Very slowly, God did begin to reveal His plan—with very small beginnings. Precious Mary H. and her grown niece, Barbara S., lived one block from the health center. They opened their homes for prayer and sharing during our half-hour lunch times once a week, each taking turns. My friend Linda Scammell drove to town from where she and Chuck, her husband, had returned from Texas. We had lost touch with each other, and surprisingly, after twenty-five years, they were here, too. It was Linda who shared how learning the names of God, taught by their pastor, had set their church on fire. Our group caught fire—studying them over and over for seven years.
For two years we shared, made more friends and marveled that the men in town had a weekly, nondenominational, prayer and share time—but there was nothing for the women. I told God, “Well, I’m not doing it. If you want it done, You will have to do it Yourself!”
He did . . . by bringing me a choice I had to make. Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, was to hold one of her first Just Give Me Jesus conferences in Kansas City. As the time drew near, we knew we had to let other women know about it and car pool together. Janice Lamb and I handed out flyers we made. Thirty women answered the call. I also had thirty Angels on Assignment books left from my business inventory. I stuffed my testimony about the book inside, and handed them out.
After the seminar, we knew we had to keep the momentum going, so we put out a questionnaire to see if the women wanted to continue with monthly meetings. They did, and their top three choices were to have testimonies, praise songs, and prayer at each meeting. The winning name of the contest for our group was: Women with a Passion for Jesus.
Women with a Passion for Jesus learn to plead the blood
Our first meeting was September 8, 2001. After September 11, we knew why God had called us to meet. We had already adopted 2 Chronicles 7:14 as our guiding Scripture, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
At our second meeting, we did just that—we came together to repent, confess the sins of our land and pray as Nehemiah prayed for Jerusalem. He was personally not involved in turning away from the Lord, but he included himself in the act of rebellion against God: “I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses” (Neh. 1:6-7). The Lord responded by giving Nehemiah everything he needed to rebuild and restore the Jerusalem wall.
After this, we felt we needed to know more specifically what sins had been committed in our area so we could repent wisely. After research which led to the days of “Bleeding Kansas,” we made two columns on a large tablet. The first column listed all the atrocities committed in the past; in the second, the promises in the Word that covered them.
It all boiled down to the blood of Jesus that covers them all. The shedding of innocent blood was covered by the blood of the Lamb. Thus, we learned to plead the blood of Jesus over our city, our state and our nation.
We also learned to prayer walk. We prayed Nehemiah’s prayer as we walked up and down the streets in town named after pro-slavery leaders: JUDSON, CRAWFORD, EDDY, HOLBROOK, BLACKBURN, LOWMAN and LITTLE.
Our walks were inspired by: 1) Joshua 1:3, “I will give you every place where you set your foot,” and 2) by the book PrayerWalk by Janet Holm McHenry. Her 5:00 a.m., prayer walks were inspired by the words of Jesus, “Could you not tarry one hour?” She saw many answers to prayer for her family and for people behind businesses and houses where she walked. One morning when passing by the sign of her town, she envisioned the sign reading, “The Place Where God Lives,” and then she saw people flocking to her small town in California.
Likewise, we have seen some answers to prayer with the honoring of African-American, Gordon Parks, world-renowned photojournalist, filmmaker, novelist, poet and composer, who left here at the age of fourteen because of prejudice. He chose to be buried here where the community college established a center to honor his works in their new fine arts center. We have also seen other African-Americans return here where they are now welcomed.
On a personal level, pleading the blood of Jesus is powerful as well. Susanne Cox, wife of Ron Cox, pastor of Kingwood Church, Birmingham, AL, experienced the power in the blood of the Lamb. Before meeting Ron, she was a missionary in India ministering to girls in prostitution. She spent a day in prayer seeking the Lord in the next step she was to take. Her friend was to meet her at the end of the day to take her home to her village. They missed seeing each other and it grew dark, so she decided to take a taxi home. After fifteen minutes, she realized the driver was going the opposite direction. Pretty soon, he pulled into a filling station where four men approached the car.
Susanne saw the most hideous, demon-possessed looking man speak with the driver. She understood him to be “buying this American.”
Immediately, Susanne prayed under her breath the most passionate prayer she ever prayed in her life. The Holy Spirit told her to pray out loud. She shouted something like this: “I plead the blood of Jesus Christ over these men! Father, you say in Psalm 91 that You will cover me with Your feathers, and under Your wings I will find refuge. I will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor pestilence in darkness. A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me, in Jesus name!”
Suddenly, the men were slammed against the building. Susanne was delivered on the spot! She knew mighty angels had come to her rescue that night. Satan is all about death. Jesus is all about Life. It is the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ that He died to give that is our birthright to live in His kingdom. It does no more for us, except to get our foot in the door, unless we appropriate it in everyday life. We do that in the way Susanne did—against evil—and in praying for each other, in cleansing our homes or apartments, or workplaces, and how the women did in our small town. [Refer to Linda B.’s story of how the Holy Spirit led her early morning, written, prayer to plead the blood over her children, thus saving their lives that night—Module 9.]