James 5:16 the prayers of the righteous availeth much.
In August 1999, my brother left to go back to school at NC A&T State University. On the morning he left, he came into my room and kissed me on my forehead and told me to take care of his nephew. When he left, I did not know that this would be the last time that I would see him. My brother was born with Sickle Cell Beta-Thalassemia. His red blood cells were in the shape of a sickle or a crescent moon, while someone without the disease, red blood cells are in the form of a circle. The red blood cells could not pass through the small vessel due to the shape and this caused a crisis. In November, my brother was taken to the hospital and admitted. I talked to him on Wednesday, and he was doing well. The doctors were going to send him home. That Thursday morning, he passed away in his sleep. I must pause here because I am so grateful to God and His timing.
Although my brother spent a lot of his childhood in the hospital, he maintained the A and B Honor Roll, he was an excellent writer, artist, and he was also an aspired actor. Despite all of that, my brother was upset with God because of his sickness. For a long time, he questioned God because there were many things that he could not do. He always gained weight, lost weight, and he had to take multiple pills every day. There were numerous doctor’s appointments, and he felt different than everyone else because of his limitations. Have you ever had moments in your life where you either questioned God or became upset with Him? Believe it or not, it happens. People become upset with God for various reasons, such as things not going their way or lack of understanding when it comes to a situation. When people experience this, they are at a critical point in their lives because there is a struggle inside them. I believe a battle with my brother was why a God that is so loving allows me to have a life filled with so much pain.
Some of the most influential people you can have in your lifetime are true prayer warriors. These people can pray to God on your behalf, stand in the gap, and fight in the spirit for you. My brother had just that in my mother and grandmothers, and it made the difference. My mother raised my brother and me in church, and she always found time to talk to us about God. My mother planted the seed in us at an early age. Always remember that you may not see the change instantly when you pray about a situation, but don’t doubt God because prayer works.
The word of God tells us to pray, but that’s the issue. No one wants to press in prayer. Everyone wants to say a quick 2-minute prayer and then expect God to move just like that. What happens when your prayers are not answered in your set time frame? Are you willing to continue to press in prayer? Are you willing to continue to speak what God says and not doubt, despite what you see? Webster’s definition of pressure is to act upon through steady pushing or thrusting force exerted in contact; to exert influence on; to try hard to persuade. Pressing in prayer is praying continually to produce the change that you want the see. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools that we have. When we pray God’s will, this is a direct line from earth to the ear of Father God. God hears us when we pray. When we pray, we also activate the angels of God to move on our behalf. No wonder the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Prayer is the essential ingredient to living a victorious life here on earth.
When my mother prayed for my brother’s salvation, and even my salvation, she did not see the results overnight. My mother told the Lord in prayer that she did not want my brother’s soul to be lost. Why do you say it works because your brother is dead? For many years my brother did question God and blamed him for everything that he went through…but when my brother left in August, God had the opportunity to talk with him. We had a conversation on the phone, and he spoke of going to church, and he also told me that he had accepted Christ. I don’t know how God got his attention; it could have been in his sleep, through a friend, a Professor, or a message from a visited church. What matters is that he heard the call and answered before he passed away. When we pray for our children or loved ones, we must make up our minds that we will not stop praying no matter how long it takes.
Again, I say that prayer is one of the most potent weapons we have as believers. When we pray God’s word, He has no other choice but to keep it. It’s His word, and God does not lie, but He keeps His promises. God’s timing is perfect. Don’t stop praying because God will come through no matter how long it takes, and He will do just what he said. You must be willing to press in prayer. Another scripture that I have come to love and even stand on with my adult children is Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. Don’t stop praying for your seed. Don’t stop praying for your loved ones. Don’t stop praying for your job, community, state, world, and leadership. Keep pressing in prayer.