Sunday, March 04, 2007

Billy Graham's Spiritual Secret

Jerry B. Jenkins, (2006) Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life. Georgetown, Ontario, Writers' Digest Books.

Read this book during the weekend in Petaling Jaya. Jerry Jenkins is better known as the co-author of The Left Behind Series. What is not so well known is that he is a prolific writer. He is a serious sports writer. To date, he has published 150 books. Jenkins reminds me of Isaac Asimov. Jenkins is also a writer of first person autobiography. While almost of the autobiographies he has written is of sports celebrities, he did a few who are not.

Writing first person autobiographies involves hours of interviews and research. What really strikes me in this book is Jenkins’ comment on Billy Graham.

(Jenkins) “Tell me, at least, how you maintain your own spiritual disciplines.”

His (Billy Graham) eyes lit up. “There’s no secret to that,” he said. “God doesn’t hide the key from us. The Bible says to pray without ceasing and to search the Scriptures. And I do that.”

I flinched. I had always hoped that the Apostle Paul’s New Testament admonition to “pray without ceasing” was somehow figurative. After about two to three minutes of prayer, my mind tends to wander, and I wonder whether the Cubs will ever see another World series. (Talk about a miracle)

“You pray without ceasing?” I said.

“I do.” Mr. Graham said, still with that air of pure humility. “And I have, every waking moment since I received Christ as a teenager.” He had seen the doubt on my face. “I’m praying right now as I’m talking to you,” he said, “Praying that God will use this book, that it will be clear that it’s more about Him than about me, praying that we’ll both do our jobs well and that He will get the glory.”

I was nearly speechless. “And this searching the Scriptures,” I managed, “how does that work?”

“Wherever I am,” he said, “at home, in my office, or in a hotel room in some other country, the first thing I do in the morning is to leave my Bible open somewhere where I will notice it during the day. I pick it up at odd moments and read a verse or two or a chapter or two or for an hour or two. And this is not for study or sermon preparation. This is for my own spiritual nourishment”

Now we know the spiritual secrets of Billy Graham.

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