I read an article by Franklin Graham on how his grandfather and other men met at different locations outdoors around their hometown of Charlotte, N.C., to pray for revival across their state and to the ends of the earth.
On one of those occasions, in May of 1934, his grandfather hosted one of these prayer meetings and a paper salesman by the name of Vernon Patterson suggested they ask God to raise up someone from their hometown who would take the gospel to the ends of the earth. None of those men who prayed was thinking of young Billy Graham, who had not yet given his heart to Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham did not learn of that prayer until years later. He once said, “A mystery and wonder of prayer is that God often waits until someone asks.”
First John 5:14-16 tells us: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God—that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.”
We are at a moment in time where prayer is the only solution to the strife we live in. However, prayer alone is not enough. It is what we pray for that matters. It is what we ask of God that matters.
LifeWay Research reported only 20 percent of people pray for those who have no faith. However, 82 percent of our prayers are for family and friends, and 74 percent of our prayers are for our own problems and difficulties.
If we want our world to change for Jesus Christ, then we must pray for those who are lost and dying in their sins, to give their hearts to Jesus Christ for Salvation. Our priority in prayer should be that the lost find Jesus Christ and that through salvation our world would change.
I encouraged you to begin to pray boldly with confidence for those who are dying in their sins to find salvation in Jesus Christ.
Second, pray for those yet to come—like a Billy Graham—who will evangelize our community, our state, our country and the world for Jesus Christ.
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Last, pray for boldness and courage in your own life, so that you will be able to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to your community, your state and your country until it reaches the ends of the earth.
As Billy Graham once said, “A mystery and wonder of prayer is that God often waits until someone asks.” Let us begin to ask.
The Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (432) 202-1526 for more information, or visit our website to learn how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister and serve you.
Remember, “Together, no church is too small.”
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.