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Switching Gears And Prayer

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2023 12:00 pm

Switching Gears And Prayer

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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May 27, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer James Banks and Robby Dilmore discuss switching gears and prayer. 


This is Sam from the Masking Journey Podcast, and our goal with the podcast has helped you to try to find your way in this difficult world. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. So, have you ever noticed how when you're working on something creative, something that requires some thought and imagination, you know, if you step away from a moment, you'll often get a fresh burst of insight and see things really you've never seen before. Yeah, that's so true, Robbie. I mean, often when I'm writing, I like to take a break by working on the car or doing some other project with my hands, because it's like shifting gears for my brain, and all of a sudden, I'm able to find this new gear, you know, and that's really where we want to go with prayer this morning. What a great car guy example, right? There's a great prayer in the Bible about grabbing a new gear, right?

It kind of is. Okay, we'll go there. Yeah, Ephesians 1 talks about God opening our eyes so that we see Jesus in ways we never have before. So let's read it, picking up in verse 17. Paul writes, I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe that power is the same as his mighty strength exerted when he raised Christ from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every name that is invoked.

Not only in the present age, but also in the one to come. Wow, so that whole prayer is about knowing Jesus better, right? And it's also about seeing God's power at work in our lives really in fresh ways. Yeah, that's right, and it goes so deep.

It's the difference between just living and really making a life, because the more we stay open to God in the moment, the closer we'll be to him, the more effective we'll be in the things we do for him, and the more we'll realize that he really is near, really is with us. Yeah, that makes me think of Elizabeth Barnet. Excuse me, I'll try that again. Yeah, it makes me think of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's quote, right? That's the one you like so much. Yeah, that's right. Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush is a fire with God, but only he who sees it takes off his shoes.

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries. I love that quote, because Browning was a believer, and there she's talking about the difference between recognizing that God is right there, that you can talk with him, that you can be with him, or just taking what God gives you every day, plucking blackberries, without really thinking about him. And we can do that, too, you know?

The challenge is, how can we do that less? And that's really where this prayer from Paul comes in. Yeah, Paul's prayer about open eyes, right? Should we pray for this ourselves?

Pray it for others? And think about what it says, his incomparably great power for us who believe? I mean, that's resurrection power, and really, that's for us, right?

Yeah, yeah. I mean, we don't want to live without this. We don't want to miss this in our lives, because this is about so much more than just words that sound good. This power is the power that you long to see in that place where you're struggling, you know, that sin you can't get over, that addiction. This is the power to change. And this is also closeness to Jesus.

The reason Paul prays that we'll have more of God's Spirit so that we'll know him better is to know the hope that he gives, just to know everything that he is. Yeah, and that's a lot, really. That's everything, really. Yeah, yeah.

I mean, this is important for so much of life. I recently read a note from Matt Lucas, who's the new president of Our Daily Bread, and he was talking about how two of his brother-in-laws are actually federal trappers. You know, these are guys who are responsible for relocating animals like wolves, cougars, bears.

And the other day, one of them was stalking this cougar, only to find out that it was stalking him. And, you know, it was like 10 feet behind him. And he was able to turn and stop it right before it pounced. And Lucas writes, Danny was able to spot the cougar because of years of experience, knowing its habits and traits and keeping a soft focus as he tracked it. Of the three skills, it's this last ability that served him best in the moment. If he'd simply relied on his ability and knowledge, he would have missed what was happening on the periphery, where he wasn't looking. His assumptions and preconceived ideas, you know, what he knew about tracking the cougar, while valuable, were insufficient.

In fact, they were misleading. It was his soft focus, his attention to what was ahead, while staying open to new information and activity from the margins that saved his life. Wow. So in the spiritual life, that also makes me think of how our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, right? Seeking whom he can devour. Exactly. And when God opens our eyes, we not only see more of his goodness, God's goodness, we also see what's coming at us from the adversary with so much greater clarity so that we can be on our God.

So think about it this way. Have you ever had that feeling that you really needed to call out to God in the moment, and right then you didn't know why? The lady you found out, and maybe someone you loved was in danger, or it was a difficult moment for someone, but it was that soft focus, you know?

God helping you stay awake on the periphery, if you will, that made all the difference. And what Paul is talking about here, when he talks about our eyes being flooded with light, is staying open to who God is and what he's doing in momentary ways that change our lives for the better every time. So I love the prayer, open my eyes, Lord, or Lord, just help me to see, and make that when you pray it, about seeing him most of all.

Well, I mean, I guess that's certainly a great place for us to finish up today, James. So, wow, could you pray that we would see him just like that? Yeah, Father, we do ask that you would just bless us, help us open our eyes, help us to see the things you want us to see, keep us on our guard. But most of all, help us to see you and the beauty and the wonder of all that you are, because we will love you for it. In your name we pray. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website,, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-27 14:25:11 / 2023-05-27 14:28:41 / 4

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