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Prayer In A Crisis

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2023 12:00 pm

Prayer In A Crisis

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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January 7, 2023 12:00 pm

Robby: So today we want to talk especially to those listeners who are going
through a crisis. And if you’re not, we want to encourage you to listen in.
Because today’s talk will be helpful whatever season you’re in, whether for
you or someone you love. James?
James: That’s right. We want to talk about “Prayers from the Pit”—think
about Joseph, thrown into a pit by his brothers, then sold into slavery, one
crisis after another.
Robby: James, when we were talking about this before you mentioned that
you read something today about this that you really found helpful.
James: Yeah, that will set this up well. A friend of mine gave me a book of
quotes from Charles Spurgeon, the amazingly gifted British preacher. Just
listen to this, because there’s a lot of truth in it (James reads).
Robby: That’s beautiful. And that really does lead us right into talking about
prayer, because when you’re going through something like that, it can be
hard on your relationship with God. You can wonder why He allows it, what
He’s up to, and that can really have an impact on the ways that we pray.
James: Exactly. And that’s what I wanted to do today, to talk to that person
who is in that place right now and encourage you, even though it’s hard,
even though it’s dark right now, don’t give up. Especially don’t give up on
God.
Robby: I can see why you’d like that message from Spurgeon so much,
because you’ve really been there. I know there were some times where you
and your wife had to feel like you were—how did Spurgeon put it—“marked
for sorrow” because of what was going on in your life with your kids. But
then later, you became a comforter to others because of it, especially the
parents of other prodigals, helping them learn how to pray in those times
through your book “Prayers for Prodigals”
James: Yeah, that’s just the thing. You wonder why God allows it at the
time—and I’m not just talking about those “life doesn’t seem fair” moments,
I’m talking about those circumstances that are heartbreaking. And then
later you see how God really did get you through even those moments
when it seemed like He wasn’t there. But you have to go through them, you
have to feel it in your own skin. Because if you don’t go through something

like that you won’t be as real when it comes to helping others. And of
course that’s the farthest thing from your mind in the moment, you just want
to go through it, to come through the other side. And this is where it comes
down to prayer. How do you pray at a time like that? I think there are three
things we can do that really make a difference, and the first is a simple
prayer of trust. “Lord, I don’t understand this, I don’t like it, but I’m yours. I
trust that you’ve got this, and you’ve got me. I love you and I need you,
please keep me close.
Robby: I like that because when you think about Joseph, the Bible tells us
God was with him in everything, even when he was in prison.
James: That’s right. And think about something else Joseph said later to
his brothers.
Robby: I know where you’re going with this. He told them, “You meant it for
evil, but God meant it for good.”
James: That’s right. So after we pray a prayer of trust, pray a prayer of
praise. Not for your circumstances—that would be really hard to do that
and be real it in—but to just praise God for God, to take your eyes off
yourself and put them on Him.
Robby: Yeah, that can really help us. I find when I try to do that God has a
way of lifting me out of whatever is going on somehow, and giving me what
I need to just get through. He builds my faith when I do it.
James: I think that’s really true. And faith brings us to the third way to
pray—a prayer of thanks. Remember God’s Word encourages us to give
thanks in all circumstances, so we can thank God that He is good, He is
faithful, and He will bring good even though you can’t see it right now. So
that pretty much wraps it up. A prayer of trust, a prayer of praise, and a
prayer of thanks.
Robby: James, let’s pray for those listeners who are going through it right
now as we wrap up. Will you do that?
James: That would be good. (James prays)

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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 today we want to talk especially to those listeners who are going through a crisis. And if you're not, we want to encourage you to listen in, because today's talk will be helpful, you know, whatever season you're in, whether for you or someone you love. Right, James?

Yeah, that's right. We want to talk about, we'll call it prayers from the pit. Think about Joseph thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery, one crisis after another. Right, and James, we're talking about this before you mentioned that. You read something today about this, and you found it really helpful.

Yeah, and that'll set this up well. A friend of mine gave me a book of quotes from Charles Spurgeon, the amazingly gifted British preacher. And just listen to this, because there's a lot of truth in it. He writes, Do you feel marked for sorrow? Are you the target of the arrows of affliction?

