Billy Graham & Spiritual Disciplines

“Unless the soul is fed and exercised daily, it becomes weak and shriveled.  It remains discontented, confused, restless.” – Rev. Billy Graham

In an interview for his book, Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life, author Jerry Jenkins asked the Rev. Billy Graham how he maintained spiritual disciplines in his own life.

“His eyes lit up,” Jenkins wrote. “There’s no secret to that,” Billy Graham 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’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.”

Jenkins then asked him about searching the Scriptures.

“Wherever I am,” Graham 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.”

Discipline is hard.  And spiritual disciplines can be intimidating.  But their practice is not optional to the Christian life.  They are at the heart of it.  Prayer, scripture, solitude, simplicity – they serve to keep our focus on God and not ourselves.

This week we’ve encouraged some “warm up exercises” as we enter this season of Lent; spiritual practices that help us to develop an intentional rhythm of putting ourselves before God each day.  They are simple habits.

Spiritual disciplines don’t have to be heavy or burdensome to be helpful; just consistent.

Billy Graham had a gift.  But he didn’t start out influencing millions of people for Christ.  He started out one step at a time.  One day at a time.  One spiritual practice at a time.  One sermon at a time.

God meets us right where we are.  Let’s give ourselves to meeting with God this Lenten season.

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