Anne Graham Lotz on Prayer, Repentance and Hope of Heaven
By Boaz Wadel
As Anne Graham Lotz prepares for her role as Honorary Chairman of the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer, she has a lot on her mind.
The founder and president of AnGeL Ministries in Raleigh, N.C., Anne has a demanding schedule, full of writing projects, speaking engagements and outreaches to the lost and hurting.
Anne also takes care of her husband of 47 years, Danny Lotz, who has been ill for quite some time. Last week, she thought she might lose him.
"He almost didn't make it," she said.
Anne also has three grown children and three grandchildren. And of course, her 95-year-old father, Billy Graham, is always on her mind.
Still, when she was asked to speak during the National Day of Prayer on May 1, Anne sensed that she should accept.
"I have a sense of a divine calling," she said. "I feel like this is a very strategic time in our nation's history. I feel like God is up to something."
Our Only Hope: Return or Revival
For many years, Anne has prayed for the United States, echoing her father's call for Americans to repent and turn to God.
Billy Graham has served as Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer. So has his son, Franklin Graham, the President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
An accomplished evangelist and author in her own right, Anne believes she wasn't chosen for the honorary role because of her famous family, but because she has an important message to deliver.
"In our culture, there's a spirit of anti-Christ that's permeating not just our world, but our nation," Anne said.
She believes hope for the U.S. can only come from one of two things: the return of Jesus or spiritual revival.
"If we do not have revival, and if Jesus tarries and does not come back soon, I think we're disintegrating into spiritual and moral bankruptcy," Anne said. "Our foundation is crumbling."
The theme of this year's National Day of Prayer is based on Romans 15:6:
So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
With those words in mind, Anne's message will be twofold. The first part will focus on acknowledging the one true, living God-the Creator of everything, and the Father of Jesus Christ.
"And the second message is a call to repentance, that in light of who He is, we need to get on our faces and repent," Anne said.
From her national platform, she will call on the entire country to pray.
"Sometimes people think, 'Well, people in Washington are praying, or people are going to an event and they're praying.' We think, 'Other people are praying. What difference does my prayer make?'" Anne said. "For people like that, I would say, how do you know if you don't pray?"
'This Life is Not All There Is'
Even as she prays for revival in the U.S. and around the world, Anne is also praying for the final antidote to all the sin and suffering on earth-the return of Jesus Christ, who is coming to take believers to heaven.
"Heaven is very much on my mind, and I think it's on God's mind," Anne said. "It's just the sweetest thing because heaven really is our hope. We know this life is not all there is."
That truth is especially close to Anne's heart as she thinks about her own loved ones.
"Because of Daddy's situation...I just know that any moment he could step into eternity," Anne said. "So I'm thinking about heaven as it relates to him, and even my husband."
Anne says she has gone back and added fresh content her book, Heaven: My Father's House,which will be re-released in June.
"I've rewritten a lot of it, because heaven is on my mind," she said. "Sometimes life gets so hard that even as a believer it takes your breath away. For me, it's a roller coaster. You have highs and lows, and I'm so thankful that this life is not all there is, that there's coming a time when God will wipe the tears from our faces."
Until then, she will pray for our country to turn to God, and she invites the entire nation to join together in that prayer.