My friend Kathy and I experienced a wonderful, chilly event a few days ago. We ventured to our State Capitol in Des Moines and listened to a national known speaker, one known all over the planet, as he launched his first “call to prayer” in our great state of Iowa. It’s called “The Decision America Tour”. Our state was chosen first because we hold the first state caucus in the nation, as most you all know. His name is Franklin Graham. His very famous father, Billy Graham, the well-known evangelist, endorsed this grand tour across America. Franklin said his father is now 97 years old. He no longer preaches publicly, but he is home praying for us all. Wow!
We bundled up and arrived a little early. People were gathering from every direction and began their climb upwards to the capitol steps. It didn’t look like a lot of people at first, but as we walked and stood facing our beautiful gold-leafed trimmed building, we saw people praying, waving flags and solemnly, quietly gathering together for prayer.
And on that side of the bus was Franklin’s call to prayer.
Franklin said his main goal in this mission is to get millions of Americans, who identify as Christian, to pray for our country, vote for a man of God and get involved in our communities by engaging in the political process and perhaps taking into consideration a run for office, as the Lord leads us. Endorsing a candidate is the least thing on his mind. “Republicans won’t save this country. Democrats won’t save this country. God can save this country if we come to Him humbly in prayer and seek His will,” proclaimed Franklin in his commanding voice. We listened. We agreed.
An awesome guitarist began the tour by singing about our faith in God and our wonderful America…..our great nation. We all sang along as Franklin Graham exited the bus and came onto the stage.
As the silent crowd of an estimated 2,500 listened to his authoritative voice, he called us to pray….confessing and asking forgiveness for our nation, spiraling downward, away from our Creator God. We prayed for our nation. We confessed our sins and the sins of our forefathers. We jointly prayed that our nation would once again turn to God, through Jesus Christ. We confessed and prayed over our own failures, and to turn back to our Heavenly Father and to the Word of God, needed to show us our way….singly……as a community……and as a nation.
Franklin encouraged us to go home and get into or start a prayer group. To go home and go to church. Go home and be salt and light in our community. He preached on The Greatest Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-39 . “Examine yourselves,” Franklin said. And I thought to myself, “I can do a whole lot better. And I prayed, Forgive, Lord. Help me to love You more. Help me to love like you.
And finally he gave the most important call to prayer; a call to those present who had not yet made the decision to trust Christ as their own personal Savior and be born-again. And for those who said yes, I want to have my sins forgiven. I ask Jesus to come into my life and become my Savior, Franklin asked them to text a number so that follow-up material could be sent to each one to help them begin their own journey, as a new believer in Jesus Christ.
The Billy Graham Association has help me in my walk with Christ since the 1970’s. I used to see Franklin’s Dad on the TV at a crusade and I would shutter. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, but yet I knew in my heart I needed to, so I would listen. Those were the years of conviction for me. Years when I knew very well I needed a Savior, but my free will was racing me the wrong direction…..the direction of the world and it’s ways, not God’s. Once I surrendered my life to Christ, not only did I watch Billy Graham on TV, I’d call all my family members and ask them to watch. God used Billy Graham in mighty ways. Franklin ran from God for awhile, too. He wasn’t about to go the way of the Graham household. Yet, he, too surrendered, and his ministry has helped millions in millions of ways. His sister, Anne Graham Lotz, and his mother, Ruth Bell Graham, have ministered to me immensely, over the years. That’s what I want for myself and my family…..to make a difference for Christ.
Friend Kathy and I loved every minute of being sandwiched, like sardines, in the middle of that Godly crowd of believers. We made it back to the car, rubbed our very cold feet and felt VERY HUMBLED AND BLESSED to be a part of something so big, so dynamic, which will help our country turn to God.
Mr. Guitarist popped back on the stage and with the ending song of “What Can Wash Away My Sins?? Nothing But the blood of Jesus. Oh precious is the flow….THAT MAKES ME WHITE AS SNOW…..No other fount I know…..Nothing But the blood of Jesus.” The crowd knew that song and the air filled the Capitol with that melody like a fog surrounding the place. Another God–goose bump moment. They are the best moments. Simply HEAVENLY.
You friends who are out of state, check out DecisionAmericaTour.com and see when Franklin Graham is coming to your state. And…..GO!!! You’ll be so glad you did!
May God bless you greatly and continue to bless this great nation…..our nation:
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA