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Julie A. Smith: "Can This Nation Be Turned Back to God? An Interview and Commentary from Franklin Graham's Visit to Oregon"

by Julie A. Smith
Jun 30, 2016

Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz:

Dear Elijah List friends,

I'm excited to have our ELIJAH LIST readers see this new article by Julie Smith, who met Franklin Graham in person on Tuesday, and was able to ask him some questions on behalf of YOU, all our readers (readers of both THE ELIJAH LIST and also of our other list, BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS).

Julie has been the primary and managing editor (here in Oregon), of the Elijah List for 10 years, and she brings to the task great wisdom, as she is also a prophetic voice and a seer, and has a caring and compassionate heart for the Body of Christ. She and Aimee Herd (our editor for BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS) walked around the crowds in Salem, Oregon, and did some great one-on-one interviews with those in the crowd.

I couldn't wait for these ladies to return with photos and with the transcriptions of their interviews. We hope to bring you other reports and even videos in the future of some upcoming events we will be covering live.

You're going to really enjoy this first-hand report about Franklin Graham's visit to Salem, Oregon. It unveils Franklin's soft heart for God's people in Oregon and throughout the USA.

I loved this write-up and you're going to love it too. It's been YEARS since I've felt this level of optimism over the many things God is doing in our nation. God is ON THE MOVE, the KINGDOM OF GOD is being advanced, and the devil is being pushed back.

Please join your hearts and prayers with ours here at THE ELIJAH LIST as we seek God for a full return of His Glory to our nation, ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

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(Salem, OR) – This past Tuesday, June 28, felt like a monumental day in Oregon as 4,000 Christians gathered at the Oregon State Capitol to pray together and hear Reverend Franklin Graham speak on the Capitol steps in Salem. (Photo via Franklin Graham's Facebook page)

Franklin Graham is heading a campaign called "Decision America Tour 2016" ( and is stopping in 50 states, with Oregon being his 30th stop. The purpose of this 2016 tour is to hold prayer rallies in all 50 states, share the Gospel, and urge Christians to take a stand "to vote, to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to His people." From this website Franklin shares, "America is at a crossroads, and I believe we should take every opportunity to stand up for the things of God and His Word."

The event began at noon with Christian musician and singer Dennis Agajanian leading thousands in the song, "How Great Thou Art" followed by "Lord, Give Us America." Thereafter Franklin Graham took the stage and preached the Gospel, gave a salvation call right in front of the State Capitol and lead us in group prayers.

From Franklin Graham's Facebook page, he shared this about the Oregon State Tour on Tuesday: "We're in a battle for the soul of our country. 4,000 people came to the Capitol in Salem, Oregon, today for the Decision America Tour prayer rally. What a blessing to hear thousands of people confessing the sins of our nation and asking God to heal our land! More great news – 216 people shared with us that they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior today at the rally! 'Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people' (Proverbs 14:34)."

As an Oregonian living here for the majority of my life, and being a part of this event in my hometown of Salem, it truly felt like a monumental day as I saw fellow Christians coming together to pray, to repent and ask God to heal our land. Oregon is known for being an extremely liberal state and this felt historic to hear the message of Jesus Christ at our State Capitol from someone in the legacy of the highly-respected Graham family.

As Franklin led us in our first prayer, he had the crowd join hands and pray. Just as everyone started praying the wind picked up at a steady pace – on a sunny day – without a cloud in the sky. I truly believe it was a sign from the Lord...that He heard us and was joining us there at the Capitol steps. (Photo via the Elijah List)

Reverend Graham went on to preach the Gospel and share some of his thoughts on taking back our communities across America. Some of the highlights he spoke were:

"The most important thing we can do is pray. Pray God would bless this country again."

"We need men and women of integrity, Christian commitment, who will run for political office this coming year, no matter to which political party they belong. Now I have people say to me, 'Franklin, how about separation of church and state?' Well, how about it? How about that? Our founding fathers never intended for Christians, when they get elected to office to leave their Christian faith out here on the steps."

"I believe that it's the duty of Christian men and women to offer themselves for public office."

"But when I think about your state, what can make a difference? We need Christian men and women running for mayors. Could you imagine if every municipality across this great State of Oregon was controlled by a Bible believing Christian? The impact that that would have?"

"Pastors look for people in your community that you think might be a good mayor. A good, strong Christian who could be a mayor. Pastors, start looking in your churches..."

"Now have you ever heard – now this may be a new term for you folks out here in Oregon, have you ever heard this term 'community organizer?' (crowd laughs). You could become a community organizer for God. Or how about the term a political activist? You say, 'Well, those are just the people on the left.' Well, let's take that back. Alright? Let's become political activists. Why not? Christians, the Church of Jesus Christ, taking a stand for truth and righteousness; taking a stand for God's truth and His Word. It can be done, but we've got to organize."

"Now I want you to go back to your communities and form a prayer group. Just a handful of you begin to pray for your community and looking for people you can get behind, going to pastors, getting their help, getting their support, and if we can take your communities back, if we can take your schools back, then we can take Capitols like this back, if then we can take Capitols like this back, we can take Washington back. It can be done. It can be done." (Photo via the Elijah List)

"But for you the Church, Christians, I want you to vote. Get involved and come back to organize it. You see, every vote counts. It's not that the enemy is at the gate, they've come through the gate, because we've left the gates wide open, and we've allowed our moral walls to deteriorate and to fall down. I'd like to ask you to join me in signing a pledge, alright?"

Toward the end, he encouraged Oregonians to "sign a pledge for God and country" (to learn more about this click here).

