Selections from Ruth Bell Graham’s Poetry

By   •   June 9, 2015

Each June, we remember Ruth Bell Graham’s birthday as well as the anniversary of her death. Mrs. Graham was born on June 20, 1920 in eastern China. She lived a full life as a missionary, mother of five and wife to Billy Graham. She went to be with the Lord on June 14, 2007. During her lifetime, Mrs. Graham wrote dozens of poems. Here are three of them.

The Man I Prayed For
Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.

Only You
Dusty my soul tonight.
Earth has been dear.
Bewildered, I come to You,
Father God, hear.
Idols that charm me,
dreams that allure,
pains that alarm me,
suspense to endure,
memories that linger,
thoughts that ensnare,
a heart that is aching,
all crumpled by care,
unsatisfied, restless,
scarce able to pray–
everything, everything
take it away.
Only You,
none but You,
Jesus alone:
ashes the rest to me,
songs with a groan,
take them each one away–
mind not my tears–
lift me above this earth’s
joys and its fears,
give me Yourself alone–
nothing beside–
so will I be with You,

Time to Adore
And when I die
I hope my soul ascends
slowly, so that I
may watch the earth receding
out of sight,
its vastness growing smaller as I rise,
savoring its recession with delight.
Anticipating joy is itself a joy.
And joy unspeakable
and full of glory needs more
than “in the twinkling of an eye,”
more than “in a moment.”

Lord, who am I to disagree?
It’s only we have much to leave behind;
so much … Before.
These moments of transition
will, for me,
be time to adore.

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  1. Claudia Frost says:

    I know you are in the arms of Jesus so my words here are for Billy. I know God is with him while his body is so weary. He adores you and I know he longs to be reunited with you and the Lord. Loving you both I pray that won’t be much longer, but God’s timing is always right! God bless you both and thank you both for your mark on all us Christians!

  2. Carole says:


  3. Luke says:

    Truly amazing Ruth Graham
    May the love of God always
    Be with you

  4. janet says:


  5. sherry b russeoll says:


    1. sherry b russeoll says:

      She had God in her heart . May God bless her family

  6. lindabennett says:

    Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord

  7. Billie Franklin says:

    Love this Ladies poems!!


    I love the poems. God bless her soul. I specifically love this part. “lift me above this earth’s joys and its fears.’ Thanks for sharing.

  9. Stellah Maris says:

    Beautiful poems. I believe she is where I long to be. in Jesus Christ’s Arms and gazing at the Beauty of the Lord.

  10. Ester Kadenyi says:

    Am blessed by these poems. Amazing and blessing to all of us that are ministered to. God bless you. More please.