“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20, KJV
Mrs. Helen Duff Baugh spent several hours each weekday praying alone as a young homemaker in San Jose, California, in the late 1930s. One day while she prayed, the Holy Spirit spoke to her through the above Scripture.
What am I doing praying here alone? she thought. I should get others to pray with me.
Mrs. Baugh soon invited the city manager’s wife to pray with her, and she, in turn, asked some friends to join them. The group of seven prayed together each Monday morning. It was the first of 24 prayer groups Mrs. Baugh organized across the city.
The groups prayed for revival and new avenues to share the Gospel. God answered the next year when Mrs. Baugh started the first outreach of what later developed into Stonecroft.
The focus on prayer has marked the ministry of Stonecroft for eight decades.
(Click on the video to hear Stonecroft staff, Board members, and volunteers explain how our lives depend on the power of prayer in our ministry and our personal lives. Appearing are Cheryl Lee Davis, Meryl Bishop, Emily Firnstahl, Jan Mathers, Star Paterson, Pam Schram, and Belinda Cashwell.)
Today, Lorraine Potter Kalal, President and CEO, leads the Stonecroft staff to continue that legacy of prayer. At the Home Office, Lorraine meets with staff for prayer several times a week and encourages them to pray together regularly in small groups. She also maintains a tradition – begun by Mrs. Baugh – of gathering with staff for an extended time of prayer one morning a month. Field staff members join these meetings via the Internet or phone. All meetings begin and end with prayer.
Prayer also fuels the work of thousands of Stonecroft volunteers across the U.S. and of our international partners in 40-plus countries.
Women’s Connection volunteers join in national prayer calls and gather for local Prayer Connections to pray for their Group’s outreaches, our nation and world, and the work of Stonecroft. Prays groups intercede for revival and new avenues of outreach. Volunteers in newer ministries like Stonecroft Military and “Detox – find your balance” also meet regularly for prayer. So do volunteers serving through Stonecroft’s 25 hubs across the U.S.
Additionally, our international partners request prayer for their outreach, and Stonecroft staff members meet monthly – via the internet – to pray with country leaders.
During last September’s Prays Walk, women across the U.S. and in Mexico, Northern Ireland, and Kenya took to the streets to pray for revival.
But Juanita, a volunteer in Florida, resorted to hosting a Prays Walk in her yard because of debris in the streets from Hurricane Irma. She posted signs announcing the event to attract neighbors. Several people came by, including two teenage girls grieving from the recent death of a football player at their high school.
“God gave me an unusual, special time to share Jesus,” recalls Juanita. The Prays Walk didn’t go the way she had planned, but “the Lord prepared for the best day to do what He intended for Stonecroft Prays Walk in our area.”
In another Florida community, Prays Walk volunteers prayed for a local school, walking around the grounds and laying hands on the building. Later, a fifth-grader at the school began a relationship with Jesus.
This past Christmas season, Holiday Prays brought volunteers other unique prayer opportunities.
Anita Bacon, a volunteer in Alaska, offered prayer for 15 neighbors and gave each a Christmas cake and a copy of The Perfect Gift, a Stonecroft Life Publication. Through those contacts, a neighbor’s granddaughter brought five friends to Anita’s house to sing Christmas carols.
During their visit, “These six eighth-grade girls all joined me in prayer to ask God to show them who Jesus is,” says Anita. She plans to follow up by leading the girls in the SBS Who is Jesus?
Stonecroft women across the decades have shared countless stories of the power of prayer. Truly, prayer has propelled Stonecroft’s mission from its inception.
“God has said in His Word, ‘without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5),’” Mrs. Baugh wrote in her history of Stonecroft, “and we are very much aware of how true this is.”
Editor’s note: Want to learn more about prayer? Visit stonecroft.org/resources/prayer-resources.