Availeth Much

Availeth Much

A Sister's Testimony of God's Power to Save

by Annie Wesche | November 1, 2010

“...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

– James 5:16 KJV

On the morning of October 27, 2010, I knew the day would be different. I had made my way over to the chapel for 5:30 a.m. prayer on the Ellerslie campus, and during that time it became clear that there were many students feeling like they had hit a wall spiritually. Weʼd be spending the day in aggressive prayer – prayer that goes after the promises of the kingdom of God and cries out for it to be brought down to earth.

When morning prayer had closed, I made my way back to my room to dive into some personal study, but instead opened up my journal to express my burdened heart before God. Here’s my entry from that morning:

Beloved, I trust You.

This day may begin with unknowns, but You are known and I long to know You still more through this day. There’s a moving of Your Spirit among these students, and they are asking for help to get past the “wall” spiritually.

Show me where you want me today, Lord. I rest in You. You will have victory. You will accomplish it in every seeking heart.

I then closed my journal with my brother John heavily on my heart. “I trust You, Lord,” I prayed. “Whatever happens today with John, I trust that You are after his soul. I will trust you no matter what I see happening outwardly.”

At the beginning of the morning session, Eric asked everyone who had hit a wall spiritually to raise their hand if they wanted prayer and if they wanted to specifically hit their doubt, fear, or other weight with Godʼs Truth. Many hands went up, but instead of my brotherʼs being among them, he got up and walked out, his inner turmoil visible on his face.

“Lord, no! He needs You! Donʼt let him run!” I silently cried out. I was on my knees in the back of the chapel and felt that all-familiar ache that he would miss all that God had for him. A gentle Voice quickly reminded me of my declaration that morning to trust no matter what John displayed outwardly. “Lord,” I whispered, “I trust you. Heʼs in the heat of the battle to surrender. I trust You. You long for Him more than I ever could.”

Moments later, after God had moved on his soul bringing him to willingness, I found myself in a back room of the chapel along with Ellerslie staff, a handful of eager students, and John. Three things were abundantly clear: John had come to the end of himself and was desperate for Life. Every person in that room deeply loved him and cared for his soul. And the Spirit of God was there leading him unto salvation in Christ Jesus while Eric laid out the Gospel Truth.

Much of what I remember from that hour is blurred through tears. I knew that what was unfolding was a work of God, and God alone. My tears were out of deep joy, one of the deepest I have ever experienced. God, my God and my own Rescuer, was introducing Himself to my beloved brother. In that very moment when John reckoned the truth of Godʼs Word as true for him, I witnessed him cross from death to life and watched as the burdens of guilt and shame, fear and self-dependence slid off his shoulders and landed on the ground with a glorious thud.

Moments later, John emerged from the room and eagerly gave testimony to the rest of the class of what God had just done for him. How I wish I could lend you an ear to what that time was like!

John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (KJV). New Life. He had it. His soul was tasting it. His mouth declared it. And his countenance now displayed the new reality of his soul. John was free indeed, and the days that have followed since have only proven a fuller testimony of this truth.

John had been raised in the same home as me, with the same godly, prayer-warring parents, and the same Truth floating in and out of his ears; but he had never reckoned it true for his own soul and died to himself. He spent years genuinely desiring to follow Christ, but all the while being bound to the inability of his flesh to walk out righteousness.

But on the 27th, the Word of God became true for John and his life was changed – literally exchanged. And on the 28th, I watched as my brother bent his knees and went down into the waters of baptism, proclaiming his death to self, sin, and the enemy, and new life in Jesus Christ and his allegiance to Him alone. This moment tops the charts of my life thus far and I wonder what my heart would feel had I not spent moments and days going after it through prayer, seeking my God who is faithful.

May you be encouraged, dear reader, by this testimony of answered prayer. May it stir in your heart a fresh fire to run to your knees and know that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much”! “Availeth much” actually means to be powerfully effective. Itʼs powerfully effective because we pray to One who is all-powerful. And He says, “If you ask anything in my name, (whatever is in agreement with Christ) I will do it” (John 14:14 KJV). Draw near to the Lord and do not lose heart, for, “it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish” (Matt. 18:14 KJV).

Note: If you are hungry to hear the Gospel afresh, desire to reckon the truths of Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension at a deeper level, or long to be better equipped for leading someone through the Gospel, I’d love for you to hear the latest sermon from The Church at Ellerslie, Reckoning with Truth. This is the message Eric gave the Sunday following our triumphant week at Ellerslie, and it can be found in the sermon archives at www.ellerslie.com.

The past few days have enlarged my heart with immeasurable gratitude toward the Lord. There were moments throughout the years when I grew closer to discouragement rather than faith in praying for my brother, but it was the Lordʼs own faithfulness in my life day after day that held me to hope in His grace and power. Twenty other students also found triumph that day at Ellerslie, and we all were made more aware of what a Rescuer our God is! We walk with a King who is mighty to save, and the more we know Him, the more our faith grows in what He can and will do! Truly, God is faithful!*

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