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Praying Like Jesus

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2024 12:00 pm

Praying Like Jesus

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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January 27, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss praying like Jesus. 

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network, 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. Well, this is a special two-part series on encouraging prayer. We had the first one last week about praying like Jesus. And during that episode, we mentioned the topic that Jesus taught on so much, we'd have to dedicate an entire episode to it. So, James, or Jesus, take it from here.

Only where he leads. The topic that Jesus taught on frequently when it came to prayer was perseverance. And the need to sometimes keep praying again and again and again is something we see. Let's start with this parable of the widow in Luke 18. Luke introduces it by saying that Jesus told the parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. So, again, we see this all over the New Testament, the Old Testament, and just that introduction is interesting, you know? But you get to the parable, and it's fascinating.

It's about this judge who has no fear of God or people, but there's a widow who keeps coming to him, crying out for justice because she's been treated wrongly, and the judge ends up finally saying, oh, see, she gets justice, so she won't eventually come and attack me, you know? And Jesus sums it up by saying that if a judge like that will respond to persistence, how much more will our good and loving God? And, of course, the point is for that to happen, you know? Sometimes we have to persist in prayer. Darrell Bock Yeah, I mean, that's interesting, isn't it, just the fact that God sometimes wants us to ask more than one.

So, why do you think that is? Robert Chisholm Well, he alone knows, Robbie, but you see it again and again in the Old Testament and the New. It's not that God is reluctant, but his heart is moved by perseverance. And we could posit any number of reasons why we have to persevere, like God's timing or our own character or faith development or, you know, just his desire to keep us close. But the point remains that Jesus repeats himself on the importance of persevering again and again. Philip Yancey wrote that Jesus' teaching on prayer reduces to three general principles, keep it honest, keep it simple, and keep it up. Darrell Bock I love that.

Wow. So, where else does Jesus teach about our need to keep on praying? Robert Chisholm Well, there's another one, another parable out of the Gospel, the parable of the persistent friend. A man has a visitor come in unexpectedly, and the culture required that he feed him, you know, he has to take care of his guests, but the man doesn't have any bread. So, he goes to his friend and neighbor who's already lights out, you know, for the evening, and asks him for some.

But the friend doesn't open the door at first, so the man leans into the door and keeps on knocking. And so Jesus says, I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity, he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Darrell Bock Shameless audacity.

You're gonna love that. Robert Chisholm Yeah, I know, right? And it shows us, even that there's more to prayer than just our friendship with God. Sometimes we have to work at it, and it raises the question, how often do I pray like that, with that kind of boldness?

Darrell Bock And that's really the word, isn't it? Come boldly, right? Before the throne of grace, Hebrews 4.16. So, where else do we see this with Jesus?

Robert Chisholm Well, I see it in Matthew 15, when the Canaanite woman comes to Jesus with a demon-possessed daughter, and the disciples either can't or won't do anything for her at first, and Jesus doesn't answer her right away. But she keeps on asking, and keeps on, you know, even when he's silent. And in the end, he tells her that she has great faith, and of course, her request is granted, and he loved the fact that she hung in there with him.

Darrell Bock Yeah, he really did. And it shows us something about God, doesn't it? Robert Chisholm I think it does, Robby, because we see this need for persistence in prayer, not only in Jesus' teaching, but look at Abraham, bargaining with God to spare Sodom for 50 people, then 45, then 40, then 30.

We've talked about that before. Or think about Elijah on Mount Carmel, bowing again and again, and praying for rain, when God's already promised it, you know, something else we've talked about. And all of this makes me wonder, is the reason God values persistence so much? Maybe that, you know, he just wants our hearts right there with him. Darrell Bock Oh, it makes sense to me, because, you know, the more do we go to him, you know, the more he sets our priorities right. You know, it helps us to want what he wants. Robert Chisholm Exactly. So I think that prayer not only costs us something, it empowers us as we're close to him, and his spirit moves in us, and you're right, helps us want what he wants. But, you know, we've seen this again and again, relationship matters so much with him, but this also presents us with a challenge.

Darrell Bock Ah, you got me, what's that? Robert Chisholm Okay, well, how do we know that we're not just insisting on our own will, you know, praying, our will be done when we persist in prayer? That can be a real challenge when it's something we so desperately want, and something we believe our good God would want as well, you know, such as the healing of a child. But I think that Jesus shows us the way forward. Essentially, I think he'd say go for it, you know, do it anyhow. But entrust your heart to God, as you do. And I think he shows us that example himself. Darrell Bock Right.

I think I know where you're going with this. Robert Chisholm Yeah, I mean, of course, to Gethsemane, you see Jesus doing two things there. First, he asked God three times if there's any other way, you know, then he's going to the cross of all things, which is amazing. And he asks hard, I mean, in anguish, even to the point of sweating blood. No one has ever prayed harder in human history.

Darrell Bock Oh, yeah. But it's then he also prays, Father, not what I want, but you want, you know, what you will. So he shows us that the way forward is to ask boldly, but really at the same time to give ourselves to God and really lean into his will. Robert Chisholm I think that's a really good way to put it because surrendering to his will almost implies this perpetual reluctance, you know, but leaning into him means that he'll help us, even in the tough places, and he's shown us he'll do that again and again.

That's certainly been my experience. Darrell Bock So praying your will be done isn't like you're giving up or lacking in faith at all. Robert Chisholm No, no, not at all. I think it's a matter of childlike faith and trust. Robby, would you wrap us up with a prayer?

Darrell Bock Oh, delightfully, yes. Jesus, thank you. Thank you for this instruction that you shared with us today. And, Lord, help our hearts to grab hold of the hope that's behind, underneath us to some extent, that if we just keep on coming to you, that we know you're a good, good Father and that you want what's best for us.

And we keep coming because we know that even in that closeness, you're going to make a connection that we desperately need. So, Lord, help us to grasp this concept and keep on keeping on like the man said, let's keep it up. And I ask this in Jesus' name. 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 / 2024-02-19 23:13:26 / 2024-02-19 23:17:29 / 4

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