On The Passing Of The Prophet Billy Graham

“Are there still Prophets today?” Dr. Randall O’Brien asked.

It was at the end of our semester studying Old Testament Prophets together. The room of a hundred students started discussing, buzzing with opinion, finally turning to Billy Graham.

One student said Rev Graham was certainly a Prophet. Another disagreed.

Dr. O’Brien, gesturing toward a student sitting next to me on the last row of the nose-bleed seats, asked, “What do you think, Rachel-Ruth?”

The whole class turned to see who he was talking to.

“Is your granddad a Prophet?”

Without pause she answered. “With a small p.”

A few years later Billy Graham came to Nashville. He was white-headed, bent over by age, a little hoarse, slow spoken and more than a little rambling in his delivery.

Becky and I had been trained for weeks to be counselors during the crusade’s “invitation.” But as I listened to Rev Graham preach, I confess, I wasn’t sure we’d be needed.

But when he invited people who wanted a relationship with Jesus to leave their seats, hundreds of them did.

When God had a message to get to his people in exile, God spoke through a Prophet. Not someone who sees the future, but someone who passed on the message. And the message was always the same: turn to God and live fully.

If people listened and were persuaded it was not because of the Prophet’s skill but God’s power. Even when his skill and stamina were eroded by old age, God’s power through Rev Graham never faded.

We’ve lost a prophet of God. Thank you for sending him, Lord. Send us another. Send us.

Rev. Billy Graham begins his 10-day Denver crusade on July 18, 1987 at Mile High Stadium, addressing a crowd estimated at 33,200. The evangelist had spent several days in the area preparing his sermons. After the service, approximately 1,500 people came forward to profess their Christian faith. (Linda McConnell/Rocky Mountain News/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/RMN-025-0750)
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