We have completed the first four stops on our Decision America Tour—with 46 more to go. Getting to every state will take most of my year, but this is a critical time for our country, and we don’t have long left to make a difference.
In Des Moines, Iowa, people began arriving hours before the prayer rally, and although the weather was gusty and below freezing all day, an enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,500 flooded the state Capitol’s West Terrace steps and spilled into the surrounding area. In Tallahassee, Florida, at least 3,500 filled the front lawn of the state’s Historic Capitol, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, more than 4,000 stood shoulder to shoulder in a plaza across from the Old State Capitol. And about 1,500 people braved a bitterly cold New Hampshire day to join me in Concord at the Capitol.
They came because they want to join with others in calling out to God to restore our nation. People traveled from all over these first four states, some even driving in from other states, bringing with them a strong sense of urgency. They know our country is broken—it’s broken morally; it’s broken spiritually; it’s broken politically; it’s broken racially.
“Instead of saying ‘Poor us,’ we need to take a stand,” a father named Roger said at the Iowa rally. He is deeply concerned that America’s religious freedoms are hanging in the balance. “From the town council to the school board to the statehouse, we need to start standing up.” He brought his wife and teenage sons with him to make the family’s voice heard.
A woman named Judy who was in the crowd at one of the events with a friend summed up her perspective on why the Decision America Tour is so important for the country. “I think if America doesn’t change, America will fail.”
Her friend added, “What is being said at these rallies needs to be said.” Judy finished the thought for both of them: “And it needs to be prayed.”
The most important thing that we can do, as Christians, is pray. God hears prayer and God answers prayer. I believe there is a powerful biblical model for calling on God to turn a nation back to Him. It starts with repentance—not only by the nation but by God’s people, confessing our own sinfulness. In the time of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel was in real trouble.
When Nehemiah began to pray for the people’s hearts to be turned and the nation to be restored, he said, “I confess the sins we have committed against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted corruptly toward You and have not kept the commands, statutes, and ordinances You gave Your servant Moses” (Nehemiah 1:6–7, HCSB).
We followed Nehemiah’s pattern in each city. I asked the people to join me, right there at the prayer rally, in a time of silent repentance for our own sins and then to acknowledge before God the sin in our churches, our families, and our family history. We confessed the sins of our nation, as well, and prayed for America and its people.
Not everyone attending these rallies knows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. At each event I carefully explain the message of the Gospel and give an invitation. Because of the nature of the rallies and their setting, it is not practical to invite those who respond to come forward, so we ask them to let us know of their decision by texting from a cellphone. As God works, people are opening their hearts to Him at each prayer rally—125 in Baton Rouge. We connect with them individually for follow-up, offering resources to begin their walk with the Lord, suggesting opportunities for discipleship, and urging them to find a Bible-teaching local church. We praise God for each person whose life is changed.
Pray that many more will turn to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith as a result of what they hear and experience at Decision America Tour prayer rallies. Churches brought bus loads and van loads of people to the prayer rallies. In Tallahassee, the pastor of a small church who drove his church van from a town 90 miles away had to recruit someone to drive a car as well because more people wanted to come than he expected. “We need to take on a greater role as born-again Christians in our nation,” he said. “But nothing will occur without fervent prayer.”
See the Faces of the Decision America Tour
Over 11,700 people across four states have come out to join Franklin Graham so far.
During this 50-state tour, I am urging Christians to get engaged in the political process and stay engaged. We need men and women to run for office at every level, Christians who believe in biblical values and principles and are willing to stand for them and follow them.
And we need people who serve and follow Jesus Christ to learn the issues, pay attention to the candidates, and vote in every election—local, state, and national. I’m not telling people who to vote for. We won’t permit any candidates to appear at any Decision America Tour rally, and I am not endorsing anyone. Who to vote for is something each person should decide through prayer. No political party is going to be able to turn this around. I have no hope in the Democratic Party. I have no hope in the Republican Party. I have no hope in any other party to fix the problems. My only hope is in Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
A woman named Patty at the Des Moines rally expressed it quite well: “I’m hoping people listen to what is being said and vote biblically. You know, be a Biblican, not a Republican or Democrat.”
A tour to every state capital in America is a huge undertaking, and we need your financial gifts and your prayers to carry it out. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, for the sake of our country’s future, we can’t delay. Pray that God will impact lives across the land and turn our nation to Him.
May God richly bless you,