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Finding Peace Through Prayer Part 2

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2024 12:00 pm

Finding Peace Through Prayer Part 2

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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March 23, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, continue their discussion on finding peace through prayer. 

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Hello, this is Will Hardy with ManTalk Radio.

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Anytime 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. And it just came out a couple of days ago, right? Right, right. It's just now at Amazon or at ourdailybread.org. And, you know, books are a little like kits for authors.

You get this attachment to them that's kind of funny. But it's a good thing. And really, it's a great book.

I know, because I had a chance to look at it a little early. And one of the things you wrote about in it is how Jesus gives us peace with our past. And you could give a couple examples from the Bible that I just love.

Yeah, they're in the book. There's a whole chapter in Peace Through Prayer about the peace God gives us in our hearts about the past. And behind it all is this thought that God wastes nothing.

You know, no matter where we've been, no matter what we've done. And one of the stories, and it's a surprising one, is about the man theologians called the Garrison demoniac, the man who was, you know, of course, possessed by a legion of demons and lived in a graveyard cutting himself with stones. And then he meets Jesus. And after Jesus sets him free, the man wants to follow him, but Jesus tells him no.

Yeah, that must have been hard for him, because no one in the area wanted to have him around. Right, and the man wants to get in the boat and go with Jesus. And Jesus tells him to go back and tell his family how much God has done for him. But it looks like the man did a lot more than that.

So how so? Well, after the demons are cast out, you know, and the people are afraid of Jesus because of that, they ask him to leave. So, you know, it's this one and done trip, and Jesus sets the man free and leaves.

But the next thing you see is when Jesus comes back to that area, more than 4000 people are waiting for him. And I have to believe it's because of the witness of that man who, you know, went out and told his family and a whole lot of others. And that made him one of the very first missionaries, which is amazing if you think about it, because, you know, God used his past as twisted and wrecked as it was, and replaced it with his peace. And at the same time, use that to give peace to others and to show what only he can do.

And the second story is awesome as well. Yeah, yeah, it's about John, and of course, Jesus gave John and his brother James the nickname Sons of Thunder, and that was probably because they wanted to call down fire from heaven on this Samaritan village that didn't receive Jesus. And of course, that didn't happen, but you do see Jesus sent to humor there, you know, Sons of Thunder. And another time, you see them having their mother ask Jesus to have them, you know, sit on his left and right in the kingdom of God.

So these are the, you know, type A macho guys who've got to be first. But what happens is that Jesus brings this peace into John's life so much that he ends up writing more about love than any of the other 12 disciples. And then you see him leaning on Jesus at the Last Supper and even referring to himself when he writes as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Yeah, and he also witnessed the thunder at the end of days, right? Writing about Jesus in his return in the book of Revelation.

Great point. So what we see is that Jesus has this transforming effect on people, and we might say, yeah, I know that, but we can't be too quick to pass over it for personal reasons, because the peace Jesus wants to give us is so life-altering, and if we just keep on, you know, moving so quickly through life with our heads just full of all the things we can do, we'll miss it day after day. And just the thing that, you know, Jesus even redeems our past. It's all part of this whole concept of redemption.

Even where we've been, he can use to bring good out of, and it's just, it's beautiful. Oh, that's so true. You know, but you point out that God really longs to give this peace to us, but it's not something we grasp at.

It's really something you have to press pause to receive. I think that's a great way to put it. And in the book, I talk about leaning into Jesus like John did, you know, just giving ourselves to him, leaning into our relationship with him as we go through the day. And pressing pause is what we do.

That's, again, a great way to put it. It just takes a moment to go to him in our hearts no matter what we're doing. You know, we don't even have to pray with words in that moment. Just acknowledge his presence and love him.

But, you know, if you want to pray a word or two like help, or I love you, or I worship you, that's great. This all has to do with the peace he wants to give us in spite of our past and anything we've done. We just turn to him. Yeah.

Why don't you talk a little bit more about that? Well, he gets us. You know, he knows us. Jesus even knows the sins we would commit after he saves us. But he still chose to save us as soon as we asked. And the devil would have us stay stuck in our past or in those places where we keep messing up.

And we all know that discouragement. You know, he whispers things to us that keep us from praying. Like, why would God want to talk to you after what you've done? But the thing we have to see is that Jesus' forgiveness is so big, so effective, that he wants us to look forward to him, to believe that he really does forgive us. That his grace is that great.

And, of course, the more we get that, the less we're going to want to do what we did in the past. So we turn from our past and turn to him. Think about the woman who has gotten adultery. Jesus writes something that makes those condemning her turn away. He writes it in the sand. And then he asks her, where are your accusers? And she says, there are none. But he's standing right in front of her. So he doesn't accuse her. He just says, go and sin no more. Because his love is like that. You know, we're innocence lost, if you will. But he's innocence found. And we can run to him because of it.

Oh, that's so awesome. Because he really is that much greater than our sins? Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's the beautiful thing. I mean, he's the peace that God wants to give us. He's our peace. And to receive it, we receive him, and then we lean into him again and again, rest in him, trust him. No matter where we've been in the past, we can keep walking into a new beginning with him. And over time, like John, we'll see that he really does change us.

But it's all about him. We just have to keep turning to his love. Wow, thanks, James. Again, the new book is Peace Through Prayer. And you know, I'd like to pray about that peace for all of us right now.

So, Jesus, thank you. Especially at this time of year, we can see the peace you brought as you made us clean through your blood. Lord, help us to lean into you, as James said, as we grow closer to you through prayer. And I pray 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 / 2024-03-23 12:09:55 / 2024-03-23 12:13:39 / 4

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