November 01, 2019
Well-loved broadcasters David & Karen Mains launch their sixth podcast with a conversation about the crucial role that the local church must play in order to bring healing to our polarized society.
Karen: David, I think there are listeners, people who are catching this podcast thinking. And they’ve gotten to that point. You think there’s nothing that can be done. Everything is so dark. And we’re calling one another names, you know. And you do have this constant media. It used to be a time where you had media reports at various times in the day.
David: A common question asked many times by most of us is, “What time is it”? I’m not sure what the average age is for a child to start asking “What time is it?” But my guess is that it’s somewhere around eight or nine years old. For many years, men and women carried a pocket watch. Then during World War II, the wristwatch became an item of military importance, because attacks could be coordinated now by the minute or even the second. The world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch was introduced in 1972. The cost was $2,100 or about $12,000 in today’s currency. What time is it? We live in an increasingly time-conscious world.
Karen: Hello good friends, then you have been listening to my husband talking about time, asking the question, “Well what time is it”? And we’re so glad to have you listening with us. I think you’re going to be intrigued by this podcast.
Intro: Welcome to the Before We Go podcast featuring Dr. David Mains and his wife noted author, Karen Mains. Here’s David and Karen Mains.
David: Karen, I’m going to give just a bit more background and then we’ll dialogue together, okay? It’s probably safe to assume that when Jesus lived here on earth, the culture was less time conscious. Even so, our Lord makes the most interesting comment in Luke chapter 19. This is during the triumphal entry. Our Lord is approaching Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives riding on a colt, and he speaks this prophetic word. “The days will come when your enemies will build an embarkment against you and circle you on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” What we would say is you weren’t smart enough to tell what time it was. God was here on the earth in human form as Jesus and that very week the impossible would happen. He would be put to death in horrible fashion and the religious world would have a part in what was going on. You didn’t recognize the time of God coming to you is how Jesus expressed it.
It’s not on the same scale. But my belief is that America has come to the most important time in our nation’s history. Without taking sides in the controversy let me state that the impeachment of a president is hardly an everyday occurrence. It’s also common knowledge that our nation is terribly polarized in regard to its feelings on the matter. In my mind as a minister, it is now time for the church to play an important role in what’s unfolding. I believe it’s time for the clergy of America to call their people to prayer on behalf of this nation. Hear me please. I’m not asking for the church to take sides. It’s the last thing that’s needed. Rather I’m challenging the clergy, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, to rally their people to pray. Not prayers that are political statements but prayers that say we love this nation and the freedom of worship it gives us, that as a people we seem to have lost our way and we need your help. We are a part of the great divide, and we want somehow to make our way back to love for all people and not straining to remove the speck from someone else’s eye when maybe there’s a log in our own.
For too long we’ve demeaned the other side and we need not talk less and listen more. An appropriate prayer at such times is to forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. We need to get back to the basics as Christians. Teach us, Lord, to uphold our leaders in our prayers. Forgive us for failing the prayers we should.
We have become far too critical. Oh God we repent. The truth is, we’ve gotten ourselves into a mess God and we need your help to get out of it without doing further harm to one another. Here’s what I’m saying in a sentence. Okay The time is now for the clergy of America to call their people to sustained and earnest prayer on behalf of this nation we love.
You with me in that, Karen?
Karen: Yeah, I am. Although I think you feel you really have a God-given impulse here. I think that your role as someone who has watched the culture. We’ve been in national radio broadcasting over the Chapel of the Airway you led for 20 years. Before that it was one of the first religious radio shows to hit the airways when the Federal Communications Commission opened up the American United States airwaves to religious broadcasting which by the way, doesn’t happen in Canada. But I think that you’ve had a national vision for all these many years and so I honor that in you. I think it’s prophetic. I think that it’s a God-given burden that’s been placed on your heart. However, because of you and being your wife, I have realized that I have lapsed in my prayers of intercession for this nation. And so, you have stimulated me to repent of my neglect and to say to the Lord “Give me a passion.” Because I do believe these passions, these passions are holy passions and they’re given to us by God because he raises us up for purpose. And I looked up intercession this morning in the scripture and because that’s what we’re doing.
Karen: …when we pray, for we are interceding.
David: Yes, intercessory prayer.
