Who’s praying for you?
February 22, 2018 | My Jottings
In light of the recent passing of Billy Graham, I thought I would republish this old post of mine about Billy’s wife Ruth.
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Several years ago the phone rang while I was vacuuming, and I thought I’d let it go over to voice mail. Then I saw that Michael picked it up in the garage and was speaking with someone for quite a while. When he hung up the phone he came in the back door with tears in his eyes, and my stomach sank as I thought the absolute worst and then whispered to him, “Who was that?”
“Ruth Graham,” he answered emotionally.
It took me a few seconds to react and I stood there staring at him, saying nothing. Ruth Graham, Ruth Graham, Ruth Graham – I was searching through mental files for something that would click, because I was expecting news about a family member.
Then it registered.
“Billy’s wife?” I asked incredulously. He nodded and his tears spilled over as he told me why she had called. Most of you probably know that Ruth Bell Graham had been an invalid for quite a while before her death a few years ago, but apparently she hadn’t let that stop her from impacting the kingdom for Christ.
I’d read that even though she was bedridden and in constant pain, she studied her Bible and spent hours in prayer each day, and that her passion for Jesus hadn’t been diminished by her suffering. So on this particular day, Mrs. Billy Graham was volunteering for her son Franklin’s organization, and she called to thank us for giving to Samaritan’s Purse. Michael and I had sent a small donation a few weeks before.
After she thanked Michael, Mrs. Graham chatted with him and asked him if there was anything she could lift up to the Lord for our family. He told her about one of our daughters, who was a prodigal taking a faraway path. For the next couple of minutes, Michael bowed his head and tried to keep from sobbing while Ruth Graham compassionately and powerfully prayed for our girl by name. Mrs. Graham knew a thing or two about prodigals from her own experience. I will never forget that blessing, that gift from God to my husband and me, and how greatly that encouraged us.
I remember marveling as I did the rest of my housework that day, “Ruth Graham has our phone number!” 🙂 And the next time we saw our daughter we told her that Mrs. Billy Graham had prayed for her, and she was surprised and encouraged too.
Over the years we began to see the hand of God move in our daughter’s life, just as we’ve seen His hand in our other daughters’ lives, and of course in our own lives as well. He has been faithful and merciful. Ruth Bell Graham isn’t the only one who has prayed for our family. We have cried out to God for our family, in whispered prayers while driving, in silence while doing dishes, in wailing and in weeping while snotting into the couch cushions, and I suppose we will continue to pray until we take our last breath on this earth – the needs are many and the Supplier is great.
Which one of you doesn’t relate? Aren’t we all deeply yearning for God to intervene in our lives and in the lives of the ones we love? I think the hardest thing about prayer is God’s timing. I have found it difficult to continue to pray in faith while wondering why God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to tend to my cries and important requests. But I’m learning. He’s teaching me patience and trust. My progress is snail-like, but at least I’m moving in the right direction.
So who is praying for you today? Your friends? Your spouse? Your pastor? Romans 8:34 says that even Jesus is ever interceding for us. I don’t fully understand this, but I accept it and give thanks.
I am no Ruth Graham, but I would be honored to pray for you today. We don’t even have to know each other – if you happened across this blog and you would like prayer for anything at all, please e-mail me and I will pray for you and keep your request confidential. I will sit quietly with you in God’s Waiting Room as you watch to see His hand move in those situations and people so dear to your heart.
Kneeling down and looking up,