Are you punished more than others? Do not sorrow. The arrows of affliction are sent by covenant love to prepare you for a special work that will yield a great blessing from your Heavenly Father.

The day will come when you will be grateful for every blow, even grateful for the bitter pangs of unkindness from friends. Joseph's brothers hated him, Genesis 37.4, and they sold him into slavery, Genesis 37.28. And then he goes on, But you see the reward for Joseph had exclusive blessings. Instructed by affliction, you will become a comforter to the afflicted.

Wow, that's beautiful. And that really does lead us right into talking about the prayer, right? Because when you're going through something like that, it can be hard on relationship with God.

Yeah, it can be. And I left something out of that quote I want to read. Spurgeon said, The abundance of God's revelation is usually accompanied by a thorn in the flesh. And that means that when we're going through a time like this, a deeper grief like this, you know, God is doing this deeper work in us.

And today I want to talk to the person who is in that place right now and encourage you, even though it's hard, even though it's dark, don't give up, especially don't give up on God. Yeah, I can see why you'd like that message from Spurgeon so much, you know, because you've really been there. I mean, I know there were some times when you and your wife, you know, had to feel like you were, you know, how did Spurgeon put it?

Marked for sorrow, right? Because of what you were going through in your life with your kids. But then later on, you became a comforter to others because of it, right?

And especially the parents of other prodigals, helping them learn how to pray in those times, you know, through your book, The Prayers for Prodigals. Yeah, yeah, and that's just the thing, Robbie, you wonder why God allows it at the time. And I'm not just talking about those life-doesn't-seem-fair moments, you know, I'm talking about those seasons, those circumstances that are heartbreaking, and you don't understand it at the time. I mean, I had no idea what God was doing at the time. And then later, you see how God really did get you through even those seasons when it seemed like he wasn't there. But you have to go through them, you have to feel it in your own skin, because if you don't go through something like that, you won't be as real when it comes to helping others once you come out the other side. And again, that's the farthest thing from your mind in the moment, you just, you know, want to be done with it. And this is where it comes down to prayer. How do you pray at a time like that?

I think there are three things we can do that really make a difference. And the first is a simple prayer of trust. Lord, I don't understand this, I don't like it, but I want to be yours in it.

I trust that you've got this, that you've got me, I love you, I need you, I'm yours, please keep me close. I like that because, you know, when you think about Joseph, the Bible tells us, you know, God was with him in everything, you know, even when he was in prison. Right, but he was still in prison, even though God was with him, you know. And think about something else Joseph said later to his brothers. Yeah, I know when you're going with us, he told them, right, that you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

Yeah, that's right. So, after we pray a prayer of trust, pray a prayer of praise, not for your circumstances, that would, I think, be really hard to do, and to be real in it, you know, but just praise God for God. Try to take your eyes off yourself, even for just a moment, and put them on him. Yeah, that could really help us. I mean, I find when I try to do that, God has a way of lifting me out of whatever it is I'm going through, and somehow giving me what I need, you know, just to get me through. He builds my faith also when I do that.

Yeah, yeah, I think that's really true. And faith brings us to the third way to pray. You're talking about building faith, and that is a prayer of thanks. So, of course, God's Word encourages us to give thanks in all circumstances, and again, that's tough. But if we place it on God, we can thank God that he's good, that he's faithful, that he'll bring us through, that he'll bring good, even though we can't see it right then. And I think that pretty much wraps it up. A prayer of trust, you know, giving ourselves to God, a prayer of praise, and a prayer of thanks.

Wow, James. Well, let's pray for those listeners who are going through something like this, you know, right now, as we wrap it up, would you? Yeah, that'd be good. Let's pray. Father, you know what each one is going through. And, Lord, we do thank you that you are faithful. And, Father, we're yours. We want to be yours.

We know there's nothing better than being close to you. And so, Father, keep us close. Help us.

Just strengthen us. And we will praise you, Lord. We do praise you.

Because we know that you waste nothing, and that you are able to bring good out of the circumstances of our lives that we never saw coming. So, again, Father, we're yours. Help us. Bless us to just stay close. In Jesus' name. 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 / 2023-01-08 01:48:58 / 2023-01-08 01:52:13 / 3

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