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How To Pray Like A Little Kid

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
July 8, 2023 12:00 pm

How To Pray Like A Little Kid

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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July 8, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss how to pray like a little kid. 

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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 on Encouraging Prayer, we're going to be talking about how to pray like a little kid.

So James, where do you want to start? Well, Robbie, I have a nine month old granddaughter whom I dearly love. And I spent a little time with her recently. And last night, I was putting her down to bed. And I realized that I was learning so much from her not, you know, lessons of the head, but of the heart, which tend to last a little longer.

Wow, how so? Well, last night, excuse me, I was putting her in the crib, and she just looks at me and smiles. And of course, my heart just melts. You know, it's this simple, direct, Papa, I love you look that is so heartwarming.

And what are you going to do at a time like that? I know that look. You know, I've been there on the receiving end of it from my own kids and my own grandkids.

Yeah. And so what I did in that moment was, I picked her up, and I gave her a hug, and I rocked her a little more. And as I did, God gave me a glimpse of, of what was going on in my own heart and what goes on in his heart, because I'm made in his image. And it was as if he was saying, Do you see that? Do you see how you responded to simple love from her?

That's all I want from you. That same kind of childlike affection, it moves my own heart more than you know. Oh, I get that too. I mean, I totally get it. And I think it says a lot, because sometimes when we, you know, talk about Jesus' words that you must be like a little child to be part of the kingdom. They give these long explanations for that, like, you know, anything but childlike, right?

Yeah. We make things more complicated than they need to be. But I mean, you put it all into perspective. And you think about how amazing God is, you know, he speaks the universe into existence with just words.

And you think of what we are in comparison to that. And so what even our most, you know, just complicated praises must seem like to him. Anyhow, it just it brings me back to this, this whole thing about how it's the heart to heart. And we've talked about this so many times before, that just matters to our loving Abba Father, you know, that just because kind of love.

So much flows out of that faith and obedience and hope and love in our own hearts and delight in his presence, you could just keep on going. Oh, it's really true. And it's, you know, really a gift from him.

Yeah, yeah, it is. And what's really important is that it helps us live dependently on him. I was reading this great quote from the poet Annie Dillard this morning about kids and their hearts.

And tell me if you don't think this hits another truth. She says, an infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn't the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned instead is how to fake it.

He'll have the cocksure air of a squatter who has come to feel he owns the place. Some unwanted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover where it is we've been so startlingly set down. If we can't learn why. I mean, you know, tell me if you don't think that just hits another truth, right?

Oh, wow. Yeah, especially the part about our feeling like we own the place, right? When we're really only passing through. I mean, we get so attached to the world. Yeah, exactly. And that's why, you know, praying like a little kid, praying from the heart, just loving God, not because you have any reason, but just because is so impactful.

Right. So, James, you know, let's talk about how do you do that exactly? Well, again, the beauty of this is it's so simple. And as I was thinking about it, I thought about something you said before about how when you were praying, you just crawl up into Abba Father's lap.

And I love that because it's such tender imagery and so on point for this. So why don't you just tell us a little about what that's like for you? Oh, I can tell you. Even this morning, like I, you know, it's going to sound kind of far out in the spacey, but you know, it's just what it is. And so this morning, I've really been thinking about the same thing, James, about how if I'm in the image of God and I love to learn, then I was thinking, you know, I wonder if God loves to learn.

He must because my heart's like his heart. So, God, what what is it that you need to learn? Because I would think you know everything.

But what is it that you need to learn? And I reflected on that. What Jesus said in Matthew 7, I think it's 23, where he said, I never knew you. And I said, oh, that's what you don't know. Do you want to know me? And so as I was in his arms this morning, I was going, OK, well, if you want to know me, you know, here's where my concerns are right now. I'm concerned about this financially and I'm concerned about this relationship and I'm concerned. And I just started, you know, I said, really, God, that's why.

And I'm just scared. Yeah, I love that because, you know, of course, you know, theologically, God is omniscient. There's nothing he doesn't know. But he wants us to reveal ourselves to him just like he's revealed his heart to us.

So that's awesome. And, you know, when I think about this, it's so important when it comes to learning how to just praise God. I mean, you know, so often we make praise this grandiose thing and we feel like if we're not having unrepetitive thoughts when we're praising God, that we're not praising him well. You know, we sort of, I don't know, it's difficult to explain, but sometimes I feel like, oh, gosh, sometimes my praise just sounds so basic. But that's all God wants. I was thinking about your illustration at the beginning, right, that when you can sense God's pleasure, like, you know, it was talked about in Chariots of Fire, and you can sense his smile, then what's he really trying to do is to get you smile back. He's giving you that smile so that you will smile back, and then that heart to heart that you were talking about, that's praise.

It's what Jonathan Edwards called sweet delight in God. I hate we're out of time, but we better pray along these lines, James. Well, let's go there. Would you help us out?

Oh, sure. Jesus, thank you for this unbelievable imagery of just that child looking up at us and smiling. Lord, help us to smile back, help us to touch you heart to heart, and that you can truly see how much you mean to us. Help us to go there today, and maybe even more so today 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-08 14:08:58 / 2023-07-08 14:12:39 / 4

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