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Letting Your Voice be Heard in Heaven

Letting Your Voice be Heard in Heaven

In this inspiring message recorded at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black reminds Christians about the power of prayer and the importance of praying for government leaders.

Original Air Date: May 4, 2017

Opening:

Excerpt:

Senate Chaplain Barry Black: My friends, God wants us to pray when we need Him, even as a parent wants to be with a child who needs him or her.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, and he has an inspiring message for you today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller and, Jim, our listeners may not know it, but every year, there is a National Prayer Breakfast. It’s held in Washington, D.C.– it’s not the National Day of Prayer, it’s a Breakfast and in fact today, is this year’s event. But last year you attended that Prayer Breakfast when Chaplain Black delivered the message that we’re about to hear.

Jim Daly: I did and you have to realize– all presidents have attended this for many, many decades, both democrats and republicans, Senate leadership, House leadership, both parties– it’s quite a day. Probably about 5,000 people are packed into the room, just to give you a picture of what this looks like. I can remember one where Mother Teresa addressed the group and President Clinton and the First Lady were at the head table and I’ll tell you, Mother Teresa gave such a profound message for life. You could hear a pin drop. And Chaplain Black delivered that kind of message that we heard last year– powerful declaration of the gospel. You’re gonna hear it– I remember making a little note in my phone just saying, we’ve got to get this on-air at Focus! And I came back and, thankfully, John, you and the team listened to it and went, wow, this is it! And it was one of the most popular programs of the year.

This message is a great reminder for us to be on our knees for our country today and every day.

John: Well, Chaplain Black is, as Jim has said, a remarkable man. He began working as Senate Chaplain in 2003 and prior to coming to Capitol Hill, served in the U.S. Navy for over 27 years, ending his distinguished careeras the Chief of Navy Chaplains.

Our thanks to the National PrayerBreakfast organizers and our radio partners in Washington, D.C., Salem Media, who recorded this. Here now,U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black on Focus on the Family.

Body:

Audience: (Applause)

Senate Chaplain Barry Black: I want to talk about making your voice heard in heaven. As has already been stated, our lawmakers get together each week for a prayer breakfast. One of the things that really inspires me about that prayer breakfast is the closing prayer when they stand and join hands and they pray together. To see Republican, Democrat, Independent, praying together, I find myself thinking where are the C-Span cameras when you need them, eh? (Laughter)

One senator observed, as some of you may have heard, it’s difficult to pray like that and then leave that room and go to the upper chamber and figuratively stab one of your colleagues in the back. The senator quickly added, it’s not impossible (Laughter), but it is difficult. Fewer of you may know that the next day in one of the hideaways, senators from both sides of the aisle meet for a Bible study. The Bible study begins and ends with a prayer, again both sides of the aisle praying with and for one another.

Some of you may not know that every Wednesday the chiefs of staff get together for a Bible study that begins and ends with a prayer. Some of you may not know that every Friday, more than 100 staffers, Capitol police officers, janitors, waiters, waitresses come together for a Bible study. AndthatBible study begins and ends with a prayer.

Paul had it right in Philippians 4:22, there are saints in Caesar’s household. And I am encouraged by the robust spirituality of so many who work on Capitol Hill. We had senators who are under the radar but ordained ministers. I won’t out any of them right at this time. We also have senators whose spirituality dwarfs my own. And so, we need to come together and realize that when we pray, we are making our voice, our voices heard in heaven. I believe they gather because of that.

Now, we work at making our voices heard on earth. We march; we lift placards. We’re involved in social media; we blog. We’ve got LinkedIn and we’ve got Google and YouTube and all the ways that we tried to make our voices heard on earth. But when I see a group of people of faith of this size, I get an adrenaline rush, because I know that where two or three are gathered together in God’s name, He is there in the midst.

So, what happens when we getthis manypeople gathered together in His name? I feel the palpable presence of God in this place, and far more important than letting our voices be heard on earth is the opportunity to make our voices heard in heaven.

Now I know that there are those who say that the efficacy of prayer does not go beyond the interior life of the intercessor. Prayer doesn’t change anything, but I agree with Tennyson, that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

I also believe that when we pray, humanity cooperates with divinity. My friends, there are things we will never get except by request only. There are blessings that hang on silken cords that we will never receive except by request only. James chapter 4 verse 2 says, “You have not because you ask not.”

In Matthew chapter 17, the disciples made an abortive attempt to cast out a demon from a boy. They were unsuccessful, of course. When they got Jesus privately, got Him somewhere privately, they asked Him, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demons?” And Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “Because of your unbelief, because if you had faith, the size of the grain of a mustard seed, you would be able (praise God) to move mountains.” My friends, when we make our voices heard in heaven, it makes a palpable difference. So how do we do it?

Mr. President, you may be familiar with this Scripture because it was read at your inauguration, but it is so spot on. 1 Timothy, chapter 2:1-4, New Living Translation; I urge you, said the tentmaker from Tarsus to his protégé, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them. We need to pray for everyone, all people. We need to pray forall people. (Applause) Hallelujah to the Lamb of God. (Applause)

Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanksfor them. Pray this way for kings, and all who are in authority, so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God, our Savior, who wants–hear this–who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. Praise God. What a word for those who want to make their voices heard in heaven.

