The Bible tells us that the first time the Apostle Peter ever preached, 3,000 people were saved. Peter wasn’t well-educated or a powerful orator. We know from the opening chapters of Acts, however, that the Holy Spirit was upon Peter, and that prayer preceded the Spirit’s empowerment.
Jesus’ followers “all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” from His ascension until Pentecost and, after they had baptized thousands, “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 1:14, 2:42, NKJV).
If the disciples learned anything from Jesus, it was the power of prayer–the privilege of going straight to the throne of God with the concerns of their hearts, seeking God’s purposes. Jesus had taught them, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13, NKJV).
That principle has never changed. When we pray in Jesus’ Name and pray without ceasing, we will see our Lord do wonderful things and gather people unto Himself. When we saw an overwhelming response to our Festival last November in Temuco, Chile, local chairman Elias Zapata credited God’s power through prayer. “Prayer is the key to every evangelistic project,” he said. And the impact was not just on unbelievers. Christians and churches were encouraged and strengthened, too. “Their eyes are opened to the power of prayer,” Zapata said.
Prayer always has been essential to evangelism, and it remains the foundation of all we do at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. My father and I always have taken heart in knowing that our ministries are bathed in prayer–from our families, from our teams, from the churches in the communities we reach and from the worldwide Body of Christ.
There’s nothing more humbling–and empowering–than to know that people are praying for you. We covet your prayers as we proclaim the Gospel around the world. My father is preparing to preach this summer in New York City, and I plan to preach on five continents this year. Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak through us, “that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19, NKJV).
Pray also that the Holy Spirit will do His work, cutting to the hearts of the people who hear the Gospel and convicting them to make life-changing decisions for Jesus. As the Bible says of the Holy Spirit, “When He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8, NKJV).
Your prayers are vital to our ministry and to the millions who need to hear the Gospel. Thank you for lifting us up to God’s throne.