I am so thankful that I was introduced to Prayers that Availeth Much. Back in 1978, I worked part-time as a secretary for a home town insurance agency. This was shortly before my husband went into the ministry. One morning while I was at work, I received a telephone call from an older woman in our church. She simply said, “Linda, I have a gift for you, and I would like to drop it off around lunch time today.” Naturally, I was flattered and couldn’t wait to see what the gift might be. For some reason, I imagined jewelry, perfume, or perhaps a scarf, or even a nice sweater. I kept my eyes on the clock all morning!
When she entered the office, she was holding a book in her hand. As she approached my desk, she held out the book for me to take. I suddenly realized the book… was the gift. To be honest, I was actually a little disappointed. Yet, I smiled and thanked her for the “gift.” As I took the book from her hands, she explained to me that she felt impressed of God to give me the book after she had finished reading it. I looked down at the title. It read, “What Happens When Women Pray.” Honestly, at the moment, it just didn’t seem that interesting to me. I was twenty-two-years-old, and I knew how to pray; just talk to God! So I smiled and politely thanked her again.
After she left, I glanced over a few pages then put the book inside of my purse. That afternoon when I got home I tossed it in my grandmother’s cedar chest that was located in my bedroom. The book rested there for one entire year.
In December 1978, my husband felt the call of God upon his life to enter into the ministry. So, he and I along with our three little girls, twins age 3 and our baby daughter age two, joined a new church just starting in our community. From the time we married, four years earlier, we had been going to the church where he attended as a boy. But, now my husband felt we should become involved in this particular church’s new work within our own community.
After visiting the new church for several Sundays, we both felt lead of the Lord to join the church and to become involved in its growing ministries. I was immediately asked to be the church’s organist and my husband was asked to assist with the youth group and the youth choir. We were very happy and enthused with our new lives and roles in the church.
Three months after we joined the church, I opened my grandmother’s cedar chest to get out a blanket. As I did, I saw the book just lying there. I sat down on the floor and started reading the book….Suddenly, I couldn’t put it down. The words were literally jumping off the page at me! I read it all afternoon. Quickly, I cooked supper, cleaned the kitchen, and got the girls ready for bed. Then, I went back to the book and continued to read it until I finished all 144 pages that night. It was a life changing experience for me.
The book, authored by Evelyn Christenson, teaches women how to pray effective, fervent prayers according to the Book of James. The next Sunday I took the book to my pastor. He asked if he could borrow it for his wife to read. She read it and was inspired to teach the book to the ladies of the church. I was thrilled when she asked me to be her assistant. Over the next year, the ladies of our church met weekly and learned how to pray specific, effectual prayers unto the Lord. We were all seeing amazing results to our prayers. It was a most inspiring time in the lives of the young wives and mothers, including me, in our church.
That same year, during our fall revival, I was seated on the second pew on the right side of the church as was accustomed since I was the organist. During the preaching of the message, the evangelist walked out from behind the pulpit and into the aisle. Then, he walked right to the pew where I was sitting with my husband and three little girls. Without hesitation, the evangelist pointed his finger right at me and said, “Sister, your greatest ministry will be those three little girls sitting beside you.” I felt my heart leap with joy, because I had already been praying specific prayers for my daughters asking God to save their souls, to protect them in life, and to bring future husbands into their lives who would either preach or teach the Gospel, be a deacon or elder in the church, or be a faithful church worker for the Lord. I even sent up prayers for the future lives of my not-yet-born grandchildren. That was thirty-three years ago.
Tonight, my husband and I visited my son-in-law’s church where he is the pastor. He was making a video presentation to his congregation about his recent missionary trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. As I was watching the video and acutely listening to the enthusiastic words of my son-in-law, I suddenly heard a voice within my spirit saying, “Your prayers are now touching the lives of those living in Vietnam and Cambodia.” I was suddenly reminded that those specific closet-prayers I had prayed back in the 70’s and 80’s were now reaching to the other side of the world through my daughter and her husband’s love for missions! Prayers that availeth much!
God not only brought me one son-in-law who is a pastor, but he brought two more outstanding Christian son-in-laws, as well. My oldest daughter’s husband is a lay preacher. She and her husband are directors of AWANA’s at their church and travel around to other churches conducting teaching seminars. My second daughter and her husband are bringing up their three daughters faithfully in church and use their business to bless people all over the country. The far-reaching blessings of God are beyond measurability.
I can truly testify that I am blessed beyond measure, and I feel I owe a great deal of appreciation for those blessings to Mrs. Avery, the sweet and precious lady who felt lead of the Lord to give this young wife and mother a book on how to pray fervent, effectual prayers; “What Happens When Women Pray.”
Mrs. Avery is in Heaven now, but her obedience unto the Lord lives on in the hearts and lives of my children and grandchildren, as well as in the lives of the other ladies who were apart of that very special prayer group. Even today, when we see one another we still shake our heads in amazement and give Thanks and Praise unto God for that very special time in our lives when we all learned how to pray effectual prayers. And, I want to also give special thanks to its author, Evelyn Christenson, for taking the time to teach women all over the world that God does hear and answer prayers.
I want to thank my Heavenly Father for the amazing answers he has given to my specific prayers concerning my children and grandchildren over the last three decades. There have been plenty of storms along the way; some brought us to our knees, but God has always been Faithful to never leave nor forsake us. He is an awesome, amazing God. It’s not by any means what I have done; but it is God’s faithfulness to his children and to the promises found within His written Word.
I hope today’s blog might inspire and encourage you to remain steadfast in your prayers for your family and loved ones. You will be amazed at how far-reaching your prayers can avail. Amen.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV.)
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author