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More Christmas Prayers

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2023 12:00 pm

More Christmas Prayers

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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December 16, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss more Christmas Prayers. 

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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, we're talking about more Christmas prayers again today, and I love it where today's episode is going because, you know, if you want, go ahead and tell us more about it. Well, today, Robby, we're going to be looking at shepherds and angels, and that's a great place to jump into Christmas.

In Luke chapter 2, Luke writes, And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And at that moment, after they say that, he says that, all heaven breaks loose. These four shepherds are standing out in the field, and an angel appears before them, bright as day, and then suddenly there are throngs of them. Luke 2, 13, Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host peered with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his faith rests. And as we look at this, I think the question we need to ask is, Why would angels announce Jesus' birth to shepherds?

I mean, what is going on there? Shepherds were not always regarded as the best kind of people in Jesus' day. Their testimony wasn't even accepted in a court of law at the time. But still, you know, God comes to them. He shows up especially for them.

Yeah, I really love that. What a reminder that God really does bend to us, right? I can only imagine how those shepherds felt. Like, is this really happening?

I mean, are you talking to us? That's the beautiful thing about this. God is showing them that they matter to him.

Think about it this way. There's no one more down to earth than a shepherd, and what the angel says sums it all up. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. So you've got the whole arc of God's love right there. God is so great, so good. He is so perfect and so holy that he isn't too good for us, so to speak. He is so holy that he actually cares for us. His holiness evidences itself in this down to earth love. And I just love that about him and how we need that.

Yeah, do we ever. So, James, where is the Christmas prayer in all this? Well, it's just what the angel said. Glory to God in the highest. I mean, pray that first and think about what it means.

First, pray it as a praise, you know, because that's what the angels are doing. Then think about what it means that God is in the highest. There's no one greater than he. There's no one better.

There's no one more loving. And again, he is so great and so good that he's not going to leave us lost and broken and stumbling. He's not going to lead us or leave us to ourselves. And once we really get that in our own skin, you know, we can praise him all the more for it. He gets us. That's who Jesus is. That's why he came.

And he's God understanding us like no one else can and still coming to us and loving us all the more. Oh, yeah. I mean, I can see where that opens the door to the second part, right? The part about God's peace.

Right, right. First, it shows us that peace is this gift that God wants to give us. I think we can forget that sometimes and feel like, you know, having God's peace is all up to us. But the angels are speaking it like a blessing over these poor, terrified shepherds.

And again, I love that. I mean, think about it. Who knows when the last time was any of these guys had a bath? Chances are that they're not able to read.

They're not, again, respected at all by the world's standards. But God comes to them first and says, peace to you. Yeah, it's so true. And it's really a reminder that God is willing to meet us anywhere, isn't it?

Yeah, it is. I mean, no matter what we've done, no matter where we've been, if we just turn to him, if we turn from our sins and turn to him, I'm reminded of that Christmas hymn, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. One of the verses says, And you beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow. Look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing. Oh, rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.

Rest beside the weary road. Oh, man. Don't we need that at Christmas?

Yeah, probably more than at any other time of year. So true, so true. But here's, Robbie, where it all comes down. The angels are offering God's peace as a gift. And of course, it all has to do with Jesus. And if we've received him, we can know God wants us to have his peace, to live in it as we live close to him. It's a peace we won't find anywhere else. So if the first part of the prayer is glory to God in the highest and praising him and thinking about all he is, the second part is then receiving that gift. It's Lord, I receive your peace. And then just, you know, resting in him, leaning into him and loving him back. Yeah, like resting beside the weary road to really hear the angels sing.

I see what you did there. It's a peace we can receive at any time, anywhere, because he's always there and we just have to turn to him and receive it. Yeah, what's so good about that is because God is so great, it means his peace is great also.

Yeah, there is nothing like it. Well, I think it's appropriate we pray then. Go ahead. So Lord, we praise you for this time of year where you were so evident, yet at times so distant, it seems like we're the ones who move. So Lord, help us to see that as an opportunity to truly praise you as the angels did and then rest, knowing that you're going to bring such a great peace. Help us to get to that place of calling on you as the only place that we can really find that peace and the only place we can really find Christmas. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. 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 / 2023-12-16 14:18:37 / 2023-12-16 14:22:05 / 3

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