Evangelist Franklin Graham spoke about the state of the 2016 presidential race and putting God first during a prayer rally Tuesday on the steps of the Utah State Capitol.
The rally, part of his 50-state “Decision America Tour,” was held in Salt Lake City. Graham encouraged Christians to become political activists and to pray for the welfare of the nation.
“All of us are here today because we know that our country is in trouble,” said Graham, citing abortion, pride, materialism, and racism as some of these troubles. “I want to put God back in the discussion, God back into politics.”
Graham told the crowd that the moral and political walls of America are falling and that many people seem to be more concerned with political correctness than with “God’s truth.” He also said that the nation needs to regain God’s favor by confessing their individual sins, as well as “the sins of our nation,” which would allow everyone’s hearts to be healed in Jesus.
“The most important thing we can do here today is to pray,” Graham said.
He then shared a message of forgiveness, saying that if audience members were willing to confess their sins and to take Christ into their hearts, they would be find hope and be able to help the political situation.
“You may be wondering, ‘What can I do?'” he said. “Be willing this next election to vote. Vote for candidates that stand for Biblical truths and Biblical principles and that are willing to live them.”
However, he reiterated the need to actually participate. “This is the key: you got to vote.”
Graham noted that in 1952, his father, well-known Evangelist Billy Graham, said that Christians have a duty to study the candidates and to vote. If Christians do this, Graham explained, they can elect a candidate who will lead with God in mind.
According to Graham, America is currently a secular society, which he said is the same as a Godless society. To counteract this, he encouraged audience members to take action and to run for public office, regardless of their political affiliation.
“There are many places in which Christian men and women could get the vote if they only offered themselves,” Graham said.
Graham shared the Biblical stories of Nehemiah and Daniel, who both served as political leaders. “We need Daniels today,” he said.
He urged attendees to start to form prayer groups within their communities without thought to race or political affiliations, and he urged these prayer groups to start supporting members of their communities to run for local office.”We’ve got to get involved because if we don’t, we will lose this election,” Graham said.
Graham believes that the 2016 presidential race will be the most important in America’s history to date. “You don’t know what God will do. You don’t know when you get people behind you, praying for you, what God might do.”