Franklin Graham, the world renowned evangelist who also oversees the global Samaritan’s Purse aid organization, kicked off his national Decision America 2016 tour in Florida on Tuesday, calling on Christians to pray for themselves, their families, their communities and their country – and if God so advises, to run for political office.
“I believe God honors those in high places who honor Him,” he said, to the crowd of hundreds gathered at the steps of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee. “Our job as Christians is to make the impact of Christ felt on every aspect of life – religious, social, economic, political.
He then spoke of the “trash” his own local school board in North Carolina has given to students to read, and then called on those with the minds and hearts to serve to seek out public office.
“We need Christian men and women running for school boards,” Franklin said. “Can you imagine if the school boards in America, [if the] majority were evangelical Christians, the impact this would have for years to come?”
Franklin scoffed the notion of Christians staying separate from politics, saying “the enemy says that” and calling for more to get in the political game. But first and foremost, he advised prayer.
“I encourage you … to go back home and form prayer groups,” he said. “People coming together who believe in the Lord Jesus Chris who are concerned about the community and who are willing to pray. … then look for people in your community … you think who would be willing to run for office, then go out and campaign in the community and work to get them elected.”
Franklin’s Decision America 2016 is a 50-state stop at all the nation’s Capitol buildings to call for prayer, confession and repentance on the nation.
“We’re all here today because we know that our country is in trouble, we’re in spiritual trouble, economic trouble, political trouble, and we are in race trouble,” he said, at the outset of his Florida speech. “I think we may be more racially divided today than we were maybe 30 to 40 years ago.”
And, he added: “I have no hope in the Democratic Party” and “no hope in the Republican Party,” but rather only in God to fix the nation, he said.
He publicly prayed with those in the audience for the nation, for their personal sins, and for the sins of the previous generations and reminded: “The most important thing we can do here today is we can pray,” Franklin said.
“Let’s take this nation back,” he said, at the conclusion.