In the Bible we read that Nehemiah was discouraged and distressed because the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down and its gates had been burned with fire. He sat down and wept and mourned for his nation—and he cried out to the God of heaven.
God heard his prayers and used him to lead the people to rebuild those broken-down walls. They were greatly outnumbered by their enemies and facing opposition and vicious threats. They responded by praying and seeking God, and they went to work rebuilding what had been torn down, even holding their weapons in their hands to protect themselves while they worked. In a miraculously short time—52 days—they rebuilt the walls and hope was restored.
America's walls of biblical morality are crumbling. Almost everyone I speak with is distraught over the direction our nation is taking. Christianity and our religious freedoms are under siege. Progressives and secularists want to see God removed from everything and to burn every gate of protection.
We can't sit idle. Like Nehemiah we need to take a bold stand. We need to cry out to God on behalf of our nation. Nehemiah confessed the sins and failures of the people, "including myself and my father's family," and repented. He prayed, "We have acted very wickedly toward you" (Nehemiah 1:6–7, NIV).
I believe that it is going to take the church of Jesus Christ standing up for righteousness, shoulder to shoulder, to make a difference in this country. I do not believe that Republicans or Democrats or any other party can turn this nation around, but I do have hope. God hears the prayers of His people, and walls can be rebuilt.
I will be devoting my time in 2016 to go to every state in our country—all 50—to hold a prayer rally, to preach the gospel, and to challenge believers to take a stand and take action. We are calling it the Decision America Tour, and we will begin announcing dates for specific cities on the tour in October. Be watching for that. My purpose for going is to call the church and Christians to pray, to vote, and to engage.
I'm not going to endorse specific candidates, but I believe it's vitally important that we vote for those who best support biblical and godly principles. Christians should be going to the polls and voting in record numbers. Your vote does matter. Millions of evangelical Christians did not vote in the last presidential election. If Christians continue to leave voting to others, there may be no turning this country around. The first political debate that aired recently had the highest viewership in cable TV history—24 million watching. I think this is evidence of the dissatisfaction with Washington and shows that voters are paying attention.
During the Decision America Tour, I want to urge Christians not only to vote but also to engage by running for political office at all levels—local, state, and federal. We need Christian judges, Christian assembly members, and Christian mayors. We need Christian clerks of court, school board members, governors, and, of course, senators and representatives. Most importantly on this tour, I am calling on those who follow the name of Jesus Christ to do as God's Word says: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14, MEV).
The only hope for America is to have hearts changed—and Christ can do that. On the 50-state Decision America Tour, I will be preaching the only message that has the power to bring real and lasting change—the gospel. In every state next year, I will preach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took our sins to the cross, shed His blood, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind, and God raised Him to life. I will be giving an invitation for people to repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives.
The success of the Decision America Tour depends on prayer. Just as Nehemiah's people were threatened, this effort will be under attack.
But just as Nehemiah found, it is worth it. I don't believe Christians should be shrinking back. America is at a crossroads, and I believe we should take every opportunity to stand up for the things of God and His Word.
The strategy that the Lord gave Nehemiah was for each family to begin repairing the portion of the wall nearest their own home. And in our day we can begin rebuilding the wall around our own homes as well. How? Start a prayer group in your own community to pray that our nation would turn back to God—just a few friends praying together every week can make a huge impact. Join your state's prayer team and pray for the Decision America Tour and for our nation. Support Christians running for office in your city and state. Engage right where you are to make a difference for Christ.
Thank you for standing with us at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to take the gospel message to as many people as possible through radio, the Internet, evangelistic Crusades both here at home and around the world, and now the Decision America Tour.
Franklin Graham, son of iconic evangelist Billy Graham, is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.
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