AP Images/Pete Muller
Thousands around the world lifted prayers of
thanksgiving on Saturday as South Sudan celebrated its first day as an
independent nation. And some of the people praying thanked God
specifically for the role that Franklin Graham, president and CEO of
BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse, played in helping South Sudan achieve
USA Today acknowledged that role in a Tuesday article. DeWayne Wickham wrote that along with the efforts of
Presidents Bush and Obama, “South Sudan also has Franklin Graham to
thank,” saying that Graham “played an important role in supporting the
secession of South Sudan—whose 8 million people are mostly Christians—from Muslim-dominated Sudan.”
Prayer, in many ways, is even more
important now. A day after the excitement of Independence Day abated,
South Sudan President Salva Kiir expressed his desire for prayer as he
begins to address challenges facing the new country.
the difficulty of building a nation from scratch, in an area with little
infrastructure. Only 15 percent of its citizens can read and fears of
renewed conflict abound. The people of the South have endured a half
century of civil war that left more than 2 million dead.
Another major issue is oil revenue. South Sudan has most of the oil but it must move it through Sudan’s pipes.
must stand with South Sudan as this infant democratic nation struggles
to secure its own,” Graham wrote for FoxNews.com, shortly before leaving
to attend the independence ceremony.
During the weekend, Graham
advised Kiir about the only true source of wisdom and help as the two
men met on Sunday. After congratulating him on being the first president
of the new nation, Graham encouraged Kiir to stay in prayer and to seek
“There is still much that needs to be done to help
the people of both countries,” said Graham. “I pray that God will give
these leaders wisdom and courage to lead their people, uniting their
hearts toward the goal of reconciliation and peace.”
Please join us in praying that God will sustain and grow the new nation, and guide its leaders in wisdom and godliness.
Used with permission of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.