Karen: …Intercessory prayer and this verse from Hebrews written down in my prayer journal, but because Jesus lives forever. He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them. So, when we intercede, this is what helps me, this is an imaginative prayer practice I used to do all the time and have become neglectful of it. I would think of Jesus interceding in an intercessory prayer that just went on and on, never ending. And in my mind, I could see this ring of circle, hundreds and thousands of saints who joined with him from all over the world, interceding with him who intercedes constantly for us. And so, to help myself be a practitioner of this kind of prayer, in my mind, this is an imaginative tool, I would step, place myself within that intercessory ring. And then I would just let those prayers, those unspoken prayers, the ones the Spirit prays through us, we don’t know how to pray, Scripture tells us, and the Spirit enables us to pray through us. Just open up my being to that intercessory practice. So, that I pledged before this listening audience, how you listening to me, folks, that I, Karen Mains, want to make a vow that I will begin to step into that circle of intercessors and lift my heart up in prayer as the Holy Spirit stimulates it to pray for this nation.
And for the sort of laxity of the local church, I think sometimes the local church is confused as to what to do, but we can pray. We know we can do that. And through history, I believe, I had you have a book in hand. I think it’s one of those extraordinary stories you’re going to tell out of the history of the United States.
David: For people who feel like they’re small and their prayers don’t make any difference. I remind them of our own American history. One of the great revival times was 1857-58. There were lay prayer groups across this country. It spread from the east first and then the Midwest and far to the far west. People come together to pray. It all began in New York City…
Karen: Now to give us the years again in this so…
David: 1857-58. And you have to realize this was a horrible time in terms of the country The Civil War began 1861.
Karen: So, there was all of this dissent and Terrible animosity and division and in public discourse. Yeah
Karen: Only without the media to make it, you know non-stop media to keep focus on it all the time.
David: It was something that no one could let go of
David: There’s a tug-of-war going on and there was their side and our side that kind of thing. In New York City, the churches were struggling the old North Dutch church was on hard days. They weren’t sure what to do. They decided as a last-minute thing. They would hire a Fellow who had no clergy background. He had been a businessman…
Karen: Good choice. Say his name again, we were laughing.
David: His name was Jeremiah C. Lanfeer.
David: Okay, you probably haven’t heard of them except in my sermons every so often bring up his name. But he found that his own personal prayer times were helpful to him. When he would be discouraged, he would turn to prayer and he thought maybe other businessmen would like to pray with him. So he said on this given date, it was in 1857. I don’t remember the exact day. But he advertised a prayer meeting. He sent little flyers around in the neighborhood and we would pray from 12 until 1 He was the only guy at the first prayer meeting.
Karen: Prayer group of one
David: That was for the first half hour. Okay, but after that he was joined By one person then by several so at the end of the first meeting there were six people
Karen: I’m anticipating an extraordinary story. That’s the building here. So how many after the first meeting?
David: They decided they would meet for another week,
David: …and they had 20.
David: …and the following week they had 40. And then they decided that they would make it a daily event. And then all of a sudden things…
Karen: … so all day or just a certain time in the day of every day
David: …every day,
David: Well not on Sundays, okay every day they would meet from 12 until one. Within six months 10,000 businessmen of my word out of a population of 800,000 were gathering daily in New York City for prayer. And what started there began to move all across the country because God was working in response to those prayers. Here in Chicago…
Karen: …where it’s just where we podcast from
David: Yeah. 2000 people joined together for prayer in the Metropolitan theater.
Karen: How many was it?
David: 2000. Chicago and doing that today. One of the problems they had was there were so many people, they had to set up rules. You know you can’t pray for more than five minutes.
David: But there were incredible stories that went on.
David: In Kalamazoo I remember one story where someone had said I request the prayers of this group for my…
Karen: … unconverted woman and wife
David: Yeah, wife. And almost instantly somebody stood up and said I have to be that man I have a praying wife. She prays for me for me all the time I want you to pray for me too, but then when he sat down another guy’s said… no, I think I’m that person. Before you know there are five six men and that there was a time even in the prayer meeting when these people came to the Lord It was an amazing thing.
Karen: Oh, my goodness.
