“The Prayer of a righteous person availeth much.” James 5:16

The Word says, “…as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.”  1 Samuel 12:23

As Christians, we are called to intercessory prayer.  This is not a privilege extended only to pastors, mature Christians, or a select few.  No, this is for each of us.  We must realize that we ourselves, as “humble” believers, can wield great influence as the lives of others can literally be transformed with healing, restoration, and divine intervention when we pray for them.  We all have the honor of falling to our knees on others’ behalf, and there is life-changing power in this kind of prayer.  After all, we have the example of Christ Himself sitting at the Father’s right hand, praying for us even now, as He intercedes for our good.  The Holy Spirit is doing the same.
I am reminded of my wife’s extremely complicated heart operation/procedure that took place a few years ago. We arrived at the hospital early that morning, and a nurse came for her and took her to begin preparations at 6:00 a.m.  As they were hooking her up to all kinds of equipment, they put her to sleep.  Two doctors worked on her for hours that day. The waiting seemed endless as the clock ticked on.  I believe it was about 5:00 p.m. by the time both doctors finished the procedure.  She was then taken immediately to ICU.
 I will tell you that my wife was more than uneasy about this procedure beforehand.  Surprisingly enough, she was not worried about what the doctors would do, but she was so upset going into this because the anesthesiologist had told her at pre-registration that her hands would be tied down to keep her from pulling the breathing tube out of her throat, if she was not breathing on her own when she left the operating room.  This was terrifying news to someone as claustrophobic as she is, for she could imagine how frightening it would be to wake in restraints.  And at 8:30 that night, she woke up in restraints, but she was so weak that the overwhelming fear lasted only a few seconds before she went back to sleep.  Waking up again as they removed the ventilator, she was freed from restraints shortly thereafter.  We asked her later what she know of the whole day from 6:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. that night.  She said she was “out” for the whole time except for a brief few moments when she seemed to be watching her own body lying on the table.  She said she was perfectly calm, observing herself from a short distance.  And she was pleased in a sense to see beautiful ribbons loosely flying around and around her, circling her entire body.  There was no sound, just the image of her on the table.  She was amazed then to get a bit closer and to see that half of the ribbons had Scriptures printed on them, and the other half were imprinted with the prayers of people praying for her, even at that very moment.  God was showing her the prayers and His promises being lifted up in such a beautiful way.  Ribbons encircling her, protecting her.
That one short vision (?) gave her the confidence to know that she would be fine, even with the dreaded restraints.  It was like the Lord telling her, “It’s okay…I’m here…holding the prayers of your many believing friends.”  When she got better and could talk about her experience, she was so grateful for the prayers of her friends, family, and people who had prayed for her that she did not even know.   Our prayers for others are so important because they can often change the course of events in people’s lives.  The Word is filled with examples of this very thing. The Word says, “The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.”  He has made us righteous in Christ.  Our prayers availeth much!!! That promise is ‘Yes” in Jesus Christ.  “Far be it from us to cease to pray for others.”

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