“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Several years ago, a dear friend looked me in the eye and said with a puzzled look on her face, “You don’t have ‘Prayers that avail much.’” I was shocked and a bit hurt by her comment and by her estimation of my prayers.
“What do you mean my prayers don’t avail much,” I replied. My friend began to laugh. She explained, “That is the title of a book on prayer,” she said, “Prayers That Avail Much.”
Shortly after our conversation, I received a gift from my friend: the commemorative gift edition of volumes 1, 2, and 3 of “Prayers That Avail Much.” My friend wrote on the inside cover, “Finally! You have prayers that avail much!”
Of course, this became a joke between the two of us and would always bring a grin or giggle between us when we thought about it.
I am so thankful that the Lord’s brother, James, felt inspired to write these words in his epistle: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJ)
The New Living Translation reads, “The earnest (sincere) prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
The Message reads, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
And then James points out in the verses following, “Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! (18) Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” (James 5:17-18 NLT)
These verses encourage me. Elijah was a prophet of God Most High and his prayers were powerful enough to call down fire from heaven in a spiritual battle with the prophets of Baal to prove who the real God was. And yet, James tells us, that as believers in Christ, we too can pray powerful prayers.
James echoes Jesus’ teaching to his disciples that we should pray, “You can ask for anything in my Name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. (14) Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14 NLT)
Jesus invites us to pray. We can pray as Jesus did; as Elijah did. We can intercede for others, pray for ourselves, pray for our world because we have a good Heavenly Father who invites us to entreat Him in prayer in the power of His Holy Spirit and in the holy name of His Son, Jesus. Your prayers really can avail much!
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.