David: So, when we talk about…
Karen: So that swept all the way across the nation’s that prayer movement that began in New York swept all across the nation. It was like…
David: …and you know it was interrupted by the Civil War. But even during the Civil War there were huge numbers of conversions in the Confederate ranks and the soldiers there were 150,000 men who came to the Lord during those days because there were campfire meetings when then the people would pray together. It was just a time when everyone said yeah, this is this is where we are. This is what has to happen. We have to come to the Lord and ask him to help us in this time. I have found because I’ve before doing this podcast, I’ve shared with several people in fact more than that probably saying I think it’s the time for the pastors of the churches Catholic Roman Catholic Protestant Orthodox to call their people to prayer. And it sounds like you know, what difference is that going to make? But this momentum began to build, and I found when people I would talk about this they would say, You know, you can’t get people to pray about this. It’s divisive, you know.
But I’ve not found that to be the case. I’m in a prayer group for revival every Wednesday. You know, the same people get together.
Karen: You pray by phone.
David: We do it by phone.
Karen: People from all over the country, not a large group, just seven or eight people.
David: And very diverse.
Karen: Politically diverse,
David: Yeah. But we’ve learned to pray together. And we have learned how to learn from one another. That’s one of the common statements when people come together. We learn so much.
Karen: Hearing each other pray. You’re not giving little lectures, mini lectures on prayer. You’re just praying. So, you’re learning as you hear other prayers.
David: It’s gone on for several years for us. And we’ve never gotten in an argument on anything political, you know.
Karen: And you wouldn’t because it would ruin the spirit of the group.
David: Yeah, it’s been wonderful.
Karen: David, I think there are listeners, people who are catching this podcast thinking. And they’ve gotten to that point. You think there’s nothing that can be done. Everything is so dark. And we’re calling one another names, you know. And you do have this constant media. It used to be a time where you had media reports at various times in the day. But now you have daily, you know, hour by hour-by-hour news coverage. It repeats and repeats and repeats. And it influences us with what is negative. And most of it is and what is wrong. There’s very rarely good reporting on the good things that people do in the world.
David: Very rarely is too strong. Sometimes there are good reports.
Karen: Sometimes, but it’s minimal in comparison to the other.
David: You’re talking about television now.
Karen: I’m talking about television, right? Mostly television right now. So what we need to do is not to take our cues from that where we begin to say nothing can be done, things are looking bad, you know. Politically, we’re in a hostile environment. I mean, we can name all the things that are awful because we believe in a God who answers prayers. Who is, as scripture says, interceding for us non-stop, and we can join in his powerful circle.
David: I think there’s a great picture that you painted at the beginning. I think Jesus would like to see this nation. Find healing,
David: Find love.
Karen: And let’s go on and pray for revival. Pray for that sweeping revival that sparks in some little unlikely spot by believers who begin to gather and pray, who come again to pray, who come again to pray. The group grows from one person to five to twenty to forty to two thousand. You know, that’s what we need. We need to see.
David: Yeah, and I’m just in the position where I’m saying, Lord, there’s not a question in my mind you have said to me, put out the call. I may be the 582nd person to do that. I don’t know where I am in the chain, but I want to be a part of that.
Karen: So, what we’re saying to those who are listening to this podcast is there is a lot of hope out there for us. And if we will commit ourselves, first of all, to ask forgiveness for our prayerlessness,
David: …then that will happen, Karen. As you begin to pray, pretty soon you say, hey, I’m a part of this. I can’t remove myself as though I’m the innocent party coming and talking to God. You come and say, Lord, my tongue is wagged. I’ve said I’ve called people.
Karen: I’ve been malicious. God hates the malicious tongue, but I have been malicious.
David: I have repeated things.
David: …probably shouldn’t have been repeated. I have failed to pray for my elected leaders the way I should.
Karen: I’ve spread gossip. I don’t know whether it’s even true or not. Just because it’s gossip. I mean, all of these things are things we need to be.
David: I’ve allowed hatred to be a part of our heart.
Karen: I’ve judged. I’ve judged harshly, not discriminately, but harshly.
David: Yeah. So, Lord, begin with us.
David: Begin with us and do what you need to do but bring healing to this land.
Karen: So those are the things we’re praying for. And can we ask those people who are listening to us? What are you going to pray for today? What time is it? What time do you think it really is?
David: Yeah, I think it’s a good word to end.
Outro: You’ve been listening to the Before We Go podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast please remember to rate, review, and share on whatever platform you listen. This podcast is copyright 2019 by Mainstay Ministries, Post Office Box 30, Wheaton, Illinois 60189.
Here is a powerful book on prayer.: Making Prayer Your Second Language
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