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A Prayer for the New Year

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2022 12:00 pm

A Prayer for the New Year

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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December 31, 2022 12:00 pm

Don't worry about the future...God is already there! This week, James and Robby share an encouragement that comes just after the Christmas Story in Luke 2.

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

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 James, this one really isn't a Christmas prayer. I mean, it comes a little later, so maybe we could call it a prayer for the new year. That'll work, Robbie. And what we're looking at today comes right after the Christmas story in Luke 2, so you could put it into the don't worry about the future, God is already there category.

That sounds good to me. I'm hoping he's there in 2023, so, you know, where are we going? All right, we're going to Simeon's prayer in Luke 2 29. We don't know too much about Simeon, except that he was an old guy who was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit, Scripture says. God had told him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, so Mary and Joseph walk into the temple with Jesus when he's eight days old, and of course they're going to do the things that the law requires, going to have him circumcised, etc., and at the same time that they're coming in, the Spirit tells Simeon to go into the temple, and when he sees them, as soon as he sees them, he knows. He knows exactly who that baby is, and he takes him in his arms, and he praises God, saying, Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people is real.

Wow, what a miracle moment, really. Can you just imagine the look on his face and how Mary and Joseph, you know, must have responded? And especially since when he would have said, you know, I've seen thy salvation, that's Yeshua, which is the word that, you know, they're fixing to name their son that on the eighth day, so, you know, many of their memories, you know, are in the other Gospels. You can tell this really had an impact on her.

Yeah, yeah, that's right. I mean, Luke shares Mary's memories, and that's what's here, and, you know, you can just see it, the light shining on his face. It's one of those out of the blue God moments. And this can also help us as we pray facing the new year. First, look again at how Simeon meets Mary and Joseph. Verse 27, moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. Man, I want to be that guy, you know? What a great prayer to pray for 2023. Lord, let my feet carry me exactly where you want me to be.

Help me to be so close to you that I know where you want me to be, and I go there. Oh, I love that, because, you know, that's where life really gets interesting, is what we have discovered. And I understand that you had one of those good God moments, really, just this past Christmas Eve, am I right?

Oh, I really did. Yeah, this is so cool, because of the extreme cold and the storm that came through, the power was out in our church building on Christmas Eve, and that meant that we would have to cancel the Christmas Eve service, which is one of my favorites of the whole year. But I went over there at 2.30 p.m. just to check things out and see, and sure enough, I mean, there was absolutely no power in the building, and Duke Power was telling us that it wouldn't come on until 11.45 p.m.

So, you know, over eight hours from then, or nine hours from then, the power would come on. So, you know, I think, well, it's cold here in the building, we don't have any choice, we're going to have to cancel the service. So I started calling some of the elders, and they all agreed that we really couldn't do it. But as I'm praying with Ken, one of our elders, as I call him, I said, well, Ken, let's do this, let's just pray. And I prayed, Lord, if you want us to have the service tonight, I mean, this is your church, this is your service, if you want us to have the service tonight, make it so when I walk back into the building, the power comes on. So anyhow, I'd been so flustered by the cold that I left my keys in the building, and so I had to go find the church key outside, you know, and I got the key and went into the building, and I wasn't in the building for 10 seconds. And sure enough, power comes on, and we're good to go, and you know, that night we had the service, and I got to tell people, look, you know, God really wanted us to have the service tonight.

Are you the reason why? Darrell Bock Oh, wow. I mean, so again, as you walked in the door, right, the power came on. You've got to love that.

Ken Kuchno I wasn't in for 10 seconds, probably. I mean, what an answer to prayer. It was just amazing. So look at that moment, and take that, multiply that by something that you've been waiting for for years, as Simeon was, and you can just imagine. And that's the next thing we can learn from this prayer.

Just as it had been revealed to him, he would not die until he saw the Messiah. What a great way to be looking forward to what God will do next. So why not ask him, what do you want me to see, Lord? What do you want me to be part of in the year to come?

What are you doing? Darrell Bock Oh, that's an excellent prayer. It really is, because it's not just about God's blessing, you know, for us in the years to come, but it's about being caught up in him, right, in his plans, in the things he's doing.

David Tenenbaum Yeah, that is so true. We want to be looking forward in faith and looking forward to his kingdom and a part of that. And that's a great question to ask.

Am I? Am I looking forward? Because sometimes, you know, we can focus on the past and lose sight of God's promises to us. And we need to hang on to them and praise him for them in advance. Darrell Bock Yeah, so you could say that another part of this prayer is because God had promised Simeon that he would see the Messiah. I mean, think about the promises God has made to us, right? We could build our faith by learning to pray them back to him.

David Tenenbaum Right, right. Like Jesus, you said, peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I receive your peace. Fill me with more of your peace than ever before in the year to come. Darrell Bock Oh, exactly. Praying God's promises can really help us have faith as we look forward to the new year.

Plus, I think somebody wrote a book along those lines. I'm not sure who it was. David Tenenbaum There's one more thing in this prayer that we can look at. Simeon says, Sovereign Lord, you can now dismiss your servant in peace. And one of the things we don't want to miss is that God has something for Simeon to do, right? Again, just look at how much this meant to Mary and to Simeon and also to us. I mean, it wasn't just a blessing for Simeon. It's this beautiful work that he got to do, walking up to Joseph and Mary and praying over the baby.

So how about that? How about praying, Lord, what are the things you want me to do in the year to come? Help me to be your servant wherever you want me to be.

Darrell Bock Oh, that's good. Well, so let's sum up, you know, this moment from God's Word by, you know, teaches to pray, Lord, help my feet to carry me just where you want me to be. Where do you want me to see what you want me to be as a part of? Thank you for your promises. Help me to be your servant in everything. David Tenenbaum Yeah, yeah, I think that about sums it up. So, Robbie, can you pray us forward into the year to come?

Darrell Bock Oh, wow, what an honor, Lord. Thank you so much that we have this year to come and for the plans that you've already laid out there and ahead of, of where we're going. Lord, help us to turn to you so that we can be in on it. Help us to ask those questions. Lord, where do you want me to be? How can I be part of what you're doing? Help me to see things through your eyes in 2023. Help us to grow closer than ever. In Jesus' name I pray, 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. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 15:44:10 / 2022-12-31 15:48:26 / 4

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