Every preacher should pray that God will give him a tender heart

Published 8:13 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Some call me an apprentice preacher because I am an inexperienced pastor but desire to be faithful to the call I know the Lord has made on my life. I stay discouraged because I don’t seem to draw people into my messages. When I finish I can’t leave the pulpit fast enough because I don’t want to face those I’ve preached to. I know this isn’t right but I am frustrated. – F.P.

Dear F.P.: Some years ago, an associate evangelist was preaching at a university. He yearned to win the students to Christ, but their reaction was hostile. One young woman was especially antagonistic. After the lecture, she came to him and said, “I don’t believe anything you said.” He replied, “I’m sorry that you don’t agree, but do you mind if I pray for you?” She answered, “Nobody has ever prayed for me before. I guess it won’t do any harm.”
He bowed his head and began to pray. She stood looking straight ahead. But suddenly she noticed that while he was praying, tears were coming down his cheeks. When he opened his eyes, she herself was in tears. She said, “No one in my entire life has ever shed a tear for me.” They sat on a bench, and that woman accepted Christ as her Savior.
Every preacher should pray that God will give him a tender heart for the people he preaches to. It is so important to make evident the love of the Lord and His Gospel to those in earshot. We must always pray that the Lord will strengthen us “by His Word” knowing that it is the very Spirit of God that draws people to His call of salvation.
John the beloved apostle wrote, “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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