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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>The Billy Graham connection

>Ask a lot of 30 or unders who Billy Graham is…and you’ll get a blank stare. Really. Try it.

Here’s a wondrous prayer penned by Scotty Smith about the man, his mission, and the Lord connecting the two for Scotty’s good and heaven’s glory:

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8 Dear Lord Jesus, you alone are Savior … you alone are changeless … you alone are worthy of our unfettered adoration, unabated affection, and unquestioned allegiance. There’s no one like you—no one so full of grace and truth… so merciful and mighty… resplendent with beauty and a wellspring of generosity. Speaking of your generosity…

I begin this day humbled and grateful for an afternoon spent with one of those to-be-remembered leaders who first spoke the word of God to me—the man who first told me about your death for me and your great love for me… Billy Graham. He was on the silver screen… I was sitting in a theatre seat. He was an impassioned 49 and I was a squirrely 18. Jesus. He extended your call to eternal life, and you gave me the faith to believe. That was 42 years ago… great is your faithfulness, great is your kindness, great is your gospel!

To be in his welcoming home, to look into those magnificent eyes, to shake his aging hand and finally be able to “Thank you,” was one of the great joys of my life. And as fully expected, he simply deflected the praise to you.

Consider the outcome of his way of life and imitate his faith? Grant me the grace and strength to do so, Jesus. As we prepared to leave, his words of encouragement were clarion clear. “Keep Jesus central to everything… see Jesus everywhere in the Bible… pray as much and as often as you can.” Indeed, grant me the grace and strength to do so, Jesus.

I pray his desire to preach one more sermon will be realized. His text, printed in huge letters right beside his favorite chair? May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14). If he never mounts a pulpit again, he preached this text loud and clear in my heart yesterday afternoon…

Jesus, thank you for saving me through the preaching of the gospel by your faithful servant. So very Amen, I pray, in your holy and loving name.

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