By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – With the world facing “perilous times” and “anxiety stemming from economic challenges,” evangelical leader Franklin Graham is asking congregations to pray for President Barack Obama, even though Graham endorsed the president’s opponent in the 2012 election.
“Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama … for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes,” Graham said in a statement. “While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies.”
Graham – the president and CEO of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – is the son of Billy Graham, the famed evangelist with many political ties. The elder Graham has met and prayed with every president since Harry Truman.
Though Franklin Graham decries political partisanship in his statement, he endorsed Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
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After meeting with Romney at the elder Graham’s home in Montreat, North Carolina, Franklin Graham gave a full-throated endorsement of Romney in a USA Today opinion piece. Billy Graham appeared in full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspapers, calling on voters to cast a ballot for their faith.
"As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last,” reads the ad, which features Graham prominently. "I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God."
Many saw the ad as an endorsement of Romney due to its timing, but Franklin Graham insists the ad was not a formal endorsement of Romney, rather an endorsement of biblical values.
During an editorial meeting last week with CNN, Franklin Graham made the case that America was at a crossroads, especially economically. In the meeting, Graham said he thinks America’s economic doldrums could be God’s way of sending a message about the nation’s growing secularization – and about what Graham sees as its increasing immorality.
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Graham’s view is connected to his view of American exceptionalism, which revolves around the idea of a special relationship between God and the United States. “God has blessed the United States of America more than any other nation on this earth,” Graham said. “But we’ve turned our back on God as a nation and it’s sad, and I believe that his hand of blessing could slowly be removed from this country. We need to repent.”
Graham made the same sort of economic message in his call to prayer.
“When we look at the moral and economic decline of our nation and the international threats before us, it should be clear that we cannot solve these monumental problems without the help of Almighty God,” he said. “Our future may very well depend on our prayers.”
– CNN’s Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.
Graham is another loon heard from.
Shame on you for even having Franklin and his "thoughts". He's a disgrace and a loud mouth who only wants attention so he can make more money. Come on...with all the fine men who are in the religion field, you can do MUCH MUCH better than this guy.
Evangelical TV ministers are the most hateful purveyors of untruth we have seen in years. Too bad they don't pay their fair share of income tax.
Ps 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
Mr. Graham will give an account for his life just like we all will in due time.
That's a clever little piece of propaganda you're quoting there right4life.
why people listen to a word this charlatan says is beyond me.
Mr. Graham's behavior during this election cycle is a part of a larger loss of moral authority by church leaders. The clergyman's job is not and should not be partisanship. When we can longer distinguish between preachers and politicians, the church then becomes an extension of a political party, a super pac with religious overtones. This is not what Jesus came to do. This is religious extremism at its best, politicians cloaked in religious garb.
Why would anyone need to pray that "God would accomplish His will and purposes"? If there is an all-powerful god wouldn't that just be a given?
If his prayers worked, wouldn't Romney be president-elect now?
Incisive reply Mort Sahl.
' If his prayers worked, wouldn't Romney be president-elect now? "
Apparently it wasn't God's will that Romney be elected. Or... more/stronger prayers from the left swayed the Big Guy.
Or there's not a Big Guy to pray to that performs magic.
LOL ! :D What... your *Sarcasm* detector not working today ?
Apparently I need another cup of coffee.
Franklin Graham is more involved in making money than preaching the gospel. He believes that Obama is not a christian and so is he. Being the son of a prominent preacher does not make you a christian. Salvation is individual not a collective action. Everyone will answre to God individually.
Look,let's cut the crxp and get the tax issue to refund the government as well as the revamping of some government programs done NOW.
Praying won't do that-men and women working together in the government will.
Let's be adults and stop the four year long drag in getting this issue resolved.
What a hypocrite endorsing Romney who wants to help only the rich million-billionaires. Start praying for yourself so you will
be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and put common sense in your brain,
. If you are truly a Christian, start practicing the Church teachings and stop collecting money for your supposed
By the way Pres. Obama doesn't need your prayers, we the Americans are praying for him everyday!
It might be noted that Franklin is also an American.
You people hold Christian leaders to such high standards. I know this because you're bitterly disgusted by their shortcomings.
Just to keep Islam in perspective. From the BBC today.
A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least 23 people at a Shia Muslim procession in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, police say.
Yes... way to go. First, a total non-sequitur concerning the article. Then, make a comparison of a group of terroristis/extremeists in basically 3rd world countries.
Yep... way to go.
We should pray for Franklin Graham also. He and his father have lost a lot of respect over their convenient change of heart over Mormonism, their inability to plainly say "vote for Romney" when that was their obvious meaning, and their hateful remarks about Obama.
Franklin and other conservative Christians have been bemoaning the imminent collapse of America from liberalism for awhile now. Somehow God is able to keep the system going. Perhaps it is God who keeps the world turning, and not our self-righteousness.
Would Jesus have voted for Mitt? Would he have supported a "Rich Man" over a champion of the poor and downtrodden? Would he have identified with the liberals or the conservatives? Would he have 3 or 4 handguns, and assault rifles? Who is fooling who?
Lsteel hit the nail on the head. Very good observation.
I have never understood people praying for God's will to be done. Isn't He all powerful? Isn't everything that is happening His will by definition? What these people really want is for God to do their will. Phony hypocrites all.
Try reading the scriptures. Jesus commanded we do that. It's just as much for us so we realize the sovereignty of God and at the same time how our choices in life help us or hurt us. You obviously don't understand God one iota.
Prayer changes things .
Not his kind of prayer of hate.
If prayers change things, why does God hate amputees? Not a single amputee ever had his or her missing limb replaced by prayer. Prayers only help psychologically. Praying to an invisible friend in the sky is a waste of time.
Rather than stopping by the Belief Blog to promote himself, I would like to see Graham go to work in a soup kitchen or give blood, anonymously, instead of publicly yapping about it.
Why doesn't he organize a program to see that millions of children across the world receive a Christmas blessing?
Please open your Bible to the book of 1 Nephi 14:9. Wait, I can't find that in my Bible...
Ministers of the Gospel, i.e. need to go beyond hatred, (these people hate the President with passion), even if the president is a sinner, still he is the leader of the nation. They should know better than that. It is the pastors and church leaders who have made Obama to be who he is, they push him away. I respect what Rev. Graham has shown, let everyone follow. The Bible commanded people to pray for their leaders not to stand against them all the time. It is laughable what these ministers believe about the president.
Where is a drone when you need one? Am I right, or am I right? ;-)
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.