“I believe prayer is the greatest privilege and most revolutionary power available to the Christian, and God’s Word promises us its effectiveness.” – Vonette Bright
by Laurie Crouch
One of the blessings that Matt and I have had over the years as we have served in and around TBN is the opportunity to meet and be impacted by men and women who have truly given their lives in service to God’s kingdom. One couple who had a special influence on us was Campus Crusade for Christ founders Bill and Vonette Bright. Bill and Vonette were like grandparents to us. They were very supportive as Matt and I launched our movie studio in the early 1990s, with the goal of creating family-friendly films that were also Christ centered. I remember sitting with Matt in their home in Arrowhead Springs, California as Bill and Vonette prayed with us. The passion and purpose with which Vonette spoke to the Lord is still fresh in my mind and heart.
When we heard that Vonette had gone home to be with the Lord and to join her husband Bill on December 23rd, I found myself reflecting on Vonette’s life and the passion for prayer that was at the very core of her life and ministry. While she is most well-known for helping her husband start Campus Crusade for Christ (or Cru as it is now called), the largest and most effective evangelism ministry in the world, Vonette was also a real trailblazer for intercessory prayer. She helped found the National Prayer Committee that united Christians to pray for spiritual renewal in America. And in 1988 she was instrumental in petitioning Congress and President Reagan to designate an annual National Day of Prayer, which unites millions of Americans on the first Thursday in May to pray for our nation.
Vonette considered prayer more than a duty. To her it was a privilege that allowed her to partner with Jesus to see God’s kingdom come and His will accomplished on earth — just as it is in heaven. Only eternity will reveal the precious fruit that came from the fervent intercession that poured daily from the heart of this woman of God.
One thing is certain, however: Vonette Bright faithfully modeled for a generation of women like me what it means to follow Jesus with single-hearted devotion. My friend Beth Moore summed it up perfectly when she said: “I can’t think of a single person on the planet that I respect more than Vonette Bright. She is ten feet tall in my eyes. Like so many others, I have been profoundly impacted by her long obedience. She is a gift to our generation.”
My prayer is that my generation will follow the example of Vonette Bright and other Godly men and women, and model the same passion for Christ and purpose for His kingdom to the generations that are following us.