To commemorate Billy Graham’s life I am re-posting these articles I wrote back in 2013, having to do with his prayer life. Enjoy.
In this sixth part we will review Billy Graham’s prayers with four key American presidents—Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. We will also see how Billy’s preaching came to Russia—a very exciting time in history!
1961 – 1984
- Though Billy Graham didn’t agree with all of his policies, he made a great friend of LBJ. He saw a side of him that most people didn’t see; he had a deep, sincere spiritual dimension. Billy said he was beside him many times as he knelt by his bedside in his pajamas. (p. 404)
- In 1970 an amazing thing happened. Billy recounted that when he and LBJ (out of office at the time) were driving all over his ranch, raising dust as they drove, LBJ jokingly asked him to pray for a little rain. Well, Billy took him seriously and offered up a short prayer. In minutes it was pouring!! (P. 417)
- Billy also became a great friend to Nixon. He often read scriptures to him, counseled him, and prayed with him. Nixon considered him a great aid and called him often for prayers. (pp. 444-450)
- The Watergate scandal was a great strain on America, and it left a deep scar. President Gerald Ford did a good job as a healer and peace keeper. And Billy Graham was there beside him. They spent much time together in prayer (p. 466)
- In 1982 God worked in a wonderful way to bring the gospel to Russia. As it happened, the Russian Orthodox Church had planned a peace conference in Moscow, and would include several hundred representatives from all major world religions. Billy Graham was invited and would be allowed to preach in two Moscow churches, one Baptist and one Orthodox. Well, as you can imagine, many did not think he should go, because he would most likely be a tool of Communist propaganda. For weeks Ruth and Billy prayed about whether they should go. Well, in the end Billy gained confidence in God that his propaganda for Christ would prove stronger then their propaganda. As it turned out, the gospel was presented in Moscow, and also opened doors to other Communist countries! Henceforth, invitations to preach soon arrived from East Germany and Czechoslovakia. God was working! (499-512)
- Billy Graham’s friendship with Ronald Reagan I think was extra special. He seemed to admire Ron (as most of his friends called him) as much as Ron admired him. Billy recalled that he had a certain charm and wit that could win over people easily. I’m sure as a preacher Billy admired this quality about him. For all that Ronald Reagan did for the United Stated and for the world, I’m sure Billy Graham’s friendship and prayers were a big part of it. Ronald Reagan thought so. On February 23, 1983 he presented Billy Graham with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor for service to the nation. (pp. 529-539)