From the Crowd

We were able to interview some passionate folks in the crowd during the event and this is what a couple had to say:

Ronnie from Polk County, OR. shared, "I believe, personally, we needed some fire. We need some encouragement. We need some empowerment. We need somebody that's going to bring unity, that's going to call everything hot, hot, and cold, cold, and not be fake. This country is tired of fakes. We need to put aside the racial divisions. We need to put aside economic divisions, and come together for God's vision, and be aligned to His will."

Ernesto from Scio, OR. shared, "We need the Body of Christ to just get up and begin to pray and take leadership for this country, and not just the country, but the world. Because we did have a commandment from the Lord. Of course, we're going to love. We want to show people our love, and that's what we want to do. But we want to come out here. We want leaders to be sharing that same love and making those same Christ-like decisions that we want in our lives just as much as anybody else wants in theirs. I fought for this country (Ernesto is a veteran). I believe greatly in this country. I still believe this country has hope, but as the Body of Christ, we have to stand up and make those decisions and who we want to lead us to the future. (Photo via the Elijah List)

"One thing I'd like to add is that, right now, we are in troubled times in our country, and what we need to do as Americans, we got to get on our knees and pray. Not just only pray, but we also got to be active. Faith alone cannot help God guide this country. We've got to have our feet in the ground – in the mud – and be like Paul. Lead, encourage, and rebuke what is wrong. At the same time, love and encourage others. And vote."

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Our Press Time

After the event concluded the press was invited to the back of the State Capitol where they could interview Franklin Graham personally. Most reporters got in a couple questions each before he left. Myself and Breaking Christians News Editor, Aimee Herd, were able to ask Franklin a few questions here:

Julie Smith: You said this was your 30th state – what so far, traveling 30 states, has impacted you the most that you want to share with the Body of Christ?

Franklin Graham: It's the fact that the Christians are coming out in the middle of the work day to pray, and that has had a huge impact. I never dreamed that that many people would come on a work day to pray. (Photo via the Elijah List)

Julie Smith: Anything you want to say to our Breaking Christian News readers?

Franklin Graham: Vote. Get everyone to vote. Register everyone that's legal age. Register them and take them to the polls.

Aimee Herd: I have a question about the news that broke this week about Donald Trump possibly accepting the Lord. Do you have any comments about that?

Franklin Graham: No. I mean only God knows everybody's heart. I met Donald Trump last week. I was with him and some other people. I'm not endorsing Donald Trump, I'm not endorsing Hillary Clinton, or any candidates at any level. I'm wanting Christians to vote though, but I'm not going to tell people who to vote for.

Aimee Herd: And you were at that meeting with Donald Trump. How did it impact you?

Franklin Graham: Well I've met him several times before just like I've met Hillary several times before. Donald Trump is shaking up the political process of this country. He has shaken up the Republican party and I can tell you right now, both the Democrat and the Republican parties need shaking up big time. (Photo via the Elijah List)

Local news reporters were also at this event, and I saw firsthand how the liberal media twisted Franklin Graham's words and agenda. One local news source reported on the evening news:

"Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and Basic Rights Oregon condemned Graham's visit and called his campaign hateful."

A reporter from mainstream media made this comment:

"Planned Parenthood in Oregon were protesting the presence and the event today and saying that given your comments to Orlando, they felt that it was worthwhile to protest." (You can read more on this in Aimee Herd's commentary on Breaking Christians News.)

We were front and center on the media platform an hour prior and during the event. We walked around and got a good scope of the crowd. Nowhere did we see signs of protesters nor any group being disrespectful...and if they were, they were awfully quiet and hidden. As I said, we saw firsthand how liberal media twists the news and events how they want.

I was impressed how Franklin Graham handled the mainstream media and stood his ground. He was bold, but very polite and respectful. He showed both traits of a courageous man and a gentle man at whatever was thrown at him. I felt that there was a great hedge of protection around him, and I saw a deep love for our country in him. He carries a message of Godly values which are deeply rooted in him that he wants to carry across the nation on this 50-state tour.

Afterthoughts About the Event: Can a Liberal State Like Oregon Be Turned Back to God?

While I was pondering the events of this day, I saw in the spirit that from the State Capitol the enemy was given a big punch in the eye...he got a big black eye as Christian Oregonians gathered to pray, to take a stand together, asking God to heal our land. (Photo via the Elijah List)

As I said during the event, I notice a wind picked up just as the crowd joined hands together to pray. I was in awe when I looked up later that day, a few previously posted prophetic words on the Elijah List over the Northwest:

"This is the time to declare the whirlwind of God will hover over the Northwest to break forth awakening and revival!" –Chuck Pierce

"As I was driving up to the Northwest (Washington state and Oregon region) the Lord showed me a huge tidal wave of His glory reversing the curses of the enemy, the doubters of the faith, and the lethargic Believers who have scoffed at God's prophetic words being fulfilled. Regardless of the circumstances, God's tsunami of His glory is certainly going to fill this region and our nation in an even greater way than anyone can ever imagine! We will now again see the glory, the majesty, and the awesome power of Jehovah – the Most High God!" –John Mark Pool

"I saw that the Northwest was poised as a pull-tab to open up the nation to a fresh wind of healing... In the spirit realm, this Northwest region is one where giant eagles nest, and this will now begin to be revealed more and more. Eagles will gather and eagles will be released. The eagles have been hindered by Jezebel and the religious spirit, but with the new angelic help, they will now arise and shake off the disorientation, confusion and gloom that have affected them from the demonic realm." –Johnny Enlow

Can a liberal state like Oregon be turned back to God? Trusted prophets and powerful messengers like Reverend Franklin Graham are pointing the way toward a great move of God HERE and in our nation.

In our own churches and communities, let's take these powerful words to heart and take action where God leads us – as a monumental day for Oregon has taken some ground. It's up to us as the Body of Christ to continue taking ground here.

Julie A. Smith, Managing Editor
The Elijah List


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