Nation’s Prayer Warriors Draw Inspiration from Billy Graham’s Life

By   •   January 31, 2014

Ruth Graham Library room NPC
The National Prayer Committee (NPC) and the Denominational Prayer Leaders Network (DPLN) met for their annual meetings at the Billy Graham Library and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) headquarters on Jan. 27-31. Here, they're exploring a room at the Library that's dedicated to Ruth Bell Graham.

It’s no small feat to organize the National Day of Prayer.

The annual observance, held on the first Thursday of May, has grown to include millions of Americans taking part in tens of thousands of prayer gatherings from coast to coast.

Behind the event is a group of the nation’s prayer warriors—men and women from diverse cultural and denominational backgrounds who have dedicated their lives to praying for the United States and the world.

But even prayer warriors need to recharge once in a while.

This year, they chose Charlotte, N.C., as the place to do just that.

From Jan. 27-31, the National Prayer Committee (NPC) and the Denominational Prayer Leaders Network (DPLN) teamed up to hold their annual meetings in North Carolina’s “Queen City.”

The two groups met, planned and prayed at the headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the Billy Graham Library located next door.

It was a unique opportunity for the BGEA to pour into the people who are continually pouring themselves into the country.

“They’re the prayer leaders of America,” said Tom Phillips, vice president of The Billy Graham Library. “We’re able to serve them as they serve the nation.”

BG Library

Dave Butts, chairman of the NPC, said the group usually selects a warmer location for its annual meeting. Choosing Charlotte meant braving frigid temperatures and even some snow.

“Tom Phillips was persistent,” Butts said. “He said, ‘We would really, really like for the NPC to come and experience this.’ And I agreed. I thought it would be a great thing for us.

“I wanted them to see the emphasis of prayer in a place that’s known for evangelism.”

Message received.

“The Holy Spirit’s presence is so alive here,” said NPC member Joan Courtney, who traveled to Charlotte from San Antonio, Texas. “The presence of the Lord is in this place.”

On Wednesday, Will Graham, Associate Evangelist and vice president at the BGEA, addressed the visitors.

Will Graham BGEA

will graham

Will talked about how his grandfather, Billy Graham, has just a couple of regrets as he looks back on 95 years of life.

“My granddaddy said, ‘Will, two things I regret in life: I wish I knew the Scriptures better—I wish I knew them as well as your grandmother. And the second thing I regret is, I wish I spent more time on my knees.’”

Will said he has taken those words to heart, knowing they come from a man of God who was continually praying and reading the Bible.

Telling the 78 members of the two prayer groups that he knew he was preaching to the choir, Will set forth a compelling list of reasons to pray even more.

“There’s two things non-Christians can’t argue about,” Will said. “One is a changed life. The others are answered prayers…may our answered prayers help turn people back to God.”

On Thursday, the groups toured the Billy Graham Library. They saw Billy Graham’s ministry come to life through videos and exhibits that tell the story of how God used a farm boy from North Carolina to change the world.

Many of the guests wiped away tears, as their visit reminded them of the powerful role of prayer in spreading the Gospel around the world.

“It’s helped me today to remember why we do what we do,” said NPC member Jennifer Kennedy. “Prayer changes the earth.”

“Tears just welled up in my eyes,” said Earl Pickard from Hutchinson, Kan. “Just to think God used one man to touch the entire world. And all the people behind him who prayed for him and supported him.”

NPC member Jeff Eckart was saved at the 1980 Billy Graham Crusade in Indianapolis when he was just nine years old. But he didn’t expect the Library to have such a powerful effect on him.

Now a husband and father of three, Eckart recently started a ministry called Claim Your Campus. What began with a group of 10 students has grown to encompass 45,000 students meeting in 3,000 middle and high schools around the country, praying for their campuses.

It turns out, Eckart is part of that same legacy that touched him in a powerful way this week at the Billy Graham Library.

“What’s really shocked me, personally, is just how much it’s moved me,” Eckart said. “It’s incredibly inspiring.”

For more information on visiting the Billy Graham Library, click here.

NPC and DPLN in BG Library

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13 Comments

  1. Robin Strange says:

    Once Billy Graham said that Angels do watch over you and I just realize about something that came to my mind about not buying a security system because the Bible says do not be afraid…..and knowing that the Angels are proctecting you if you pray and ask for angels to watch over you and I do have faith in God cuz some day I want to go to Heaven and meet my husband who passed away 2 years ago and that my Hope is to meet him at the gates of Heaven and to see my name in the BOOK!!! Bless your heart Billy Graham for preaching soo many years and I just bought 40 books that you and your son Frankliln and Anne published and read them all and has changed my life!! Thank you and hope to meet you all someday soon as I am planing coming in March with few freinds. God Bless

  2. Allen D Hurst says:

    Thank You Billy, Peace, In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

  3. Margaret Mack says:

    I would love to join the prayer band

    1. Lucille Gamez says:

      GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

  4. Genevieve Ong Villegas says:

    Prayer is truly important and we needed to do this in times of …I know our God is a God of order and all will still come to an end where we are most satisfied with what had happened as much as what will to happen … let us put our trust in our God who can and is able to in times that we are at a loss but, still we found ourselves in the palm of His hand.

  5. uju arinze says:

    Jesus is Lord forever.

  6. Sandra Glenn says:

    Very interesting and inspiring. Thank you Lord for your presence. Bless each life and fill them abundantly with the Holy Spirit.

  7. Sheryl Fulkerson says:

    How fitting for the prayer warrior leaders of the U.S. to meet together at the Billy Graham Library. Billy Graham used the say that the 3 most important things in preparation for a crusade were PRAYER, PRAYER, & PRAYER! A ministry with a proven track record of over 60 years of integrity and faithfulness to preaching the Gospel was and still is dependent on prayer. I join you all in earnest prayer for our country.

  8. Mark Correll says:

    God bless each and everyone of you at the NPC, DPLN, BGEA, and the Billy Graham Library!!!

  9. Babis Chigodora says:

    I am one of those who have been following our father Billy Graham, for many years and I believe he is one of the leading pioneers of pentacostal Evagelism. I want urge you all to continue the good work.
    Though I wish I had an opportunity to register in a bible school and join in world Evangelism in this end time. But I come from a poor background I can not afford what others are doing. May you please advise If there is another way may the Lord continue to bless our father and you all.

  10. Harmony Wilson says:

    Such an incredible Man. Can’t. Listen or watch enough.