Will Graham: ‘We had our plans, but God saw the full picture’

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (ESV).

I recently returned from Fairmont, West Virginia, where we had originally scheduled the three-day Mountain State Celebration for April 2020. We were weeks away from that event when we had to make the hard decision to postpone it due to the spreading impact of COVID-19.

We had our plans, but God saw the full picture and had something much greater in store.

You see, we ended up moving the event (our first multi-day outreach since the initial impact of the coronavirus) from the indoor basketball arena at Fairmont State University to the larger outdoor football stadium on campus. While this was a practical step in the era of social distancing, it also turned out to be a blessing from God as many more were able to attend the Celebration, July 23–25. There they heard about the love, hope, and peace of Jesus Christ, and many responded to begin a relationship with Him.

Among those who attended were Haley and Nicole, who were visiting from out of state. Their grandmother Mary Ellen had originally worked in the Mountain State Celebration office, helping to plan and prepare for the outreach. After the pandemic hit, Mary Ellen was unable to return to the role due to family circumstances. In her “plans,” this was painful and upsetting. However, “the purpose of the Lord will stand.” Instead of helping behind the scenes at the event, Mary Ellen was able to sit with her granddaughters as they heard the Gospel—and she prayerfully and joyfully watched on as they left their seats to walk forward and accept Christ as Savior.

“I know that there will be other happy times, such as when they marry or have their first child, but—for me—nothing will top July 23, 2021, the glorious night my girls gave their hearts to Jesus Christ,” Mary Ellen said. We rejoice with her and give the glory to God.

I have three more multi-day events in Des Moines, Iowa (Oct. 1-3), Greater Sudbury, Ontario (Oct. 15–17), and London, Ontario (Oct. 22–24). I humbly ask you to cover these three regions with prayer. Later this fall, my father is planning to share the Gospel in Milan, Italy, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With the resurgence of COVID-19 around the world, please pray that the events will be able to go forward, that many will hear the Gospel, and that a great harvest will take place in these international cities.


Speaking of God’s plans and purposes, which far exceed anything we can ask or imagine, the Billy Graham Prayer Line continues to be an incredible tool for sharing the love of Jesus. Trained representatives have now answered more than 665,000 calls, talking and praying with people as they share their fears, frustrations, and concerns. In doing so, we’ve had the opportunity to pray with thousands as they’ve surrendered their eternities into the hands of Jesus! We recently received a call from a young man named Jacob.* He said that he had been living in sin—drinking excessively and sleeping around—and was burdened with guilt. The conviction had been so powerful that the Holy Spirit woke him from his sleep and drove him to his knees. One of our staff had the opportunity to pray alongside him as he repented and rededicated his life to God! My friends, we all have our plans, but the past 16 months have shown that they do not compare to what God has in store for us as we surrender to Him and follow His leading. Time and time again, God has proven that He is faithful and that His purpose will stand. Thank you for the role that you play in making all of this possible. God is using you to change lives for eternity, bringing lost souls from the darkness of despair into the light of salvation.

God bless you,

Will Graham