved in Moms in Prayer International? Hey, can we start something over our school or in our school," whatever. In addition, you have a big event coming up in Colorado Springs, March 25th. It's called Rise Up Colorado. I'm actually looking on the website right now, and here's what it says. "Join us for this one day event where you'll be invited to have an honest conversation with God about the future of your children, a space where you can release your fears and allow God to empower you, inspire you, equip you to face today's challenges, all while connecting with other praying moms." I love that. The event, again, is going to be Saturday, March 25th, that's coming up soon, 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at Pike's Peak Christian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You don't want to miss it.
Sally Burke: No. You guys want to be a part of this. Come. If you have any questions, you can contact our amazing state coordinator, Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come be a part of this. God's going to move at that event like you'll never believe. He is going to transform lives as we come together. We're actually going to pray. You get to pray for your child there and somebody else is going to join you in that. You're going to meet best friends in Jesus Christ. You're going to meet other women, who happen to be at your child's school, who's just waiting for you to join them. And all moms, I just want to talk to you. Maybe we never be too busy to pray. Moms In Prayer's just one hour, once a week. Just one hour once a week will transform your child's life, the children on the schools, that campus, and your life, for all eternity. Give Him that one hour once a week and watch what He'll do in you and through you.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. Our special guest again today has been Sally Burke. She's the president of Moms In Prayer International. God's doing something. There's a stirring going on in our land. And what would happen if every mom listening were crying out to God. I mean, I'll tell you what? When the mama bears starts stirring together, I mean some things happen.
Sally Burke: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: The dogs start running up under the bed, if you will. And listen, if you're in Colorado, we want to encourage you, would you show up March 25th in Colorado Springs at this special event for Moms In Prayer. You can find out more information about all this at momsinprayer.org. That's momsinprayer.org. Sally, what a delight to have you join us on the broadcast. These have been two fascinating days, and we just pray earnestly that God would move mountains and that He would engage His people for such a time as this. On behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, the entire team at the James Dobson Family Institute, we pray for you. We pray for that organization, Moms In Prayer International, that God would continue to help them be a strong voice in this day and hour, as we look to the road forward. Thank you so much for joining us.
Sally Burke: Thank you, Tim, and we appreciate your guys' partnership in this and covering every school worldwide with praying moms. Thank you. God bless you.
Roger Marsh: Friend, you're listening to Family Talk, and that was the conclusion of our two-part conversation with prayer warrior and president of Moms In Prayer International, Sally Burke. Now, if you'd like to find out more about Sally or the upcoming Moms in Prayer event, just visit our website at drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. That's drjamesdobson.org/familytalk for more information.
As we learned how important it is to cover our children in prayer, it's also important to be aware of the policies that affect our families and the schools that our children and grandchildren attend. A great way to become more informed is by listening to a brand new podcast from the Dr. James Dobson Public Policy Center. It's called The Defending Faith, Family and Freedom Podcast with Gary Bauer. As you may well be aware, Gary Bauer is 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 U.S. Constitution and an unapologetic biblical worldview. To begin listening to this powerful new podcast, just visit our main homepage at drjamesdobson.org and select the Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom Podcast. You'll be directed to the podcast page, and then you can choose your favorite listing platform like Google, Apple, Spotify, or Stitcher. Again, it all begins when you click on the Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom podcast icon at drjamesdobson.org.
From all of us here at the JDFI, thanks for joining us today. Be sure to join us again Monday for another edition of Family Talk. Till then, I'm Roger Marsh. Have a great weekend.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.