Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - bil­ly­gra­ham.org BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: Ev­ery week in our church ser­vice our pas­tor prays for our lead­ers and for world peace, but I can’t see that it does any good. The world is in just as big a mess as it has ever been, if not more. I guess I’m cyn­i­cal about any­thing ever chang­ing.

— N.T. DEAR N.T.: God hasn’t promised that our world will ever be the peace­ful and trou­ble-free place we all seek — not un­til Christ comes again to bring the present age to an end and es­tab­lish His per­fect rule of jus­tice and peace. Then, the Bi­ble says, “Na­tion will not take up sword against na­tion, nor will they train for war any­more” (Isa­iah 2:4).

Does this mean it’s use­less to pray for our lead­ers or for peace? Cer­tainly not. For one thing, God has com­manded us to pray for them, and fail­ing to do so would be an act of dis­obe­di­ence on our part. Think how dif­fer­ent our world would be if we prayed reg­u­larly for those to whom God has en­trusted lead­er­ship. I of­ten think of Paul’s words to his young pas­tor friend Tim­o­thy: “I urge, then, first of all, that pe­ti­tions, prayers, in­ter­ces­sion and thanks­giv­ing be made for all peo­ple — for kings and all those in author­ity, that we may live peace­ful and quiet lives” (1 Tim­o­thy 2:1-2).

In ad­di­tion, what if ev­ery­one stopped pray­ing for peace, and for those who are try­ing to bring it about? I have no doubt that the world would be in even worse shape. We don’t al­ways know what ef­fect our prayers have — but that mustn’t keep us from pray­ing.

Don’t let cyn­i­cism, or doubt, or any­thing else keep you from pray­ing for our world and its lead­ers. God’s prom­ise is sure: “The prayer of a right­eous per­son is pow­er­ful and ef­fec­tive” (James 5:16).

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