The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Once upon a time I was a nail technician who lived for myself. I was a believer, but only by name, not by actions. God was not happy with me at all as I kept Him locked out of my life. Yet, in His wisdom, He allowed me to find out on my own that I needed only Him to satisfy my deep longings.
During my time as a nail tech, I had 7-8 clients a day, 5 days a week. I was busy! Most clients scheduled every two weeks but Joyce had an appointment weekly: every Friday morning she came to me to have her nails done. Joyce had a problem with her nail beds and I was determined to help her . . . but unknown to me, she was determined to help me find my way back to the Lord. I was her divine appointment, sent by the Lord, every Friday morning.
She never was preachy but she prayed a whole lot, sharing just enough to keep me from getting annoyed with her. We believers who are lukewarm cringe when people talk too much about the Lord because it is so convicting. We need baby doses or we run like the wind.
Being an avid reader, Joyce often had a book with her in case she arrived early. One day she was reading Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. It piqued my interest because the subject of the rapture had always been an interesting subject to me. I asked to borrow it when she was finished. Secretly, she must have been doing the Halleluiah Happy Dance in her heart that I was even interested.
The book sat on a table in my bedroom collecting dust because I did not get around to reading it right away. Then one Tuesday morning she left me a message on my answering machine that asked me to bring it back on Friday so someone else could read it. Well, I knew she would want to talk about it so I began reading. Within just a few short pages, God used this fictional account of the rapture of His church to turn me around. It was as though He picked me up by my arm pits, set me on high ground and said “that is enough backsliding Becky!” And I never turned back again. Joyce’s prayers had been answered! She wept when I told her, with tears streaming down my face, that I had given up my self-absorbed life and replaced it with one where God would be the center of it forever.
Knowing that God used Joyce in my life has great meaning and I often share about it because it shows how we are all used by the Lord to help others. Never ever let the enemy of God tell you that you don’t know enough scripture or that you aren’t mature enough to be an influence in someone’s life. It does not take a Masters in Theology to pray. And that is exactly what Joyce did: she prayed for me constantly with effectiveness that the Lord answered after six long years.
Prayer warriors come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and races and are found in some of the most un-churchy places. Joyce became such a wonderful mentor to me as I climbed out of the hole I had been living in and into the amazing light of the Lord. Her prayers were answered and in heaven she will one day receive an amazing reward for her perseverance. Joyce is a part of a long chain of prayer warriors who have supported me in my ministry of encouragement. Effective prayers of righteous people accomplish much!
The interesting thing about prayer is that it confirms to God how very serious we are about something. Yes, He does know our hearts, but even so, hearing our voices brings joy to His heart. Keep praying for those who your heart is heavy for. Never give up. Never.
Put your name in the blank. You can be an effective prayer warrior!
The effective prayer of ________ can accomplish much.
Do you have a prayer list? In the back of my Bible I add people to a list who I am praying for. Sometimes it’s for their salvation, other times it’s for them to become intimate with the Lord again. I love crossing these names off as God answers my prayers. And He does, just almost never in the time frame I would prefer. People need to go through a lot to want to turn to God. From atheists to agnostics, to seekers and the lukewarm, we are all traveling roads that are self-centered until we are ready to turn to the Lord. Be patient and loving with these people . . . and pray.
Thank You Father for the prayer warriors in my life. May I be a strong, effective prayer warrior and accomplish much for Your kingdom.
Trusting in Him,