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What's It Going to Take to Get You to Pray

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2024 12:00 pm

What's It Going to Take to Get You to Pray

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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April 20, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss what's it going to take to get you to pray. 

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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 best-selling 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 today on Encouraging Prayer, we want to talk about a challenge we all face. And we want to talk about it humbly and from the heart, but oh, we do need to talk. And James, you want to start today's talk with a thought-provoking question, don't you? Yeah. Robbie, that question is, and I put it to you, the listener, and to myself as well.

Here it is. What's it going to take to get you to pray? Oh, that's a really good question, and that does go right to the heart of things, because we know we need to pray. We believe in God and His power and that He has His power to answer prayer. But then, so often, it's like we don't pray until something happens that really forces us to do it, right?

Yeah, yeah. And that's why we want to approach this today from a kind of can we talk angle, because we're all in this together. And the truth is, we miss out on so much when we don't run to God again and again.

I like what Oswald Chambers wrote about this. He said, we tend to use prayer as a last resort, but Jesus wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there is nothing else we can do, but Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

That's so true, right? And it makes you wonder what we're missing sometimes, because we don't pray. I mean, what is it that God is just waiting to show us, to show us if we will?

Yeah, yeah. Think about it. We have a National Day of Prayer coming up in a couple of weeks, and that's a good thing, but there's just one day out of the whole year, and God puts it in 2 Chronicles 7 14. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. But notice that's an if-then statement. If they will then—so the good part to come, you know, the hearing from heaven, the forgiving, the healing, that all comes when we humble ourselves and pray. But for that to happen, you know, there's that big if.

Am I going to do this? Because if I do, then it will come. Yeah, and the part about humbling ourselves is really so important, because we can be tempted to live as if it's all up to us, and that's what happens when we live without praying, really.

Yeah, that's just it. And you have to wonder if sometimes God allows certain things to occur that will drive us to prayer, because he wants us close to him, and there's no other way to get us there. I like what David Jeremiah wrote about this. He said, could it be that one reason we have great problems is that God wants to show us great solutions?

He longs to show us the riches of his grace and the poverty of our own resources. You know, that quote and the if-then way God approaches prayer makes me think about how sometimes God must just be holding out his hands to us, thinking, if you would only call on me. Yeah, yeah, and I think that's a good way to put it. You know, it reminds me of Isaiah 65 2, where God says all day long, I've held out my hands to an obstinate people who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations. And I, you know, I read that, and I go, man, that's just, that's, that's me sometimes.

And it's not that I mean to be that way, you know, walking in my own imagination, so busy. But the truth is, we need help. And the remedy is to ask God to help us to pray about praying. And this is something so close to his heart.

That's the good news. He really will help us do it, if we ask him. Oh, yeah, I think it helps to remember as well, that isn't just about us, that God can do so much good through us for others. If we pray for them, you know, we can influence more in such a good way through our prayers.

Yeah, that's so good. But to do that, we also have to have the faith that something's going to happen, you know, and I think that's part of the problem. We tend to think too often about the times we prayed about something, nothing seemed to happen. And, you know, we need to just have simple, childlike faith. And then to apply it, you know, just to go after it, like E.M. Bowne said, prayer is the most serious work of our most serious years. I got a lot of quotes today, don't I?

Yeah. But that quote raises another question, right? How do we find the time? Yeah, and I think we have to look at it in a couple of ways. First, we need to just flat out state, I always have time for prayer. It's too important not to, you know, and stop telling ourselves we don't have the time. And, you know, that doesn't mean that we're always sitting in one place and doing nothing but praying, although that needs to be part of our lives every day, all possible. But, you know, praying and going to God in the moment is so important as well, just letting Him in more. And that may take a little work, a little focus at first, but again, He'll help us get there if we ask Him. And, you know, I think it also helps to think about how overwhelmed we'll get if we don't pray, because it just takes so much more time to get anything done.

Oh, that's so true. And what I personally have found that, you know, God multiplies anything you give Him. And so by giving Him the time to pray, He gives you more time. And, you know, so, you know, it's time to be proactive, right?

What is it going to take to get me to pray? I mean, that really is a good thought. Yeah, it really is. And, you know, I'll kind of wrap up with this analogy. We have two-week-old Labrador or Labradoodle puppies at home now, and their eyes are just starting to open up. They're just starting to hear, and they're starting to walk around a little bit. But what happens frequently is that I'll hear this puppy in there whining, and I'll go in, and all the puppies are in one pile, except for that one. And so, you know, as soon as I pick him up and put him back on the pile, he's fine.

I mean, and he stops whining. And the moral of the story is don't be a sad puppy, you know. Come to the pile, start praying, and God will pick us up, and He'll help us where we need to be.

Ah, that's so beautiful. And there you go. So, like, I guess we better wrap up with prayer, right?

That's a good idea. So, Lord, thank you for this reminder. And, oh, it's so plain and in front of our face, but, Lord, help us to—I love the idea of praying, and so we're going to pray that you help us to pray. Lord, help us to know when to do that and knock on our doors so that we will pay attention in such a way that will open our hearts to invite you into everything. And we ask this in Jesus' name. 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 / 2024-04-20 12:17:34 / 2024-04-20 12:21:19 / 4

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