So how do we do this? First of all we pray from a sense of need. I used to have about 45 seconds worth of prayer material, until I became a parent. My son is here today. Then you got plenty of prayer material, praise God. (Laughter) You pray out of a sense of need. My friends, God wants us to pray when we need Him, even as a parent wants to be with a child who needs him or her.

The Bible says in the 50th Psalm verse 15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you.” In Philippians 4:6 and 7, the Bible says, “Have no anxiety about anything but pray about everything with thanksgiving.” We pray out of a sense of need.

1 Chronicles, chapter 4:9 and10. The Bible says that this Jabez fellow who prayed a powerful prayer, he made his voice heard in heaven, says Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. And his mother named him Jabez because she said, “I bore him with sorrow.”

Now imagine having your given name “Sorrowful”. Imagine being introduced, you know. “Senator, I’d like you to meet Chaplain Sorrowful Black.” I mean, ima … imagine (Laughter) the pushback that you would get. “Ladies and gentlemen, our speaker Sorrowful Black.” I mean, it … it just doesn’t … and Jabez says, verse 10, praise God, called upon the sovereign God out of a sense of need. He said (I love this prayer) he said, “Oh that You would bless me indeed,” because every blessing is not a blessing indeed. In … in … South Carolina where my mother came from and grew up, they used to talk about a “sure enough” blessing. That’s a blessing indeed. I hope the translators won’t have a problem with that, but we’ll … we’ll help you out, eh? (Laughter)

And Jabez said, “I want you to enlarge my territory.” You see, you have not because you ask not. And then I love it. He says, “I want You to keep Your hand on me.” Oh, my friends, just to have God’s hand on us, we ought to pray that God’s hand will be on our President. I was talking with the Vice President backstage and I said, I am praying that the hand of God will be on you. Ezekiel 37 says, “The hand of the Lord was upon me.” We need people who govern, who have the hand of God on them. (Applause)

Program Note:

John: U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black on today’s Focus on the Family. There’s more to come. Let me just say we have afree audio download of this message.

Jim: And I am glad to do it. This is the kind of message when you think about it, the President, thevice-president, other government officials being there, they heard a full-throated gospel presentation by Chaplain Black. And I don’t want to restrain this in any way. If you want to get afree download,go to the website and it’s there for you. Hopefully, you can pass it along to others who might need to hear the gospel for the first time.

John: Yeah that download is at focusonthefamily.com/radio. And let’s rejoin Chaplain Black as he concludes the story about Jabez as found in 1 Chronicles and carries that into his next prayer point.

End of Program Note

Audience: (Applause)

Chaplain Black: And then he said, “I want you to keep me from evil, that it will not grieve me.” My friends, God is no respecter of persons, Acts chapter 10 verse 34. If He did it for Jabez, He will do it for you and He will do it for me. So pray out of a sense of need.

Secondly, pray with intimacy. Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:16, “I no longer call you servants. I call you My friends.” God wants a relationship with us.

My oldest son is in the audience, and one of my pet peeves is he calls and when he calls he says, “Hello, dad, this is Barry.” Really? (Laughter) I … I mean I’ve got Caller ID and he’s gotta identify himself? If I get a call that says, “Hello, darling,” I should not respond, “Who is this?” (Laughter) God wants an intimacy with us. And so, in my tradition we sing a hymn that I love, “I Come to the Garden Alone”–someone knows this hymn—”while the dew is still on the roses and the voice I hear falling on my ears, the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me, Barry, you belong to Me. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

Pray with intimacy. Pray like Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 1, when she wanted that baby. She prayed with such specificity and such intimacy and such fervency, that Eli, the priest thought she was inebriated. We need to pray with that passion and fervor. Finally, pray for those who govern, praise the Lord. Pray for those who govern.

Pray this way for kings and for all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. We fasted and prayed for months during the presidential election, the presidential primary. We fasted and prayed, hundreds of us on Capitol Hill, that the will of God might be done.

Isaiah 55:8 and 9, God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways.” Newsflash, God is smarter than we are. (Laughter) I know that startles some of you. (Applause) One of those startling verses in the Bible for me is Daniel chapter 1, verse 1. It says, “And God gave Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, a good guy, delivered them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.” Now you remember Brother Nebuchadnezzar was a guy who said to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, “Heat the furnace seven times hotter than it is right now.” God delivered Jehoiakim into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

Now Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He couldn’t remember the dream. And he said, “Since you wise men can’t remember the dream, I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna kill you and kill the members of your family and make your homes dung hills.” And Daniel walked out to Nebuchadnezzar and said, “We’ve been praying for you. God has given us what you dreamed and the interpretation of the dream.” We must pray for those who govern, and make our voices heard in heaven.

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. In fact, I grew up in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood. My mother had a 4th-grade education, the daughter of a sharecropper–an activity that Martin King called “a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity.” So I grew up about 30 miles from Washington, D.C. I did not shake hands with a white person until I was 16-years old. No white people in my church. No white people in my neighborhood. No white people in my school.

