The Archive Collection

Preparing For Evangelistic Outreach

February 1, 2014

For many years Sterling Huston directed Mr. Graham’s crusades in the USA and Canada. In his book, Crusade Evangelism and the Local Church, he clearly states, “Prayer is the first priority in Evangelism. People, methods, and materials are instruments, and it is only through prayer that these instruments become effective by the empowering of the Holy Spirit.” And Mr. Graham often said, “–when I am asked to list the most important steps for an evangelistic mission, my reply is always the same: prayer, prayer, prayer.” And speaking to church leaders, Billy admonished, “We must repent of our prayerlessness. We must make prayer our priority. Even our churches today have gotten away from prayer meetings.

Very soon after Billy Graham accepted an invitation to hold a crusade in a city, meetings would be called to gather together the pastors, church and para church leaders and lay persons, especially those involved in prayer groups within their own church and in prayer gatherings involving many churches. Beyond that, as the crusade preparations progressed the entire Christian community was encouraged to pray. Specific items that needed prayer were communicated to those who had promised to pray. Examples of items designed to encourage prayer, made available through the churches included prayer calendars, prayer wheels, 24 hour prayer sign ups, prayer dots, and the Operation Andrew plan which encouraged praying for those individuals that you wanted to be saved.

In addition prayer groups were organized in in the business, academic, medical, industrial, and various other communities throughout the city, not only encouraging prayer for the crusade preparations, but that the church be revived and hearts prepared to respond favorably to the preaching of the Good News. And every effort was taken to open a prayer home on every residential block to bring together those who worked at home. The above meetings were coordinated with a prayer time broadcast heard over a local Christian radio station.


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