Lately, I’ve been reminded of the first time I took fifteen intercessors to Washington, DC to pray. Early in the planning process I contacted Sandy Grady, who had worked for years as a key intercessor for David Barton of Wall Builders. As I shared with Sandy my desire to pray at educational sites in DC, she said, “Nancy, everyone who comes to DC goes to the same places. They go to the White House, the Capitol building, the Washington Monument, and other famous landmarks. But I’ve never known a group to go to the National Department of Education. Please go there and pray. Our schools need our prayers and intercessors don’t think to include education in their prayer trips to DC. What you want to do will be hard, but don’t back down.”
That was in 2001 and Sandy’s words never left me. That first time to pray at the Department of Education was every bit as difficult as she’d prophesied it would be. Over and over, I heard her words ring in my spirit, “Don’t back down. Don’t back down. Don’t back down.”
In order to go inside the Department of Education building one must have an invitation from someone employed there. Somewhere I’d been given the name of a man from Oklahoma—Jim—who worked in the Department of Education, so I called him a couple of weeks before my group was to be in DC. We had a nice chat. He agreed to host our group, give us a tour of the building, and allow us to have a brief moment in the building’s small auditorium to pray. I hung up thinking everything was all set.
I called Jim early on the day of our visit. He didn’t answer of return my calls. With our appointment “iffy.” I gave those in the group an option to stay behind if they wanted to not take a chance on whether or not the appointment would actually happen. Eight people decided to stay behind. To be honest, I was the most frightened of any one in the group, but I felt the need to go as Sandy’s words repeated over and over in my mind. “Don’t back down. Don’t back down.”
We entered the National Department of Education building, went through security, and asked to speak to Jim. Instead of Jim, two burley security guards came to greet us. They demanded to know why we were there and what our relationship was with Jim. I told them we had come to pray for America’s educational system and gave them the name of the man from Oklahoma. One man left and a few minutes later came back and told us that Jim was busy and couldn’t meet with us.
Scared, I then asked if there were a room we could use to pray. The security men ushered us to a small auditorium where we placed chairs in a circle and began to pray for America’s schools. They eventually realized we were harmless and disappeared. Twenty minutes later, “Mr. Oklahoma” showed up and confessed he had been afraid and had backed out (without telling me). He redeemed the time as he showed us around the building and introduced us to the head of the Department of Education as well as key people in the building. We ended up praying in every office, even the office of the head of the department. It was a victory that would not have happened without one seasoned intercessor telling me, “Don’t back down. Don’t back down.”
No matter what circumstance you find yourself in as an intercessor for you, your family or for the children of America, don’t back down! It’s not an easy task and certainly not for the faint of heart, but persistence and tenacity are paramount when taking on a spiritual giant.