By Preston Parrish
As people around the country begin to learn about My Hope with Billy Graham, scheduled for November 2013, we are often asked, “What can I do right now?” Whether these questions come from pastors, individuals, or small group Bible study leaders, the answer is the same: first and foremost, pray.
Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is one of our greatest privileges as God’s children, and even if God doesn’t seem to answer your prayers at first, don’t stop praying. No matter how dark and hopeless a situation might seem, never stop praying. God loves you, and no prayer goes unanswered.” Prayer has always been essential to evangelism, and it remains the first step in all we do at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada.
We are asking individuals today to pray. The ultimate impact of My Hope with Billy Graham hinges on individuals identifying and praying for those people in their lives who need to know Christ.
Have you ever heard of Pearl Goode? My guess is you haven’t. You wouldn’t have seen her name on a marquee sign or on the front page of newspapers. But God used her in a powerful way in the ministry of Billy Graham. Beginning in 1949 in Los Angeles, Ms. Goode became a prayer warrior for the Crusades, without anybody on the team even knowing. She would spend her own money to travel by bus to an event city, check into a motel near the venue, and pray. It’s estimated that she covered 48,000 miles by bus to pray for the Crusades.
Imagine what can happen if all of us commit to this kind of fervent prayer for our nation. As we lay the groundwork for this massive effort, we are asking now that churches and small groups get involved.
Small group leaders, urge your group to identify people who need to know Christ and begin praying diligently for them by name. Your members will find that God will open doors of opportunity in the coming months for them to establish or deepen relationships and show people that they care. If they do that, becoming involved in My Hope with Billy Graham and opening their home next November will be easy. More than 4 million others around the world have done so, and we know that you and your group can too. Remember that “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:9).
Once you’ve begun to pray, it’s time to put feet on those prayers. We will soon be offering free training online to show you how to become involved in My Hope with Billy Graham and reach your friends and neighbors for Christ. Sharing the Gospel is really something all Christians are to be engaged in, day-by-day, in the context of their lives and relationships. If you trust Him, you’ll see how He will put into the pathway of your relationships special moments of opportunity to demonstrate His love and to show how Christ makes a difference in your life.
In the end, getting involved with My Hope with Billy Graham takes three things – praying, trusting God, and simply making yourself available. If you do those things, you may be surprised at how God shows up.