After Wednesday night’s Bible study at Calvary, following a long series of very difficult ministry opportunities and discussions, I was speaking with a sister about some issues in her and her friend’s lives. It was a good, fruitful, and God-honoring conversation. Jesus is visibly working in her life, and we were able to pray and rejoice in that.

Yet before we left the sanctuary, I wanted to share a part of my testimony with her that would end our time on a high note. I shared how Marie and I met for the first time as Marie was given a locker as a freshman in high school, directly under mine. We were both lost and unsaved. Little did we know that perfectly timed meeting would change our lives forever. It was a divine appointment that we in no way recognized at the time. The sister I was sharing with said, “Isn’t it neat to look back and see how God was working in our lives even when we didn’t know it? Someone was praying for you.” That’s an awesome thought! Someone was praying for me. I didn’t know and didn’t even care. Yet someone was praying for my salvation.

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up.” Luke 18:1 (NLT)

Think of it. Someone is praying for you, too, and so many others today.

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This conversation also reminded me of a dear sister named Pearl Goode. Have you heard of her? Not many have. She was a dear saint used mightily by God to help fuel the ministry of Billy Graham. When asked about the spiritual success of his ministry over the years, Billy would be quick to say, “The three most important things you can do in ministry are to pray, pray, pray.” Pearl Goode That’s exactly what Pearl did. She prayed! So used of the Lord was Pearl, that at her memorial service, Ruth Bell Graham spoke these encouraging words concerning her: “Here lie the mortal remains of much of the secret of Bill’s ministry.” Wow.

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This prayer relationship started back in 1949 as the Billy Graham team arrived in Los Angeles, California. His arrival and his preaching of the Gospel to Pearl’s city moved her to pray. And pray she did! According to Decision Magazine, Pearl explained: “That night God laid those boys on my heart as a burden, and I have been praying for them ever since. I went to the crusade every evening as long as it lasted, and began talking to God about them, asking him to anoint them individually and to give them boldness in proclaiming the Word.”

“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30 (NKJV)

It wasn’t long after that she began to pray for every crusade, traveling at her own expense behind Billy Graham and the team to pray. Pearl’s private faithfulness was so evident that eventually, she was invited to travel as a part of the team with the sole purpose to pray and intercede on behalf of the ministry.

“Morning, noon, and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.” Psalms 55:17 (NLT)

Of course with such a powerful prayer ministry, Pearl had her critics. Aren’t you amazed at how many critics there are? Some accused her of being a ‘hanger-on’ or a ‘spiritual groupie.’ They very boldly, yet deeply fleshly, declared that she was only following Billy Graham to gain fame and notoriety. I love her response to the critics. This godly woman invited them to spend the night – all night – in fasting and prayer “to see who gets the glory.” It’s not recorded that any critics took her up on her offer. They probably moved on to the next thing they saw wrong, while Pearl prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. The best way to silence your critics is to pray.

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Listen, we all need a Pearl Goode or two in our lives. Someone who will pray for us, pray some more, and then end the evening in prayer. I’m certain there are more people praying for you and me than we realize. Take some time to thank God for their faithfulness in your life.

Yes, we all need a Pearl in our lives, but we also all need to be a Pearl in others’ lives. Be known for your prayer life. Be known as a person of prayer.

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You can pray to God with assurance. You can trust Him. Though the will of God is scary at times, if you hang in there with the Lord, He’ll show Himself faithful! You can trust Him. You don’t have to doubt His goodness. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He cares for you greatly and wonderfully and powerfully.

“I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” Psalms 119:147 (NLT)

Thank you for you faithful prayers for me, my family, and the ministry here at Calvary Aurora. We love and appreciate you, even as we don’t know of the fullness of the deep commitment you have to pray for us.

To read more, a great article on prayer and Pearl can be found here.