Thursday, February 7, 2019

From Ruth to Rich: How to Start Praying? Just Pray

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,

            About the previous letter, I wrote about prayer… and let me continue with that theme here. A balance. As you know, my child, men of God whose prayers are recorded for us in the Scriptures, never read a book on prayer, never went to a seminar on prayer, never heard a sermon on prayer. They just prayed. Satan fears prayer because God hears prayer. Satan will stop at nothing to distract a person from praying or to get us to postpone praying or, failing to do that, to discourage us in our prayers.

This letter is simply to encourage you to START. Start praying where you are, as you are, about whatever concerns you, about whatever is lying most heavily on your heart, about whatever is irritating or frustrating you at present. Here is my suggestion: Keep a prayer list. Make your requests specific and date them. Then date the answer. Like the ungrateful lepers, we tend to forget. It may be impossible to date the answers to certain requests. For instance, if I pray for patience, I will not find that on such and such a date I suddenly become patient. But if I pray for guidance in a particular problem, for the conversion of a friend or for the resolving of some apparently hopeless difficulty, recording the answer as well as the request will be a cause for worship and a means of strengthening my faith.

You may not likely to keep a prayer list, I know you. But let this be an encouragement for you to just START praying. Be pointed. Be persistent. Be patient. But pray!

With love,
Ruth Bell Graham
(1920 – 2007)


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