A: I don't know if it's the trend or not, although as our society becomes more secular, we shouldn't be surprised if more memorial services become like this. After all, if someone didn't believe in God or in heaven, it would be hypocritical to pretend that they did.
Your letter saddens me, however, because in spite of their expressions of respect and admiration, in reality those who spoke at this service believed that this life is all there is, and that there's no hope for any life beyond the grave. According to them, all we have to live for is the present moment, and nothing we do has any eternal significance. They are like those of whom the Bible speaks, believing that "Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope" (1 Chronicles 29:15).
How different our lives are when we put our faith and trust in Christ! Then, we know we aren't here by accident, but God created us for a purpose, and some day we will go to be with Him in heaven forever. We know this is true because Jesus Christ has removed the barrier of sin that separates us from God by His death and resurrection.
Have you turned to Christ and put your faith and trust in Him for your salvation? Make your decision for Christ, and then ask God to help you point others to the hope and joy we have because of Him.
Q: Are we always supposed to kneel when we pray? Or does the Bible give us some other command about how we should pray? I don't want to be disrespectful toward God. — J. McM.
A: The Bible actually gives us various examples of how people prayed, not only kneeling, but also standing or with hands raised or in other postures. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest and death, we are told He "fell with his face to the ground" (Matthew 26:39).
The important thing is not our physical posture when we pray, but the attitude of our hearts. In reality the two often go together; when we realize we actually are coming into God's presence when we pray, we won't be casually walking around looking at other things or doing something that distracts us (like watching TV or eating). True prayer requires concentration, and it also requires humility and faith.
After all, when we pray we're coming into the presence of the God of the universe, who is holy and glorious and all-powerful. But we also are coming into the presence of our loving heavenly father, who delights in hearing the prayers of His children. The Bible says, "Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Never forget: Prayer is a great privilege — a privilege that is possible because Jesus Christ gave His life for us. Even now, He is in heaven interceding for us. Do you know Him, and are you learning to walk with Him every day? God's promise is for you: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us" (1 John 5:14).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.