This is my review of Billy Graham’s autobiography in terms of his prayers. In this third part we will cover the span of time from 1950 to 1954, when Billy preached in over 40 places (I counted over 30 places in America and 10 places in Europe).
1950 – 1954
21. Billy Graham took the time to get to know and minister to all the U. S. presidents. In the 50’s it was present Eisenhower. He recalled how he prayed for him when he was sick and how he had the opportunity to confirm with him the gospel and the precious promises of salvation. (p. 205)
22. In 1954 Billy Graham recounted that because of his frequent travels he had very little time at home in Montreat. But when he was home he spent most of his time in studying and in prayer. He prayed as he walked the mountain trails—for hours. (p. 212)
23. Billy also prayed while he sat on the front porch of a cottage near his home (which was the former residence of the late J. Wilbur Chapman, one of America’s great evangelists). He recounted, “In the solitude and beauty of the mountains, I meditated and prayed…I would pray and pray and pray, believing deep in my soul that God would bless and honor His Word if I preached it faithfully.” (pp. 212, 213)
24. In 1954, in the wake of the London Crusade, the British were suspicious of Americans coming over to save them and they predicted the Crusade would fail. The Billy Graham team, however, had great faith in God. While on the SS United States, headed for London, key leaders met every morning for prayer and Bible study: with Grady Wilson, Dawson Trotman (leader of the Navigators), Dr. Paul Ree (pastor of First Covenant church in Minneapolis) Paul Maddox, Dr. and Mrs. Wade Freeman, and Ruth and Billy Graham. What a time that must have been! They indeed laid the groundwork for what was to come in London. (pp. 213, 214)
25. The day before the 1954 London Crusade Billy Graham spent the entire day studying and praying in his hotel room. (p. 220)
26. At the end of the day, the night before the Crusade, Billy and Ruth prayed intensely on their knees for the Crusade that was feared would not bring many. But in answer to prayer, the stadium was packed! (pp. 221-222)
27. The London Crusade will be especially remembered for the many prayers that were made for Britain and for the spiritual battle that was waged. Prayer groups all over the world were praying for the meetings. It was reported that in India alone there were 35,000 prayer groups engaged. Also, during the Crusade all-night prayer meetings went on all over the city. The results: the stadium was not only packed every day, but on weekends they had to have two services! (pp. 222-224)
28. Billy Graham was often summoned by very famous and important people. Just after the London Crusade in 1954, Billy was invited for a private session by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. There in his office Billy shared the gospel with him and prayed with him, acknowledging that God was the only hope for the world and for individuals.
29. After the 1954 London Crusade the team became determined to make Great Britain a major part of their ministry. And, as it happened, they didn’t wait long. Just a year later, after three crusades in America, they were back. Billy recounted that as they traveled by car across country, on a two-hundred-mile trip to London, they spent much of the time in prayer for the salvation of the people of Great Britain. (p. 247)