Hopeful Rhode Islanders Return to State’s Roots at Decision America Rally

By   •   August 31, 2016

An estimated 2,100 people joined Franklin Graham for a time of prayer during the Decision America Tour stop in Rhode Island. The tour rolls on next door to Connecticut for a prayer rally this Thursday.

“… This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast …”
Hebrews 6:19


This four-letter word that turns up 121 times in the Bible is what drove the founders of Rhode Island. Since the earliest days, it has appeared on the state’s seal and flag. Nobody can prove where it came from, but the state’s website points to God’s Word, specifically Hebrews 6:18-19.

On Wednesday, Franklin Graham reminded an estimated 2,100 people of the only hope for Rhode Island and the United States of America.

Guy Daniels, 16, said Jesus changed his life, and now he wants to see others come to know Him. “People don’t understand there’s a meaning to their lives,” he said at the Decision America stop in Rhode Island. “Once people start to encounter Christ, they start to get hope.”

“My hope is in Almighty God. He is the only hope for this nation” Franklin Graham said, opening the 40th prayer rally of the nationwide Decision America Tour. This year, Franklin Graham is visiting all 50 state capitals, encouraging Christians nationwide to seek God and get involved in the political process.

Lisa Morse has been praying Americans will return to God for quite some time. While volunteering with Wednesday’s rally, she said she considered the Decision America stop an answer to her prayers.

“I hope that this [prayer rally] lights a fire and it just keeps spreading,” Lisa said while holding Christian flags for distribution. “We need hope. People need hope. We would not be depressed as Rhode Islanders if we had hope in Jesus. He is the only hope we have.”

Guy Daniels, a 16-year-old from nearby North Kingstown, discovered the hope of Christ two years ago because his friend displayed the light of Jesus. Guy was intrigued by a friend who seemed to always have joy, while his other drug addicted pals didn’t. The sober friend told Guy about Jesus and a short time later, Guy gave up his drug addiction.

“I turned to the Lord and my life completely changed,” said Guy, who noted that many of his previously drug addicted friends have come to know Jesus, too. “When I lifted my hands [in worship] I felt like a weight came off of me.”

This year, Guy has participated in weekly 12-hour prayer services that are primarily geared toward lifting up our nation before the Lord. On Wednesday, he arrived early to hear what Franklin Graham had to say.

“I have a heart for my city, a heart for my state,” Guy said, “I know that God wants to move here.

Franklin Graham addresses the crowd in Rhode Island.

“We were founded on hope. It might say it on the seal, on the flag, but Rhode Island has no hope [right now]. It’s pretty much turned into a hopeless state. To me, I want it to be true. I don’t want it to be lies on the flag. I want Rhode Island to have hope.”

For the Christian, hope is more than wishful thinking. Hope anchors (Hebrews 6:19). Hope revives (1 Peter 1:3). Hope endures (Psalm 147:11). Hope honors (Romans 5:5).

It’s believing God will do what He says. And in the case of the Decision America Tour, that means holding Him to 2 Chronicles 7:14, which states, “ if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

“He gave us that Scripture because He loves us, and He wants a relationship with us,” said Tammy LaSale, who drove up from Massachusetts to attend the rally. She carried a sign bearing 2 Chronicles 7:14 on one side.

“I just see how much this country is being attacked by the enemy,” she said. “We need God’s hands. We don’t want His hands off of us.”

Rhode Islanders clinging to their state motto and it's biblical basis.
Rhode Islanders cling to their state motto of hope and its biblical basis.