Ronald Reagan’s Faith

by | Jul 31, 2004 | Charisma Archive

Billy Graham said the nation’s 40th president was ‘a man of tremendous integrity, based on his religious belief’

Former President Ronald Wilson Reagan has been lauded as one of the nation’s greatest U.S. presidents, an exceptional communicator who helped redefine Republicanism. Yet the actor-turned-politician–who died June 5 at the age of 93 in his Bel Air, Calif., home after a 10-year battle against Alzheimer’s disease–was also a man of faith, say those who knew him best.


“Mr. Reagan had a religious faith deeper than most people knew,” said evangelist Billy Graham, who described Reagan as “one of my closest personal friends for many years. … The President was a man of tremendous integrity, based on his religious belief.”


Biographer Mary Beth Brown, author of Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan, which released from a Thomas Nelson subsidiary in March, said the nation’s 40th president accepted Christ at the age of 11 and was subsequently baptized. Though his father was Catholic, Reagan grew up in his mother’s denomination, the Disciples of Christ, then attended Presbyterian churches as an adult.


Family members said his faith was a guiding force. “My father lived as close to his maker as it is possible for a mortal to be,” said adopted son Michael Reagan, a Christian and conservative radio-show host who will release an autobiography and political commentary, Twice Adopted, in October. “Every morning he put himself in God’s hands, accepting whatever happened as the will of the Lord with absolute confidence that he would receive whatever he needed to cope with whatever the Lord put in front of him.”


Some Christian leaders say Reagan felt a sense of calling to the presidency. Christian broadcaster and author George Otis said he prophesied to then-Gov. Reagan at his home in the late 1960s that he would one day occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.–if he walked uprightly before God. “We realized we had heard the voice of God,” said Otis, who was accompanied by entertainer Pat Boone and evangelist Harald Bredesen at the meeting.


Reagan acknowledged the prophecy to Boone after his first inauguration in 1981, indicating that he felt guided by a sense of divine purpose, Otis said. Observers have said that Reagan’s role in ending the Cold War, stimulating the economy and restoring a sense of optimism to America helped the nation through a critical juncture in its history.


Brown noted that Reagan’s faith informed his views, saying his resistance to communism was prompted in part by his opposition to its atheistic tenets. And his “reverence for the dignity of human life” motivated his pro-life stance, she added.


Because of his declining health, Reagan remained out of the public eye for much of the last decade and was cared for by his wife, Nancy. In her own autobiography, the former first lady wrote that she admired her husband’s faith, but did not share his passion and consulted astrologers because she was a habitual worrier and feared that her husband would be assassinated, Brown noted.


Though Reagan reportedly was private about his faith, he spoke several times to Christian groups, giving his well-known “evil empire” speech before the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983. “Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all those who live in that totalitarian darkness–pray they will discover the joy of knowing God,” he told them.


“But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.”


Though some Christians were critical of Reagan’s cuts to social programs that benefitted lower-income Americans, others praised his policies. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who served on several White House commissions, said Reagan was “a true friend to the defenders of traditional values.” In 1988, Reagan signed a law establishing the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.


Millions of Americans watched Reagan’s public funeral, held in the National Cathedral June 11. He was buried at his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Eric Tiansay and Adrienne S. Gaines

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest