The power of prayer

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I recently attended the National Day of Prayer and it was a wonderful event. Going for a meal later, a man and woman approached our group and informed us that our shirts were offensive to them (the shirts had a Bible verse about the power of prayer). There is such outward hostility to Christianity, yet society is taking away the Christian right to express themselves. This is a scary time in the “land of the free,” however, we still took the opportunity to pray for them right there in the restaurant! – O.P.

Dear O.P.: Some consider prayer in public to be putting on a show. Others are only offended if the prayer is in the Name of Jesus Christ. But those who persecute Christians are to be the objects of our prayers. Prayer is a demonstration of our need for God, for His direction and guidance, and for His protection and provision. It is also our communication to God of having thankful hearts.
When we approach Almighty God in humbleness, He blesses that testimony. But we must never do it for the purpose of portraying self-righteousness, but expressing our need for God in our lives.
Some years ago after the Persian Gulf War, Marines returned to Camp Pendleton and it was reported that as soon as they spilled out of the airplane, several of them formed a circle and prayed. There seems to be an instinct in people to pray in times of danger. If we are to depend on prayer during tough times, we should be people of prayer before the crisis hits.
While Christians may be persecuted for their prayers, God brings blessings to those who are never ashamed to pray in the Name of Jesus (see James 5:14).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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