Today I attended a prayer rally with Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. It’s part of his Decision America Tour 2016. I don’t usually attend things like this, so here is a little background on why I did.
My parents subscribe to Decision Magazine, a Christian magazine published by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Several months ago my mom mentioned that Franklin Graham would be in town for a prayer rally and she was interested in going. For some reason I put that date in my phone calendar. I don’t put anything in my phone calendar.
My mom doesn’t get around very well and is hesitant to use a wheelchair in public in certain situations. Due to her subscription and donations, she received a ticket to the rally that would have given her access to a private reception with Mr. Graham and close seating for the rally. She ended up giving it to our pastor.
I forgot all about it when I heard my phone buzz yesterday. “Franklin Graham prayer rally” popped up with the date. Hmmm. Many questions swirled through my head. Do I have enough time at lunch? What is the weather going to be like? Will there be crazy people there? I’m not a “rally” or even “protest” kind of girl.
It turned out to be a beautiful day (complete with a rainbow that I missed!). I can make time during my lunch hour. It’s a ten-minute walk from my office. I’m going!
I found it and slowly walked by the crowd looking for a place to stand. I doubled back, and as I did, I heard my name. It was a guy I went to high school with. I would say I hadn’t seen him in about 10 years, but I just saw him last weekend at our 30-year reunion. We chatted and I stood by him for the rally.
It was really good. Like his father, Franklin is a powerful speaker. (I attended one Billy Graham Crusade as a teenager at the fairgrounds.) He started by saying he has absolutely zero hope in the Democratic party. “I’m going to ruffle some feathers.” Then he said he has absolutely zero hope in the Republican party. He has faith in the Almighty God. He led us through several prayers (for ourselves, our forefathers, our public servants and our country to name a few). We all held hands during one prayer.
The rally lasted an hour. It was an hour well-spent. I felt more hopeful for the country. There are a lot of faithful people out there. Mr. Graham is stopping in several cities across the country and I pray that many hear what he has to say and the prayers increase. And that people vote! He has heard from many people who say they are not going to vote. "Shame on you if you don't vote!" he said.
I also was happy to share this moment with someone I know, and to hold his hand in prayer. I am not super close to my high school classmate, but think of him as a friend. I was encouraged that someone my age thought the rally was important enough to drive from the north side of town, find a place to park and walk over. I only had to walk 10 minutes. He had to take a lot longer lunch!
These days it seems that the majority of people do not share my religious views, especially those my age. I was encouraged to see such a strong turnout with a positive message. I will end this post as Mr. Graham ended the rally. God bless America!