In his book “The Canvas Cathedral” Lewis Drummond declares, “God moves in answer to the prayers of his people. Billy Graham fully recognizes that revival, in the purest sense, comes through persistent prayer along with the faithful declaration of the Word of God.”
Billy shares from his experience “Prayer is crucial in evangelism: Only God can change the heart of someone who is in rebellion against Him. No matter how logical our arguments or fervent our appeals, our words will accomplish nothing unless God’s Spirit prepares the way.”
One of Billy’s early prayer experiences for revival occurred six months before the Spirit’s outpouring in Los Angeles in 1949. During a Youth for Christ all-night prayer meeting at Winona Lake Conference Center in Indiana, Billy stood up at three o’clock in the morning and read Joel 3:14: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” In that meeting God fell mightily upon them and they experienced a true touch of revival. Six months later came the Los Angeles Crusade.
Drummond continues, “Prayer, the Word, and the sovereignty of God always weave the pattern of genuine revival. As the church begins to sense the need of an awakening and engages in fervent prayer, the sovereign God is at work. Billy Graham makes much of the necessity of prayer and prays for real revival himself.”