It kind of sounds like something out of the movie "Facing the Giants." The coach had created a play about, "build me a stone wall." But this isn't a movie or even a football game, it's about a prayer rally called "Decision America Tour 2016" and the future of the nation.
The Decision America Tour 2016 began in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday. In a statement at his website, Graham said, "I think the problem with our nation today is the failure of the church. We have gotten ourselves into a mess as a country."
A live-stream was offered for those who wanted to follow the rally in Iowa via their mobile device.
Graham said at the rally that, "We're in trouble spiritually, racially...economically, [and] politically," and that, "My only hope is in God Almighty and His Son Jesus. The most important thing we can do is pray."
Referencing the book of Nehemiah, Graham said that God had brought judgment on Israel because of the sins of their nation. At the time, Nehemiah was serving in the palace and under a wicked king.
When Nehemiah heard the news that Israel's walls were broken down, he sat down and wept. Then he prayed for his country. God heard the prayer of Nehemiah and God gave him favor in the heart of the king. God had given Nehemiah a burden for his nation.
Graham said that Nehemiah implored God to "take this disgrace [of Israel's walls being broken down] away from the Jewish people...[and] there was opposition. There were those that threatened him, tried to deceive him, those that tried to get him to leave the work. But he didn't quit....and in 52 days," he led his people in rebuilding the walls of the city.
"The moral and political walls of our nation are crumbling," said Graham.
"Walls are meant for protection to keep bad people out. Gates can be opened, and when the threat comes, the gates can be closed. But our moral walls are down," Graham said, adding that, "Any types of wicked thought and activity can come and go. And our educators and politicians and churches seem, many times, to be more concerned about political correctness than God's truth and His righteousness."
Graham called on the crowd to take a look at Nehemiah's prayer and let that be the template for how Christians consider going about praying for America.
Nehemiah prayed and fasted and asked for the forgiveness of the sins of his nation.
"Where do we begin to confess the sins of our nation? Our sins are so great!" Graham said.
He suggested considering the entertainment industry, abortion industry, same-sex marriage and more.
Graham encouraged everyone to begin to confess and repent of the sins the nation of America. After a pause, he led a corporate prayer.
The next thing that Nehemiah did was confess his personal sins to God. Graham encouraged the group to do this quietly, and then led a corporate prayer for forgiveness all the personal sins confessed.
Finally, Nehemiah confessed the sins of his forefathers. Slavery, racism, pornography, adultery, alcoholism, idolatry and more. He encouraged the crowd to quietly confess these before the Lord and then led a corporate prayer for forgiveness.
Graham reminded everyone that the Bible says that we've all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, but that God loves us and wants to forgive us. He had Jesus go to the cross as payment for our sins and then raised Him up on the third day. He said that all that's necessary to receive His forgiveness is to accept that and ask Him to be your personal Lord and Savior.
This was followed by a message in which he encouraged Christians to get out and vote and even run for political office. "Christians should not withdrawal from the political scene...mayors, city councils, county commissioners, judges, school boards," he said, adding that all these need to have God's people filling those offices and getting involved.
Graham said his father has told him that, "if I were a pastor of a church, I believe that I would explain to my people where each candidate stood morally, spiritually, and in relationship to the church."
He encouraged Christians to go back to their homes and form prayer groups made up of people who are willing to commit to praying for the community and support godly candidates. This is what needs to be done if Christians want to preserve our Christian heritage. He said it was estimated that in the last election, 20-30 million Evangelical Christians stayed home and didn't vote.
Once they vote, he encouraged them to get their families to vote and motivate their churches to get out and vote.
"You see, it's not that the enemy is at the gate. They've come through the gate, and we've allowed our moral walls to fall."
He encouraged everyone to sign a pledge in which they promise to honor God in their personal life, public life, in registering to vote and with their voting choices, prayer for their community and the nation. More information about the pledge can be found at DecisionAmericaTour.com.
Graham declared that he was leaving the GOP last month. On his Facebook page, he wrote on Saturday that, " Some fear I might be leading an exodus out of the Republican Party. That's not my goal at all. I'm not here to hurt the Republican Party or the Democratic Party-I want to help our nation. I want to stand on capitol steps and lead this nation state by state in praying for America. We'll be praying for our leaders and praying that God would give us politicians who will stand for Biblical values. I want to challenge Christians to get involved in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and all others to make a difference; to get engaged at every level and to vote. The Bible calls us to be salt and light to this world-- it's time we got off the sidelines and got actively involved in actively working and praying to stop the moral decline of this great nation. I sure hope you will be there with me to stand in your state."
He also challenged Christians to follow Jesus whether it's the popular thing to do or not. He compared this to the way that Peter acted in Matthew 26:58 when he followed Jesus at a distance, saying that, "They want to give themselves a little room-they want to watch which way the wind will blow before they are publicly seen too close to the Lord. When Jesus is portrayed in a good light or when it's comfortable, they will stand next to Him. But if Jesus is going to be mocked or cursed or insulted, they want to stay back until they know how things will go. As this new year gets off to a start, it's a good time for each of us to examine the ways in which we may be trying to maintain a little space between us and our Lord. In whatever area of life it may be -- don't keep your distance. Remember, Jesus gives us a warning: "But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:33).