My mother motivated my siblings and me to study the Word of God. She provided us with a monetary incentive, 5 cents for every verse you memorized. So if you would enter our domicile, you would find my siblings and me searching the Word of God for short Bible verses. (Laughter) I knew every short Bible verse in the book, okay? My favorite Bible verse is not John 3:16; it is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Powerful verse, powerful verse. (Laughter)

I love Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Powerful verse, powerful verse. (Laughter) 1 Thessalonians 5 is a treasure trove, “Quench not the spirit.” “Rejoice evermore.” “In everything give thanks.” “Despise not prophesying.” In fact, I was doing my riff on 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and my mother put me on a flat rate. She said, “Hold it; hold it, hold it. (Laughter) I don’t care how much you memorized, you’re only gonna get a quarter, okay? All right.” (Laughter) But my mother knew what she was doing.

One day I memorized 1 Peter 1:18 and 19. I was only 10 years of age. It says, “And we are redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.” And even at 10, I had sufficient analytical skills to know that the value of an object is based upon the price someone is willing to pay. And when it dawned on me, a little guy in the inner-city, that God sent what John 3 calls in the Greek, themonogenes, the only one of its kind, His only Begotten Son, to die for me, No one was ever able to make me feel inferior again. (Applause)

Moreover … moreover, I just … I said I’ve got to get to know this Man who died for me. So, now it was not just for the nickels that I started reading the Word, it was to try to find this man. And … and as I searched the Scriptures, I … I … it was like a Zeffirelli [FYI: Sergio Leone] movie with theMan With No Name. I kept finding Him. In … in Genesis, He’s Shiloh. In Exodus, He’s the I AM. InNumbers, He’s the Star and Scepter. In Deuteronomy, He’s the rock.

In 1 Samuel, He’s the Lord of Hosts. In Job, He is the Redeemer. In Psalms, He is the Great Shepherd. In Proverbs, He is the Beloved.I kept running into that Man.

In Isaiah, He’s Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. In Daniel, He’s the fourth man in the fiery furnace. In … in Micah, He is the one who’s going forth of old. (Applause) He is from everlasting to everlasting. In Zechariah, He is the Branch. In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant.

Matthew calls Him Savior. Mark calls Him Son of Man. Luke calls Him the Great Physician. John calls Him the Word made flesh. Acts says He is the One who will mobilize us to witness. Philippians says God has exalted Him so that at His name, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.

1 Thessalonians says He is the One who will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. And Jude says He’s able to keep me without stumbling or slipping and present me without fault, without blemish before the presence of His glory, with unspeakable, ecstatic delight in triumphant joy and exultation.

And John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, on that Isle of Patmos in the Aegean sea. I saw Him high and lifted up.” He is Alpha; He’s Omega. He is beginning; He is ending. And so, because I kept meeting that Man, my hope does not rest in the various branches of government, executive, legislative or judicial. My hope does not rest in the alliances that we build. My testimony is simply this. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. (Applause) I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Applause) On Christ, the Solid Rock I Stand.All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

God bless you.

Audience: (Applause and Cheers)

Closing:

John: U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black Focus on the Family. That was recorded at last year’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. and for understandable reasons, Jim, that message was one of our most well-received, most responded to broadcasts of the past 12 months.

Jim: Well, and John, some of the listeners, to paint that picture, there’s about 5,000 people in that audience. They come from all over the world. They’re heads of states. They come from Muslim countries, from Asian countries. And then our own government representatives are there, both democrat and republican. What a message for all of that leadership to hear! I’m so proud of Chaplain Black. He didn’t hold back at all and as he said throughout his presentation, we need to pray from a sense of need, pray with intimacy and pray for those who govern us. And we should do that. It’s right to be critical; we have the right as Americans to do that, to be critical of our government from time to time. But I would say, are you also praying for these people? That’s critically important for us as believers and biblically mandated that we lift up those in power over us.

John: Well, get a copy of this message from Chaplain Black; we’re making it available today as a free download at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Get it, listen to it with your family and friends, your church, your Sunday school. Share it with someone who needs that encouragement that Chaplain Black offered.

And get a copy of his book as well. It’s called Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven: How to Pray with Power. We’ve got details about that at focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: And John, let me remind people to pray for Chaplain Black. He’s in an important role in the Senate as the Senate’s Chaplain. He sits with members of the Senate to talk about their personal tragedies or issues related to their family, to their faith and that’s an important role of influence. So we need to remember to pray for him as well.

And let me reiterate, the book Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven— what a great resource for all of us by Chaplain Black. Everybody will benefit from it. This is a book, a tool, to help you pray for those in power to help you overcome perhaps, some of the fears you might have about living in this world where there is darkness. It’s a wonderful resource and I hope you’ll order it through Focus on the Family.

John: Yeah, we’ll send that to you as our thank you gift when you make a generous gift of any amount to support the work of Focus on the Family. Again, focusonthefamily.com/radio or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Onbehalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time, as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!