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No Coincidences

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2024 12:00 pm

No Coincidences

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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March 2, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss how there is no coincidences with prayer. 

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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. And now, here's James. So it's been said that when you pray, coincidences seem to happen more frequently. But of course, these aren't coincidences at all. If you're going to get in the habit of praying more and more, you start to see that. And that raises the question, just what is it that we see happening?

James, you were telling me about something that just happened to you yesterday along those lines. This is going to be a fun talk today, Robby, because this is a reality that we can miss if we're not praying much. And we don't want to miss it, because what God often does when we pray is he pulls back the curtain on the way that he's moving. And you get to see some of that in the moment, you know, and it's always so good. So just yesterday, I was writing another piece for our daily bread, and I write them at the end of the month.

And before I write, I try to pray about what I'm writing and ask God to lead me, because I don't want it to come from me, you know, I want it to come from him. So I start thinking about this family, a family I haven't seen in a couple of years. And I remembered how several years ago they lost their daughter in a car wreck. And what God did through them afterwards was amazing.

And so that's what I was writing about. I remember standing in this long line in the funeral chapel to greet them, and the grief in the room, and I mean, you could cut it with a knife. But when some of their daughters friends, then this couple would comfort them. And I thought, wow, here's this family who's lost their precious daughter. And, you know, this has been so hard for them. But even though they're grieving, they still have strength to comfort others. And of course, I immediately knew where that strength came from, because this is a very faithful couple. And it made me think of Jesus' words in Matthew 5.4, blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. So Jesus is able to give us this comfort, you know, even in that. So that's not the story.

That's what I was writing about after I prayed. And what do you think happens next? You're going to keep our listeners waiting on this, aren't you?

Not too much longer. So, so keep in mind, I haven't seen this family for a couple of years. And, you know, haven't had conversations with them. And while I'm writing about them, a member of the family calls about an entirely different matter completely out of the blue. But, you know, some would call that a coincidence.

But I've seen it happen too many times to think that it is one. Yeah, just out of the blue is a good way to put it. Because when things like that happen, it's heaven sent. You know, I have some stories like that, as well.

Like, I can't tell you the times that, you know, I was praying about, you know, how to do a Christian car guy show. And all of a sudden, you know, the whole idea just flashes into my mind. And it's just a coincidence, you know, and I get the whole vision right there in front of me. Just a coincidence, right?

Yeah, it's so good. And the beautiful thing about this is it happens all the time. Like you were saying, you know, I can't tell you the number of times. You see, some say that when you pray, and God answers, it's just a coincidence.

But we know better than that, because we see it again and again and again. For example, recently at peace, I've been praying about some specific things. And at Peace Church in Durham, if you're new to listening, and I've asked our elders and the congregation to join me in that praying.

And wouldn't you know it, what starts happening? The very things that we're praying about. You could literally draw it up on a chart before prayer and after prayer. And that's not saying that prayer is automatic.

It's anything but that. But God has been teaching us some lessons about this along the way. Oh, well, like what?

Well, probably the biggest one is that if we want to see answers, we have to take time. I'm not just talking about, you know, throwing up an occasional prayer while I'm driving down the street or going about other things. I mean, that's important.

We need to do that. But what's just as important, not more so, is taking the time and doing nothing other than praying, you know, going into the sanctuary or sitting in my study. But when I pray like that, it's almost like God is, you know, if I give God that respect, he's going to respect the request.

And of course, this isn't, again, formulaic, but I think it's a lesson we need to learn that God wants our undivided attention. You know, recently I signed up for a prayer app that is very popular right now. And after I did, I noticed that they have some sort of 30-day free trial. And after that, you have to pay, and it's not cheap. And I thought, oh, that's how they afford the commercials on prime time. I guess. But I thought, wait a minute, why should we have to pay to pray?

I'm not doing this. I canceled the app and kept praying anyhow. Yeah, pay to pray. I like that. Not the concept, but it is a good way to put it.

Yeah. I mean, if I'm going to pray, it's going to be an expense of my time. You know, I've got to give up myself and it's not this commercial thing. Darrell Bock Well, so while we have a little of that time left, do you have any more stories about prayer and so-called coincidences? David Schanzer Yeah, but if I've got time for it, this one is from Steve Brown, who's become a friend recently, and his book about approaching God. It's one of the testimonies from someone who's been praying that he tells about in the book. And so, he shares these testimonies from people who have been praying, and he says, this person writes, I was awakened one night at exactly 11.55pm. Not knowing exactly why I woke up, suddenly, I asked the Lord, and then a picture of a friend came to mind, and I instinctively started praying for him, and asked God to be with him, whatever situation. And about a week later, I saw my friend when I was shopping, and we started talking, and he told me that he was going through a divorce and was having a difficult time. And he started to tell me about a life and death situation he was in before I stopped him.

When was this, he answered. And then I told him about God's waking me up at exactly 11.55, that same night, and how I had prayed, and what I prayed about before going back to sleep. And my friend told me he had driven up to a high cliff in the mountains that night. He had planned on jumping off the cliff, committing suicide. He said he went to the edge of the cliff, looked at his watch.

It was exactly 11.55. And at that moment, he said, God forgive me, but I have to end the pain. And that same moment, he had the feeling of huge arms wrapping around him, keeping him from jumping. And at midnight, he fell to his knees and asked God to forgive him.

He turned back to his car, tore up the suicide note, and went home. Darrell Bock Wow. That's another reminder about our prayers matter, right? So much. So bring on the coincidence. Let's pray some more. Lord, thank you so much for this reminder.

And thank you for the opportunity to push into that relationship with you. You even give us opportunities like that to wake us up at whatever time. Lord, help us to know it's you. Help us to call on you continually. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. James Banks Amen. Darrell Bock 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 / 2024-03-02 14:09:22 / 2024-03-02 14:13:14 / 4

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