A brief glance over Franklin Graham’s Facebook page will reveal that the evangelical leaders holds some pretty conservative values. Graham has been quite vocal about political issues in the past, and especially this year. But he is calling Americans everywhere—whether they are more Republican leaning or Democrat, to pray for the leaders of our nation.
In June, Graham introduced Donald Trump at a meeting for evangelical leaders in New York City. The meeting was arranged to allow dialogue between evangelical leaders (some of whom have qualms about supporting Trump) and Trump himself.
Graham’s remarks about Trump were positive and encouraged listeners to look past his flaws and support Trump for a couple of key reasons: Moses and David were great leaders who were also flawed, and a Trump presidency would be a lot better than a Clinton one.
However, Graham is trying to tow a very fine line between making remarks like these (and even speaking at the meeting that was geared toward framing Trump in a positive light) and trying to rally people of all political convictions to join him in praying for the nation and its future leaders.
Hours after making the positive speech about Trump, Graham posted a statement to his Facebook account saying, “I’m not endorsing any candidates, but I am going to all 50 states holding prayer rallies with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association #DecisionAmericaTour.”
Further, he hosted a Facebook live event to pray for the Democratic National Convention before it started on Monday. In his video, Graham emphasizes the importance of prayer for our nation at this critical time. He starts the video by saying, “Our country’s in trouble…I think our country—unless something changes—is doomed. I don’t see how we can make it.”
Graham points out that during this particular primary season there has been a lot of controversy, a lot of talk from the “talking heads,” yet not much mention of God and our need for him. Graham goes on to say his father, Billy Graham, knew all the presidents since Truman. He also knows “Trump quite well. And he also knows Hillary.” Graham explains his father felt the most important thing he could do for a politician was to pray for him or her when they met.
Graham also encourages Christians to run for political office—on a local or national level, even mentioning the school boards. He asks listeners to consider what a difference it would make in the trajectory of the nation if the majority of the mayors in the U.S. were born-again Christians.
Coming back to prayer, Graham started off by calling out several sins the American people have committed and repents of them on behalf of the nation. Specifically for the DNC, Graham prayed for each delegate “that they would look to you and turn to you. We pray for the democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine. Protect them, Father. Protect their families and all those that they love. And Father we pray this for all the candidates that are running this year.”
Graham concludes his prayer for the DNC by bringing up repentance again, “As the gavel gets ready to fall in Philadelphia for the opening of this Democratic Convention, my prayer is that your gavel of judgment will not fall on this nation, but that you will give us time to repent of our sins and once again, to seek your face.”
While some might not agree with Graham’s seemingly contradictory stance of “not endorsing any candidates,” yet making positive comments about Trump, we can agree prayer for the nation is needed. Prayer for our leaders is also needed, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum.