Opening hearts to God’s will was the theme of Southwestern Seminary’s fall Widows’ Might conference, Sept. 22. Keynote speaker Carol Ann Kiker urged women to say, “Yes, Lord!” as God leads them through challenges in their lives.

The Widows’ Might ministry comprises widowed women from across the United States who pray for the seminary and Scarborough College. They gather twice annually for fellowship, and their prayers support Southwestern’s ministry. During their fall gathering, D. Jeffrey Bingham, interim president of Southwestern, thanked the women for their support and asked them to hold Southwestern up in prayer. 

“Prayer is the central piece that holds every other piece of armor together,” Bingham said. “I feel so deeply the need for your prayers. You’ve set an example for us about what a faithful life of prayer and a faithful life of service look like.”

Kiker, wife of pastoral ministry professor Tommy Kiker, echoed Bingham’s praise for faithful service and urged women to say “yes” when God calls on them for courage or sacrifice.

“What causes you not to say ‘yes’ to the Lord sometimes?” she asked. Kiker revealed that for her, the word is “fear.” 

Kiker shared that she became a Christian at age 6, and two years later, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. “That was when fear became real to me,” she said.

“Even now, there are times I face fear, when I have to trust Him with the future,” Kiker said. “We need to recognize that fear is a spiritual battle that we need to fight. … If you aren’t a believer, you can’t overcome that, but as a believer, He gives you the power to overcome fear.”

“The Lord reminded Joshua, like He reminds us, to be courageous,” she continued. “He does the same for us. He is with us and will give us what we need. He helps us walk in faith and not in fear.” 

Quoting 2 Timothy 1:7, Kiker urged the women to follow God’s directives and trust His promise of love. “As I struggle with moments of fear, His Word is able to come in and give me such peace in my heart,” she said.

She also cited Isaiah 41:10, “my favorite verse—‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’Doesn’t that bring a comfort to your heart?”

“Whatever we are being asked to do by the Lord, let’s not be controlled by fear,” Kiker said. “What is the Lord asking you to do? Is there something you are hesitating to say ‘yes’ to? What about going across the street to tell your neighbor about Jesus?

“Are you saying ‘Yes, Lord, I’ll trust you’? God needs you. If we’re still breathing, God is not finished with us.”