My Answer/Billy Graham

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Does it do any good to pray for peace in the world? We do it every week in our church, but when I look back over the past year it doesn't seem like things are any better now than they were a year ago. —J.R.N.

Dear J.R.N.: If we only measured the world's peace by the headlines we read, then you'd be right: The world doesn't seem to be getting any better, and our prayers for peace seemingly go unanswered.

But this isn't the whole story — not at all. For one thing, have you ever asked yourself what the world might be like if we didn't pray for peace? I have no doubt that it would be torn by even more conflict and war. Evil is held back when we pray, and even if we can't measure the impact of our prayers for peace, God still hears them and answers them. One reason the Bible commands us to pray for our world and its leaders is so "we may live peaceful and quiet lives" (1 Timothy 2:2).