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Christmas Prayers part 2

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2022 12:00 pm

Christmas Prayers part 2

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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December 10, 2022 12:00 pm

James and Robby continue to discuss the story of Christmas in this episode.

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James. So I enjoyed last week's look at Christmas prayers, and I'm excited about today as well. So let's get to it. For our second episode about Christmas prayers, you want to look at a few different people in the Christmas story, specifically Joseph and the Magi. Oh man, there is so much here, Robbie, and it can really help us pray in an exciting way. And we'll get to that, but first we've got to set the table, and that'll take a little time. So we're going to look at a few places in the first and second chapter of Matthew to see this.

Let's just read some of them. First, when Joseph didn't understand what was happening with Mary at first, Matthew 1 19 tells us that he didn't want to disgrace her publicly and was going to divorce her quietly. So let's start reading at verse 20. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to make Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son. You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son. They will call him Emmanuel, which means God with us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Wow. So to sum it up, an angel appears to him, and that angel really corrects the record and tells him that the baby will be God's chosen savior and even give Joseph the baby's name, right?

Jesus. And Joseph obeyed what he heard. Yeah, that's right.

That's right. Now, here are a few more thoughts from Matthew. After the baby is born, the Magi or wise men come and give their gifts. Now here's Matthew 2 12. And having been warned in the dream not to go back to Herod, they return to their country by another route.

Ah, I'm beginning to see a common theme here. But wait, there's more. So let's keep reading in chapter 2, the very next verse, verse 13. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.

Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So they flee to Egypt, and a little while later, well, here's verse 19, after Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead. And one other, sometimes forgotten, but it shows you how Jesus came to Galilee when they were on their way back. Verse 22. But when he, Joseph, heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea, in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.

Wow, I've never seen it put together that way. You know, God speaks to Joseph in a dream, then, to the Magi, then to Joseph to flee Israel, and then to come back, and then another dream to show him where to go. So, you know, that's five dreams in a row.

Right, right. All in, basically, just a little more than one chapter of Matthew. And this is where it's fascinating, but we also have to be very careful to stay close to God's Word, because not every dream we have is from him. This we know, and there are people who have used the concept of dreams to deceive others.

So Jude 1-8 tells about false people who follow their own desires, who claim authority from their dreams, quote, and live immoral lives. So again, the important thing isn't the dream, the real authority comes from God's Word, and sometimes you see God using dreams as he did with Joseph and the Magi, but no dream will ever contradict his Word. And God's Word tells us in Joel, quoted in Acts as well, in the last days, I'll pour out my Spirit upon all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. But again, it's not just the dreams we're talking about, per se, you know, sometimes people get so excited about dreams. But dreams or visions are not prayer, per se, but they're related to it.

Do you follow me? The prayer part comes with listening, and so that's our second Christmas prayer, and we can sum it up with Samuel's words, speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. And God may choose to speak to us in any way, you know, including dreams, and we need to listen to him, to actively listen, and when we engage him like that, oh man, things get good. Yeah, they really do, because, you know, God has so many ways of getting through to us, and of course, the first is by spending time in his Word and asking him to speak to you as you read, but there are so many other ways as well. Yeah, we have to stay open-minded about this, because again, you see that in his Word, and you know, that's what Luke is talking about also in Acts, staying before God in prayer, being open to him in the moment, and again, nothing contradicts or takes precedent over his Word, but the question is, are we looking for him to speak to us?

Are we wanting that? You know, are we looking to be, for God to be involved in our daily lives in personal ways, because honestly, according to his Word, he wants to be. You know, that is a topic we could really spend some time on, but again, you're saying that the main thing is to pray, Lord, help me to listen to you.

That's it. That's Christmas prayer number two, if you will, because this isn't ultimately about us, you know, doing something sensationalistic. This is about our being better servants of God. That's what you see in Joseph's life. I mean, you know, the guy had to be rock solid, and he's sensitive, and he's listening to the leading of the Spirit, and so often, you know, we make prayer about talking, but it's about so much more than that, right? I've heard it said that the word silent and listen have the same letters for a reason.

Darrell Bock Yeah, I like that. So again, speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. So James, we're just about out of time.

In fact, we are. So could you pray? James Love Yes, Father, help us. Help us to listen.

Help us to stay open. Help us to stay close to your word. And to just know, I thank you that you will show us in your spirit, in our spirits, through your spirit, as we listen to you. Thank you, Father, for your goodness. In Jesus' name. Amen. Darrell Bock Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-11 10:43:00 / 2022-12-11 10:46:30 / 4

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