This is my review of Billy Graham’s autobiography in terms of his prayers. In this second part (from 1949 to 1950), I can’t believe all the things that were happening in Billy Graham’s life: he was the president of a Christian college; he was getting into films, and radio; and he was in the beginning stages of his crusade ministry. But he did it all with the help of prayer.
Turning points: 1949 – 1950
12. The Los Angeles crusade of 1949, in spite of ambitious efforts, was getting very little press and there was little hope of a good turn out. But Billy urged his people to go forward by prayer. The first few meetings were not filled to capacity, however, as interest increased more and more people came. Prayer was working!
13. Billy Graham, along with Grady, Cliff and Bev prayed as to whether to extend the Los Angeles meetings. God showed them through the dramatic conversion of Stuart Hamblen, a popular radio announcer, that the crusades must continue. (pp. 148-149)
14. Again prayer was made by the team as to whether to extend the Los Angeles meetings a second time in spite of a fierce storm that was headed toward them. They prayed that if God wanted them to continue, the storm would not reach them. The next morning the storm had dissipated! (p. 154)
15. Because of the huge amounts of prayer that went out all over southern California, as well as in other parts of the country, the 1949 Los Angeles meetings were a success and, as Billy put it, “[They were] the whole secret of everything that had happened: God had answered prayer.” (pp. 155, 158)
16. Billy didn’t do all his evangelism from the pulpit. On one particular occasion Billy took the opportunity to explain the gospel to a man named Mickey. Billy recalled that as he talked to him he also prayed inwardly that God would help him find the right words. (p. 152)
17. Besides sermon preparation, Billy also took time to pray over burdens and to seek God’s direction; he recounted that some mornings, as early as five o’clock, he would go to Grady’s room to ask him to pray with him. (p. 155)
18. Billy Graham had his moments of great faith. One time, as his team was getting ready for an out-door crusade, and it was pouring down rain, he said to his team, “Lets pray and ask God to clear the sky, if it is His will.” Well the rain continued, and everyone thought that the meetings would be cancelled. But not Billy. He declared, “The sun will be shining by the time the meetings begin.” And that’s just what happened. By the time the first hymn had begun, the rain stopped! (pp. 166-167)
19. Billy Graham was privileged to know some great people. One of his close friends was the German industrialist John Bolten. Besides being very wealthy and highly talented, he also had a superior knowledge of the Bible. Billy recalled that he and Bolten would often spend hours praying and discussing the meaning of certain Bible passages. (p. 169)
20. In 1950 radio was the best avenue for evangelism in the media. But when Dr. Walter A. Moier suddenly died of a heart attack Billy’s heart sunk. He knelt in prayer in his hotel room, praying that God would raise up a replacement for him. Well, he became his replacement. By the God-led urging of Dr. Elsner, a preacher from Philadelphia, and by faithful givers, $25, 000 was raised to start a radio program—The Hour of Decision (Read Just as I Am, pp. 176-183, to get all the details. It is quite an intriguing story). (pp. 176, 179)