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Great Prayers To Start The Year With

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2023 12:00 pm

Great Prayers To Start The Year With

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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December 30, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss great prayers to start the year with.

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Hi, this is Roy Jones with ManTalk Radio Podcast. Our mission is to break down the walls of race and denomination. Your chosen Truth Radio broadcast will be starting in just a few seconds. Thank you. insight to help you learn to love to pray. And now, here's James. Well, here we are on the last Encouraging Prayer episode of the year, and 2024 is just a little over a day away.

So today we're looking at some great prayers to start the year with. How neat. I'm excited about that. And we have three of them.

James, how would you like to start? Well, as the new year starts, Rob, you hear all kinds of predictions about what will happen in 2024. And of course, no one knows for sure.

But most of them are not good. And some people are wringing their hands about the upcoming election, not knowing what it will bring. Others are predicting a so-called Black Swan event that will affect world history. And it's fascinating to watch because if we're not careful, we can get all wrapped up in these things. And it's not that we shouldn't care about them. We certainly should. But there's one thing that we should care about even more. Jesus said that we are to seek the kingdom of God above everything else. So that's the first prayer that we want to start with. Jesus, help me to seek your kingdom first.

Wow, that is a great place to start because it's amazing what would happen if we do that, right? Sometimes, especially in today's climate, I'm afraid that some people are so wrapped up in politics. So if someone has a difference with them, they can only see through that lens. It's almost like they stop seeing people with whom they differ as those who are also made in the image of God. And we can't go there.

That's exactly right, Rami. And a lot of people are going there today because our world is becoming increasingly godless. So when you take God out of it, it's like anything goes. And there's no right or wrong, but this gives believers an opportunity to show Jesus love and his light in a powerful way. And when we ask God to help us seek his kingdom above everything else, he will. It's so important for us to remember that our citizenship is in heaven first and nothing can compare with that. So that's where we need to keep our minds and hearts and why we need to pray that way as a new year starts.

Yeah, so true. And that's why we need to pray, come soon, Lord Jesus, right? As the prayer for his kingdom to come is also, as we talked about, you know, recently, one of the main requests of the Lord's Prayer.

And so we know without a shadow of a doubt, he wants us to pray that way. Yes. And the second prayer to start the prayer, sorry, let me start that over.

Yes. And the second prayer to start the year is related to that. And it is simply help me to be ready for you. My friend David Beatty, pastor at River Oaks Community Church has written a great little book on Andrew Bonar, a pastor from the 1800s. And David shares several quotes in the book.

And one of them that I read this past week really got me thinking. It basically said, and I'll paraphrase, if we look at the disciples and how often they missed what Jesus was saying about his crucifixion, isn't it possible that we are missing some of the things that he said about his second coming? Again, it really made me stop and think because we have more in common with the disciples than we sometimes realize. And, you know, they certainly weren't ready for what happened to Jesus. So I think it's really helpful to pray, Lord, help me to be ready for you.

Oh, wow. It really is, especially when you think about all the parables Jesus told about how important it is to be ready. I mean, he basically says that if we're not ready, you know, we could miss everything.

Yeah. Which is why we need to know him as our savior, first of all. Because if you think about it in Matthew 7, Jesus said, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name, drive out demons and in your name, perform many miracles?

And I'll tell them plainly, I never knew you away from me. Those are some of the most challenging words in the Bible, because they show us that knowing Jesus isn't just about saying a sinner's prayer, as important as that is, that's only the beginning. The question is, will we follow him after that? Because if we don't, who's to say that that prayer was sincere to begin with? Yeah, I know what you mean. I mean, that's a challenge that each of us faces. But I think it's important to point out that it's not our efforts that save us, you know, but God's kindness and grace and certainly his presence. So true.

Yeah, that's a vital point. And it's here that Bonhoeffer drew that great distinction between cheap grace and costly grace. Cheap grace cost me nothing. You know, I can just say a prayer and go on living the way I want.

But costly grace cost me my life. And I think a great question to ask ourselves at any point of the day is, whom am I living for right now? You know, am I living for God? Am I living for Jesus? Or am I living for me?

Because that affects everything we do. Or write it down, ask yourself at the end of the day, whom have I honestly lived for today? I like what the theologian and Pastor Helmut Theilikus said about this. He said, every single hour of our life is marked with this one unpredictable moment when we stand alone and face Jesus Christ.

If we miss him, if we act like our life will go on as it always has, we will miss the point of our life. Yeah, that's a great reminder. And I think that each of us, you know, when we ask, what have I lived for, that what have I lived for question, we'll find, you know, there's always room for improvement because, you know, the Holy Spirit is always working on us.

Thank goodness. Yeah, absolutely. Again, this is all about grace. But asking that question and praying, help me to be ready, is a great way of guarding our hearts and helping us to learn to love Jesus more in the little things that we do every day. And the last prayer goes there too, doesn't it?

Yeah, it does. And here it is. It's a simple statement. I love you, Lord Jesus. Just pray that I love you, Lord Jesus. Because if we pray that more and more, you know, if we say it and mean it, that's going to help us to be faithful in the little things. And the big things too, because, you know, if you're praying that, that the Holy Spirit is going to prompt you with it. For example, if you're praying, help me to be ready, and then I love you, Lord Jesus, then the Holy Spirit is going to ask you about the people you're close to. I mean, what about them?

Shouldn't they be ready too? That's exactly right, which will, you know, help us to share his love with them. So when we pray that way, God is going to draw us out of ourselves and help us to serve him better. Because after all, it's not about us. It's about him and being his.

Wow, that's a great place to wrap up today's talk. And really the year. I mean, how good is it to know that we can face the new year knowing that his perfect love casts out all fear. In fact, that's actually one of my favorite verses.

So we can run to him, right, and look forward to him most of all. And I'll pray. So Lord, thank you so much for these suggestions. As we know, as we go into 2024, you know, that we would think about this whole idea of your kingdom coming, about how we can, you know, include you in our everyday moments more and more this year. And if we can just move into that position through, you know, prayer.

And I don't know of another thing better than that to do in order to find it. So Lord, you know, help us to see these things in a new light as we enter into this year to get more light. 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 / 2023-12-30 14:15:31 / 2023-12-30 14:19:22 / 4

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