Ruth’s Prayer Garden: A Place for Intercession, Inspiration at The Cove

By   •   June 1, 2016

women in garden
Ruth's Prayer Garden was dedicated to Ruth Graham on Wednesday at The Cove.

As we come to this garden of prayer, we come being reminded that we come to acknowledge our Father. As we come into His presence, we come being anxious or worried about nothing. We come to worship Him in everything.

Ruth Bell Graham wrote those words several years ago as a reflection on how we should pray.

“If you read her poems, many of [them] are prayers,” said Gigi Graham, the oldest daughter of Billy Graham and the late Ruth Graham, who went to be with the Lord in 2007. “Mother was a woman of prayer.”

So it seems only fitting that Ruth’s Prayer Garden, a space in honor of Mrs. Graham and her prayer life, be located just outside the Chatlos Memorial Chapel at the

“She prayed without ceasing,” Gigi continued, adding that her mother would pray while doing everyday tasks like driving and washing the dishes.

Ruth’s Prayer Garden at The Cove was officially dedicated on Wednesday with a special ceremony led by her grandson, Will Graham.

Will Graham shared special memories of his grandmother’s prayer life and how God calls us to continually intercede.

“Prayer is our umbilical cord to our Heavenly Father,” Will said. “This is going to be a place of spiritual life and vitality.”

Will talked about his grandmother’s love for gardening and some of her favorite plants.

“Daylilies, tiger lilies, azaleas, ferns—she loved ferns,” all of which are planted in Ruth’s Prayer Garden.

“What she liked most were geraniums. I hate geraniums,” Will said with a chuckle, adding that his grandmother “had them everywhere.”

“I just remember they were always dried out looking, but she loved them.”

As her sight began to fail, groundskeepers made sure bright flowers were planted around the Graham home. Even if she couldn’t fully see them, she would recognize the vibrant colors.

Finding Hope in the Garden

When The Cove was first dedicated, the Grahams each expressed their vision for the ministry. Billy Graham prayed it would be a place of impact, intercession, instruction and inspiration; Ruth Graham prayed for it to be a place of retreat, rest, relaxation, and renewal.

Ruth’s Prayer Garden offers a special place for several of those key qualities, including intercession.

“The last year that my grandmother was here, I would go up and spend time with them. She was pretty much bedridden at the time,” Will recalled. “But my grandmother and my grandfather would just sit there holding hands and pray for [all of us].

Lucas Jack, supervisor of grounds maintenance at The Cove, and his team worked on the prayer garden for nearly a year.

“… This is a place where we intercede for one another [and] pray for God to intercede,” he continued. “That’s what this garden represents.”

For the next two weeks, The Cove will feature photos from Ruth’s Prayer Garden on its .

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There are more than 150 plant varieties in the garden.

The “Jack-in-the-pulpit” is probably one of the most unique among Ruth Graham’s favorite flowers. It was no easy feat to obtain, considering the plant’s rarity and growing requirements.

“I never realized how hard those things are to find,” Will said. “They take years to bloom … so we should’ve planted this a couple of years ago!”

Gardens were important to the Grahams not just because of aesthetics, but also because of the spiritual parallel.

“[The fall in the Garden of Eden] was man’s darkest hour, yet in the midst of it, we see the seed of hope planted,” Will said, referring to Genesis 3:15. “Just like we see these seeds planted out here … one day we’ll see them bloom. There’s a future hope in it.

“What man destroyed, God made new again in the garden,” he said. “That’s the hope that my grandparents shared all these years. That’s what we share today is the hope found in the garden.”

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23 Comments

  1. Stephanie Sharaf says:

    Would like to visit

  2. William R. Hoke and Nancy J. Hoke says:

    we really enjoyed the beautiful prayer garden. Hope to come some day to enjoy it in person.

  3. Pharnwell M.H.Haadinke says:

    What a wonderful garden! I wish I could come up with such a prayer garden. No wonder God blessed her so much.

  4. revd isaac osei says:

    I indeed have the greatest desire join your blessing mission

  5. CATHERINE NASIMIYU WABUKE says:

    prayer is the only solution

  6. Linda Sisco says:

    Thanks for the updates, I visited the Cove in 2013. I look forward to taking a seminar there some day.

  7. Linda Tharpe says:

    I am happy you have opened Ruth’s beautiful garden because I am planning a visit this summer and love the beauty of flowers . God bless you and your family for loving everybody in this world .

  8. Jackline Wandera says:

    Thank you for the faithful committment.May God enlarge your borders in Jesus name Amen.

  9. Barbara Glorioso says:

    What a wonderful addition to your ministry! I hope to see it, would love to take my Mom to see it someday. What a legacy Billy Graham and his family is leaving us!

  10. Daniel Lewis says:

    I can relate having gardens on our property. It offers me a time to stop and listen to GOD. My parents and grandfather used to live not far away in Winston Salem and we would go to Biltmore Mansion and visit the gardens and grounds there for inspiration. I frequently visit the BGEA website to get refreshed with so many features offered there. Thank You for your ministry.

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