Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

By   •   July 19, 2012

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.

I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for, and my son Franklin recently shared a vision for perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to launch an outreach called My Hope with Billy Graham that would bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.

BGEA has already taken My Hope to more than 50 nations. We’ve worked in close partnership with local churches across each country, and those churches have reported millions of life-changing decisions for Christ. Carrying out a nationwide American version of this evangelistic outreach will be an enormous undertaking, but in my spirit I know God has called us to do this, and I pray He will stir your heart to join us in prayer and support.

Franklin will share more about the project with you as the planning develops. In the meantime, all this year Franklin and his son Will are preaching “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, ESV) at Crusade events across North America—from Texas to Canada—and God has blessed the work. Already tens of thousands have heard the Gospel, and many have responded, especially young people.

As I write, I am in the middle of a busy summer enjoying visits with many of my grandchildren and other family members, but also working hard on a new book that addresses some dangerous illusions about eternal salvation that are becoming increasingly accepted in many places. I want to point the world to what the Bible says.

Although age and health restrict my mobility and my stamina, not to mention my eyesight and hearing, I am thankful for the days God has given me, and I am humbled by His continued hand of favor on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The Lord draws people to Himself daily through BGEA’s various evangelistic ministries, and I am so deeply grateful.

May God bless you,

Billy Graham

P.S. – We have many invitations and opportunities to carry out so many kinds of outreach, but we just don’t have the finances to do them all. We need the help of friends like you. Your gift this month—and just as important, your prayers—is an investment that will show results for all eternity. 

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  1. Leon says:

    Our God is faithful…He will be coming soon…Let us not cease in prayer for a lost world. God bless your ministry.

  2. Debbie Poland says:

    Thank you and your family for being such an awesome voice for Christians in America.. May God continue to bless you all!!

  3. ED CRUNK says:

    Billy, thank you for your life and your example. I am completely saddened at what is happening to America. People are becoming increasingly hard to love. Please pray for my heart to be softened and for me to be a good example.

  4. Myrna says:

    so true so real… I ache myself everyday of my life .. its gotten worse! I know your wife would have been very dissapointed, aching and in prayers..

  5. Rod Hulls says:

    We always get USA news over here on Tv,as an outsider moral decline in every facet of life over there is so evident,the reaping is on the way,as Jesus says,repent , or I will be no where to be found when you call to me in your hour of need.

  6. Kent Harris says:

    When you turn from God and His law your prayers will be an abomination. America is being completely defiant and this is why God through our leaders spoke of judgement when they recited Isaiah 9:10. In fact, read Isaiah 9 in its entirety because America will not turn from its evil ways and that is clearly seen each and everyday.

  7. Victoria says:

    We need to pray continually about all of these major points, abortion, lack of the love and adoration of God, the importance of praying for our children, etc.

  8. Ray says:

    2 chronicles 7:14 if his people would repent that is me and you his body .The church has been asleep for too long we have allowed this to happen to our nation and our is time for the church to repent and see the blessings of God

  9. maryann says:

    Am giving this testimony because someone out there may have similar problem My Husband doesn’t think polygamy is wrong. He has been seeing another girl for about four months now. I told him that he needs to stop, but he says he is in love with her. T

  10. Clint says:

    Please Pray For:” A Better-Leadership 0f America”, “In Jesus's Name”,”We `the People Ask It All”,”Amen”,!!