This week, I finished reading a most interesting book about the lives of Billy and Ruth Graham.
Most of us think highly of Mr. Graham. He consistently has been listed as one of the most admired men by Time Magazine, a great accomplishment when you consider the reputation of evangelists in our country. But one of the things that’s emphasized throughout this book is the influence Ruth had on everything that he did.
The Grahams were married for more than 60 years. They had five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It is remarkable to follow the family tree and see how many of their descendants are in ministry. The impact that the Grahams have had, on their own family and society in general, has been great. Many of us look to Billy Graham as the pastor of the United States of America over the last 50 years.
As you see that kind of impact, you can only wonder what the secret is to that kind of life. How does one person or couple make that type of far-reaching difference in the world?
The secret is really no secret at all. Billy and Ruth Graham made prayer a priority in their lives. They prayed together and individually, and taught their children to pray. Mr. Graham made certain that his team understood at all times that all it did was dependent upon the Lord blessing the work.
As you read the New Testament — and especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — you realize that the Grahams have followed in the footsteps of the Lord, Jesus Christ. If he was anything else, Jesus was a man of prayer.
As you read stories of Jesus’ ministry, something might surprise you. Jesus’ disciples never asked him to teach them how to preach. They never asked for help in learning how to teach. They never sought the secret to healing or miracles.
In fact, the disciples only asked Jesus for help in one area. In Luke 11:1, they made this request: “Lord, teach us to pray.” There was something about the prayer life of Jesus that made such an impression that they wanted to learn how to pray as he did. That should be our goal as well. I admit to you that I still am on a journey when it comes to praying. I am not what I want to be. But I want to learn how to pray. I want to pray as Jesus did.
May I encourage you to do the same? What would happen if God’s people would pray? Part of the answer is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. I challenge you to be the one who learns to pray as Jesus did. Your life will never be the same.