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How To Want To Pray More

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2024 12:00 pm

How To Want To Pray More

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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May 25, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss how to want to pray more.

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Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Today on Encouraging Prayer, we're going to talk about how to want to pray more. There isn't a trick to it. It's not about what you say or don't say, James, so let's go there. Yeah, I'm so glad we're talking about this today, Rob, because one of the main reasons that people tend to stay away from prayer is they've been told that it's something it really isn't. And let's face it, there's a sense in which staying away from prayer is also staying away from God.

And you nailed it in the opening. It's not about what we say or don't say. And, you know, usually when it comes to prayer, we do tend to get hung up on words. We run out of words when we pray and then we feel like we have to stop. And that's why we look at a verse like 1 Thessalonians 517 that says to pray without ceasing. And, you know, we think stuff like, well, that's unrealistic because no one can talk all the time. But what Paul is getting at there is something very, very different from just talking.

Oh, man, that's so true. And what we really need to do is get to prayer in another way, right? Yeah, yeah, because once we do, it's life transforming. I've been reading a great book lately by Michael Reeves, who's president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Britain. And it's a book called Enjoy Your Prayer Life and just listen to some of the things he writes.

So this is a long quote, and it's a little British, but just hang on. The reality is that it's very easy to think and speak about prayer as if it's some abstract exercise. One of those things Christians do. And so we think, how can I get better at this thing called prayer. Now, if you do think of prayer like that as a thing on its own. The solution to a better prayer life.

Is always going to be practical tips and techniques. So, for example, you sort out a prayer diary get a prayer list app for your phone, etc. Try praying out loud and have your quiet time first thing in the morning.

I specifically mentioned those things he writes because I think advice like that is genuinely helpful in its place. However, that's not the heart of prayer. Furthermore, if those techniques are what hold together prayer for you, then it's going to be a burdensome duty or perhaps something that even veers towards magic whereby you think you can get what you want by saying the right spell. And if you don't get the answer you want you begin to question whether this quote unquote magic formula actually works. The Lord says of Israel, these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far, far from me.

Isaiah 29. Thus prayer is not an abstract thing to do for clearly you can do prayer and get it all wrong. There's something vital underneath all the pragmatics. So what is prayer? It's never been put better than by john Calvin who in his excellent little chapter on prayer in the Institute's calls prayer, the chief exercise of faith.

And here he wraps it up. In other words, prayer is the primary way true faith expresses itself. This also means that prayerlessness is practical atheism, demonstrating a lack of belief in God. Ouch.

Right? Prayerlessness is practical atheism? I mean, oh, that's tough, but it's so true.

Yeah, it is. But the question is, how can we move forward from this, you know? And the answer is to see prayer as relationship. And of course, we talk about this a lot in my new book peace through prayer, but we can't sustain words all the time, but we can listen to God. And we should, and we can rest in him in the moment.

And oh, don't we need to do that. And we can lean into him when we're working, you know, which means hands to the plow and hearts to God, you know, asking him for advice in the moment. Even on what we're doing and for his help. And the point is, staying in that place of dependence, learning to go there more. And we really want to do this because it's the only way we're going to experience God's presence with any consistency and be assured that he's with us. And we want to go to that relationship, you know? It's faith that finds him because he promised that if we seek him, we'll find.

Darrell Bock Wow. You know, there's a verse about that. He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. But I really, really love something else you said, that it's a process, right? That, you know, you get on the journey and it's not going to happen the next day, right? Robert McDonald Yeah, yeah, it takes time and it builds our faith because the more we keep company with him, the more we see the things he's doing, and the more that helps us know him and understand his ways. And we want to be in that place.

You know, that place where we see him doing things again and again, because it's so fulfilling. And the more we pray, the more we go there. That's not to say there won't be other times where we wonder, you know, what's going on.

But this is such a huge part of the Christian life. We really don't want to miss it. Darrell Bock No, we really don't.

We really don't. I know I wouldn't be sitting here with you or honestly wouldn't even be alive today, you know, if God's not for God's powerful answer, you know, to many prayers. Robert McDonald Yeah, right. I mean, all because of a mutual dear friend of ours, the late Dr. Dick Little, who felt prompted by the Spirit to go into the car dealership where you were working, because he sensed there was someone who needed prayer for healing. And, man, you know, Dick was such a great guy. I mean, down to earth, faithful man of God, whom God used. And, you know, Robby, could you just for a moment tell the story, just briefly again, because I love to remind our listeners of it.

It was spectacular. I was new in Christ and so didn't know much about this kind of thing. And all of a sudden, this man shows up at the dealership and asks, he says, God's told me there's somebody here that needs to be healed. And my finance manager said, oh, it must be Robby. He's got lymphoma cancer.

You know, they don't think that he might even make it. And so he's back in his office because he's covered in these tumors. And so here he came. And I'd never seen him before in my life.

He told me the same thing. God told me there was somebody here at Bob Neal that needs to be healed. And he actually anointed me with oil that day and laid hands on me, which I had no idea.

And I actually thought he was a little bit crazy. But nonetheless, when I was covered in these tumors on Friday afternoon when he prayed, and I'll never forget during that prayer, I felt something. I don't know what it was. It was just like, wow, that something happened. Well, Monday morning when I woke up to have my chemotherapy, it wasn't a tumor on my body anywhere. And of course, I hadn't started the chemotherapy yet, so that wasn't the answer.

So they did a biopsy, and the cancer had turned on itself and ate itself, and it just coincidentally happened over that particular week. Coincidentally happened the same time he prayed for you. Right, exactly. Well, you know, again, we need to go there. We need to just spend more time just being with our Father. So Robbie, would you just go ahead and wrap us up with a prayer?

Absolutely. Jesus, thank you. Thank you for the many times you were answering prayers we never prayed, and you were coming to us. Help us to be more aware of that and grow in that process of seeing prayer as an interaction between the best of friends, between a father and a son.

How you do it, Lord. Help us to feel that presence and push more into it, and we 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 / 2024-05-25 12:23:17 / 2024-05-25 12:27:09 / 4

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