Billy Graham wrote a letter to America after the election this week which I think is worth reading for all of us. He calls Christians to repentance and prayer. He asks us specifically to pray for America, for our leaders and for one another.
He also announced that he and his son, Franklin Graham, are starting a ministry called New Hope. They plan to “bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in America” during the next year.
This dovetails so well with the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization inaugurated by the Holy Father that I believe it signifies the Holy Spirit, speaking with one voice through the people He has given us as shepherds. It is time for Christians to unite and stand for Christ together. I feel the leadership to do this is stepping forward. It is up to us to be wise followers.
Here is Billy Graham’s letter in full. You can read more about it at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
A Fresh Vision for America
BILLY GRAHAM CALLS NATION TO REPENTANCE AND LASTING HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST
November 8, 2012 – A day after turning 94, Billy Graham writes: “I plan to spend the next 12 months, if God permits, doing all that I am able to do in helping to carry out a fresh vision God has given us —a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in America by the time of my 95th birthday.”
At the climax of My Hope one year from now, if God enables me, I want to call the entire nation to repentance and lasting hope in Jesus Christ.
From the Desk of Billy Graham
All of us care a great deal about our country. The intensity of opinions and feelings during the long political campaign showed the depth of that concern.
Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray for those chosen to be our leaders—at the national, state, and local levels. The Bible urges us to do so with both respect and thanksgiving (see 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Timothy 2:1–3).
We must also remember that no election will ever solve America’s most basic problems. That is because the trouble, at its root, is in the human heart, and the only path to true restoration—for a person or for a nation—is through repentance. The Bible says, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20, ESV).
Only the Gospel, God’s Good News, has the power to change lives, heal hearts, and restore a nation.
I want that to happen in America, and I know you want that as well. I turned 94 on the day after the election. Although my age and health have limited me physically in recent years, I plan to spend the next 12 months, if God permits, doing all that I am able to do in helping to carry out a fresh vision God has given us—a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in America by the time of my 95th birthday. It’s called My Hope, and I pray that you will partner with us.
In the days of the Prophet Jeremiah, God commanded His people to “seek the peace and prosperity” of the land where He had placed them and to “pray to the Lord for it” (Jeremiah 29:7, NIV). I ask you to join me in committing the next 52 weeks to faithful, even fervent, prayer for this land in which we live. You can start by making a list of people you know personally who need Jesus Christ and then begin praying regularly for them, individually by name.
Pray also for your neighborhood and your city, asking God to bring men, women, teens, and children —people from your own community—to Himself during the next 12 months. And pray along with me for the nation, asking God for mercy on America and for a great spiritual awakening.
My son Franklin is spearheading this vision and outreach, working in partnership with thousands of churches across every state in the country (ask your pastor if your church plans to take part). Franklin will be sending you more details on how this will work through the coming months and how you can participate.
At the climax of My Hope one year from now, if God enables me, I want to call the entire nation to repentance and lasting hope in Jesus Christ. The message I give will be presented in a fresh format, different from preaching at a Crusade, but the same Gospel. I believe we will see God work in a mighty way.
It is my passionate, heartfelt desire to see God change hearts and lives in every community in America, and I pray He will stir the same desire in you.
Will you join Franklin and me in this bold venture?
May God bless you,
Join the Discussions of the Year of Faith
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.
by Rebecca Hamilton, patheos.com November 11th 2012