James 5:13-16 (NLT)
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James the half-brother of Jesus writes on the power of prayer. He gives some of the reasons we might quickly seek to pray such as having a hardship, being unhappy, sickness, revealing sin and to give praise to God.



I once got to meet Pastor Dr. Tony Evans as he spoke to a group in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Evans is a respected leader in evangelical circles. The first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), he served as an associate professor in DTS� Pastoral Ministries Department in the areas of evangelism, homiletics and black church studies. He also served as chaplain for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and presently serves as chaplain for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Dr. Evans has served as the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for over 34 years, witnessing its growth from ten people in 1976 to now over 8,500 congregants with 100 plus ministries.

Dr. Evans spoke of a time when he was in college and married to his wife Lois. Like any young struggling couple attending college they were met with financial burdens. One morning Lois told her husband it was time to pay bills and she had been praying for their financial needs because she knew they were short on funds. As Tony left for school that morning he was praying about how God could provide to meet those needs. On the way to class Tony stopped to see if he had any mail. In the mailbox was an envelope and as he opened it he found a check for $500. Someone had anonymously left the money for Tony and his wife with the school. Excitedly he called Lois to tell her the good news. She then responded, �It was a check for $500, wasn�t it?� Tony asked, �How did you know?� $500 is what we needed and that is what I was praying for.

James said, �The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.� If we don�t pray God can never answer our prayers. Lois prayed because of their hardship and God responded with a generous gift to meet their needs.