Thursday, January 31, 2019

From Ruth to Rich: What Are You Praying For? Do Something!

As I read late Billy Graham’s Just As I Am (1997) autobiography, I’m encouraged by his wife, Ruth Bell, for her life, support, and works in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry. About Ruth, Billy writes, “God gave Ruth many, many gifts, one of which was writing.” I agree. In this series, I try to imagine (one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind) what would Ruth Bell says to encourage young man like me – and perhaps, you. I hope you enjoy it!

My dearest son, Richard,

            There are times, I have found when praying is not enough. God says as it were, “What are praying for? Do something!” Moses, hotly pursued by Pharaoh, cried out to God, who replied, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children n of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15). And, after Israel’s ignominious defeat at Ai, the desperate Joshua prostrated himself in prayer before the Lord, only to hear Him say, “Get up! Why do you lie on your face this way? Israel has sinned…” (Joshua 7:10-11).

If your heart is listening as you pray, you will from time to time hear, “What are you praying for? Do something!” And you will know what it is you must do. There will be a wrong to put right, a sin to confess, a letter to write, a friend to visit or a parent to talk to. C.S. Lewis suggested that as we pray, Christ stands beside us changing us. “You may realize that,” he wrote, “instead of saying your prayers, you ought to be downstairs writing a letter, or helping your wife wash-up. Well, go and do it.” And again, “I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him.

And so it is with us, with you, my son. You must quick to pray and just as quick to obey!

With love,
Ruth Bell Graham
(1920 – 2007)


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