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Pray To Love, and Love To Pray

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2022 12:00 pm

Pray To Love, and Love To Pray

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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February 12, 2022 12:00 pm

James Banks and Robby Dilmore discuss learning how to love to pray and how to serve God in all that you do. They discuss God's love in them, and how it shapes them day to day.

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This is the Truth Network. Encouraging Prayer. God offers an open invitation for His people to talk with Him at any time about anything. On Encouraging Prayer, Dr. James Banks, author of the bestselling Prayers for Prodigals and many other books on prayer, provides weekly biblical insight to help you learn to love to pray. And now here's James. So I like where we're going today, James, especially with Valentine's Day so close. And we're calling today's episode Pray to Love and Love to Pray. So why don't you let our folks in on what that's all about? Okay, well, of course, Valentine's Day is all about love.

And people spend a lot of money at this time of year buying gifts and cards and flowers. And thinking about all that makes me ask, how often do I really tell God that I love Him? I mean, not just when I'm singing a praise song, you know, and I'm caught up in the moment. But at other times as well, I mean, just as I'm going through the day, how often do I tell God, I love Him? Wow, that makes me think of Psalm 18, right? It starts out with, I love you, Lord, my strength.

Yeah, yeah, that's one of my favorites. You know, just telling God we love Him, obviously, it's got to be with more than just words. Jesus said, if you love me, you'll do what I command. But telling Him we love Him matters. And so we've got to follow Him. And that's one of the ways we do it. But let's say that we're sincerely trying to follow Him.

Well, what does it look like then? You know, I mean, it's not just a matter of don't do this or don't do that. It's a matter of the heart. So where we really want to go today is, what do you do from the heart to tell God that you love Him? So is that a question for our listeners? Or for me?

Well, it's really for all of us. For me, one of the ways I do it is by writing. I love to write, and I feel God's love in my spirit when I do, because it's one of the things, you know, He made me to do. And I think that, you know, when I'm writing, I'm focusing. And I started writing when I was in fourth grade, one of my teachers saw I love playing with words.

And so she, you know, got me into it. But it could be using any gift that He's given you. So let's just go back to today's title. Because I think there's something important in it. The first part says, pray to love.

And I think it really matters. Because if we're not feeling it, I mean, we're just struggling loving God. I mean, can we tell Him that?

Yeah, yeah. Again, this is one of those things where, if we're honest with Him about it, He'll meet us in that place. And when He does, it brings us to the second part of it, love to pray. You know, the more we feel this love in our hearts, the more we'll want to pray.

But think about what Jesus said to the woman at the well. He said, you know, that the time is coming, and now is, when true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. And I think part of worshiping in truth, is just giving God all of it and saying, you know, like you were saying, I'm not feeling it. And because all love comes from God, then He meets us in that place, pours love into us. And, you know, this is what His Word tells us that we love because He first loved us. So what my friend helps me to do is, is to just rest in that love, you know, in a simple childlike way, just tell him I love him, and then try to keep doing that several times a day. I like writing it on my calendar, I love you, Jesus, you know, as a reminder, just keep going back there.

And this isn't about being sentimental, but it should include all of that, shouldn't it? I mean, sometimes I think, especially, you know, my folk tend to be the frozen chosen, and when the Holy Spirit works in our life, He's going to work in all of us, our minds, our emotions, and just going to Him from the heart, it helps me to stay close to Him, helps me to do the right thing as well, because I'm reminded then that if I love Him, I will, right? It just helps in so many ways, so many times. That's right, like with temptation, I find it's not necessarily just don't do that, that keeps me from sinning. It's thinking that, wow, Jesus is right here, and I don't want to hurt Him or hurt His heart because I love Him. Yeah, yeah, that's so helpful, because, you know, when we go there in the moment, when we're tempted, you know, and, and we really, the temptation is strong, and man, that happened to me just this past week, and, you know, you, you want to give in, and it's like, Lord, I love you, and this is really difficult right now, help me, help me not to go down this road, and just calling on Him in the middle of the mess, whatever it may be, and expressing love for Him, makes all the difference. I mean, it helps you just stand strong, and it may be just a moment or two, and then that temptation passes, and then you look back, and it's like, wow, how could I ever even go there, you know? But again, this is where telling God we love Him matters, because our lives are meant up to, are meant to be caught up in this love forever. Yeah, it is, you know, we expect our relationships, you know, with our kids or our wives to, you know, happen in two or three minutes.

They ought to know we love them, I mean, we just told them yesterday. But man, I mean, real relationships take a lot of, you know, just connecting and staying there, because interestingly, as I spend time doing just what you, just being mindful of how much I love God, it actually, it's like, that helps me make me feel like I love God more, you know what I'm saying? Right, yeah. No, that's exactly right, because, again, I think His Spirit is going to meet us right in that place.

And this is why we need to do this. And, you know, all of eternity is going to be spent in adoration of Jesus. And then, of course, we'll see Him as He is, and we'll be so caught up in that wonder that that's no problem, you know, spending all of eternity. But I think now He's turning our hearts and our minds in that direction as we come to Him. And He'll just bless us, as we do. So Robby, could you wrap us up today with a prayer that we would just go there more and more?

So Jesus, in this season of Valentine's, and the thought of affection, Lord, help us to be mindful, to come to that place where we can spend time in our affection for you, and to think of that and grow in our relationship with you, as that's the connection that brings us life. Lord, help us when we struggle. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website,, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. Amen. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 15:35:41 / 2023-06-05 15:39:14 / 4

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