CHARLOTTE – My Hope America with Billy Graham is in full swing as the evangelist turns 95 today (Nov. 7) and Christians across the U.S. plan to share his newest message to America with friends, family and neighbors.
“My Hope has been used in many countries and hundreds of thousands of people have received Christ as Savior,” Billy Graham said. “I’ve been praying that we might have a spiritual awakening. But I think that becomes possible as individuals surrender their lives fresh and anew to Christ. And that’s the hope that we have.”
My Hope America with Billy Graham is a grass-roots evangelistic effort of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, anchored by the already released 30-minute films “Lose to Gain,” “Defining Moments,” and its Spanish version “Momentos Decisivos,” and the upcoming “The Cross,” which Graham will release on his birthday. All feature relevant testimonies and a clear gospel message.
The outreach is designed for Christians to host in their homes neighbors and friends who have not accepted Christ, view a My Hope film with them and offer salvation. The strategy was inspired by the biblical account of the Apostle Matthew, recorded in Matthew 9:9-13 and Luke 5:27-31. When Jesus called Matthew to follow Him, Matthew threw a party and invited people to his home to meet Jesus.
My Hope began in 2002 to take the gospel into homes around the world through mass media and personal relationships. Ten years and 57 countries later, the outreach is spreading across North America and culminating this week.
As with previous Billy Graham crusades, this project is built on prayer. For over a year, church leaders across the nation have been meeting, praying and preparing to engage their churches in the project.
Christians in more than 28,000 churches across the U.S. and Canada have created a list of their friends, family and neighbors who need to know Jesus. They began praying by name for these individuals and sought opportunities to build relationships with them before inviting them into their homes for the presentation this month.
Those only hearing about the event this fall may not have had as much pre-invitation prayer time, but they are quickly planning community or church-wide events to encourage individuals to invite their unsaved friends, neighbors and families to hear the gospel. Many are including a fellowship meal.
Prison ministries are also participating through materials designed specifically for Christian inmates to invite their peers to view one of the programs.
“I’m so glad you have included us, the prisons, in My Hope,” a prison chaplain from Georgia said. “Many times we’re overlooked. Thank you for including us. The men are hungry for God.”
Pray for a revival in prisons and jails across the U.S. as inmates are exposed to the clear gospel message of My Hope, Graham encourages.
High school and college students, including groups from Liberty University, Evangel University and Moody Bible Institute, are hosting large My Hope viewings. Some are even using class time to prepare students to host individual viewings.
Pray also for a revival to break out among young people as Christian students are praying together and seeking God, organizers encourage.
Ministries for the homeless, city missions and day shelters are taking advantage of the opportunity to show a My Hope America program as well.
Through nationwide broadcasts Nov. 7-10, and tens of thousands of DVDs and downloaded programs, My Hope is designed for the message of redemption in Christ to be shared through the holidays and beyond.
My Hope’s goal is for Christians to make prayer for and outreach to the world around them an everyday part of their lives.
To check local My Hope listings, order a DVD or watch the program online, visit MyHopeWithBillyGraham.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – After serving as the Southern Baptist Convention prayer coordinator at the North American Mission Board from 2000 to 2010, Elaine Helms is now the prayer coordinator for My Hope America with Billy Graham and the director of ChurchPrayerMinistries.org. She is the author of Prayer 101, What Every Intercessor Needs to Know.)