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. William Gottipalli says:

    I love those poems of Ruth Bell Graham. They are beautiful, inspiring and are adorable.

  2. genette waits says:

    I’m blessed to have known this great lady also her husband has blessed me looking forward to seeing you again Ruth Bell Graham when my time is up down here but I wanta see Jesus First Amen

  3. Tana Allen says:


  4. Rickie pierce says:

    The poem posted today described Mr. Graham to a T. It was called “The Man I Prayed For.

  5. ann hughes says:

    Unable to donate at the present time. Have followed Billy Grahams ministry since I was privileged to attend a Crusade in the early 60’s in Greenville SC when I as a young teenager. I have always loved Ruth Grahams poetry and admired her walk with the Lord. I continue to follow Franklin Grahams ministry. God has blessed the world thru Billy Graham ministries. I count it a privilege to follow this ministry. Ann Hughes

  6. Lorida Pestano says:


  7. Onita Burns says:

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  8. pushpa says:

    Lovely poem to read & cherish

  9. Kris Beilby says:

    What I have read of Ruth Graham’s poems are wonderful!

  10. Fran Campbell says:

    I love Ruth’s poetry. She was blessed with such a caring heart, and her main theme – always – was to serve Him and bask in His love while here on Earth, doing the job He had for her.