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December 26, 2021 9:00 pm
Many men struggle with praying. John Yates discusses why men struggle, steps to help, and how it can affect their whole lives.
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This David Robbins, president, family life, and as we plan and bring to you family life today. Every weekday we love imagining who is listening and whether that someone tired driving home from work. Someone at home with the kid hanging onto their leg. Whether that someone who's feeling really isolated and really needing hope. We love bringing the timeless truths of God's word to the practical everyday needs you have in your home. Check out one listener who shared her story the power of the wife's affirmation is by far my favorite backhanded and just how we as wives need to cheer on her husband as her growing up in May they hear and is seen as yet married here barely where you need to sell to encourage and to cheer on your husband is just really been huge for me. I just love hearing the everyday life of her holding a baby as she shares with us and we love lifting people's eyes to Jesus and giving them the help and hope for the relationships that matter most in their lives as we approach the end of the year. This is a critical time for us as we think about impacting more families in 2022. About 1/3 of the resources that come in when it comes to donations come in this month and we have a very generous group of people who got together and it made a $2 million matching gift challenge so that when you give a gift this year into family life. Your gift is matched dollar for dollar module invite you.
We need to beat this match so we can do the ministry that we are seeking and hoping to do to more homes in this coming year on ask you to consider giving a gift today by going to family life today.com so we've shared here before deigned that you develop this great habit years ago that still a part of your life and you take every single Friday for the last 35 years and you fast and pray for our family talk about that a little bit lightheaded that become your passion will actually heard it on the radio broadcast that I was right before we were going to have our first son CJ who is 35 and this man was talking about a day of fasting and praying for his family and I thought I would do that and I actually thought I do it for a few years and now 35 years later.
There hasn't been a week that II don't think I've ever missed a week sometimes is not Friday usually is Friday, but sometimes to be a different day and is just you know don't eat in all day long every time is a hunger paying him praying welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find this in family life today.com or on our family life Stanley life today and I can remember when their little boys, you know, praying for their wife, who you didn't know yet, praying that she be a woman of God in making decisions about her anyway. All I know is that when I married all three sons as their father and as their pastor in our chapel. Looking at that bride on her wedding day knowing that I've been praying for her was a tender moment, just like look at what God has done is announce for our grandkids. And I think you people talk to send no say hi so cool what God is done and we know that we've made so many mistakes. We know that we failed miserably.
But we also know that there is power in prayer that is fun today because we have a friend in the studio with this John Yates welcome family life today your visitor entered it with you Dave and and it's been too long yeah John you spend I'm in a large part of your life. Helping men especially, and I know women as well, but helping men embrace and understand this discipline prayer right yeah that's right.or how many years ago you wrote a book called how a man prays for his family. You probably know how many years ago I was a few years ago but you know I over the years. I wanted to be with men, pastor of the just retired in the past for 50 years but I wanted to be with men.
It was great to be with the women and the children. Every Sunday I be preaching away and I think so much.
I'd like to see if it was just men here, but I just got be carefully no use and so finally the men were talking one day and they said that one so most men just get together and let's talk about life and faith and so that started something will for many years and one year they said to teach us about prayer. So for the whole year. I just reviewed fault tried to think through why prayer was so important in my life and shared it with the men and that that's how this book came into being. That's the basis of it. Teaching those men that year so course, many people know this and some dough that you are the pastor of Falls Church Anglican young in Falls Church, Virginia yeah you are there few years right. I was there 40 years for they were exciting years. Great and it was great to step aside now. So, following some new pathways, you get nothing going on in your life now right grandkids and we got that we got a bunch grandkids. I married a wonderful woman 52 years ago. 86 written a lot of books on women of red and the we have five children. They got married they turned out to be referral because we got 21 and one the great things is just being able spend a little more time with them being able to spend time with some of the young pastors that we disciple over the years and having more time to pray unless I don't just say that because were talking about it, but wife is slow down just enough to give me a little more time to devote more time to prayer. That talk about the men in prayer when you think about prayer you think a women pray. Amen don't seem to pray is a true pretty much think in a lot of cases, you know, it just seems that women have a more highly attuned spiritual nature than men, or men somehow turn it off when they're young but over the years, a film many men want to grow close to God.
They want to know how to communicate with God, but they have a lot of mistaken ideas about what a prayer life is about.
And they don't realize that in a prayer just keeping company with God. It's walking along with him and turning to them throughout the day and trying to listen to him and is learning how to have a relationship with him. That is normal and natural and honest. Many men think that while he wonders prayer real I mean how do I know that God is listening to me and it's a little difficult because prayer is not the most objective thing in the world. Prayer is pretty subjective and you never really know exactly what's happening when you're praying but you know what your man or woman if you can just get honest with God and share with them what's on your heart and try to be real with him then he's real with you I think you guys. He said for Dane.
This was an issue that we talked about it when he said prayer is hard for me and he's a pastor yeah email and I need like I have questions about it. I think that's true for a lot of people, like how does it work does God hear me and I feel like I just my status at the beginning. It's such a treat to have you in studio.
Even Susan our people to carry such weight spiritually like I get teary looking across to you because your words are weighty because the depth of your love for Jesus and Susan has had a big impact on me.
I feel like all of us should have someone walking ahead of us that we've been watching them that we've been listening to them and I know every time.
All the speakers for the weekend to remember marriage conference get together and I'd always be excited when you guys were there because I would pull out. Listen and say okay this is the phase of life.
Amen. Tell me about it because you guys are just ahead of us.
But when you would speak John, you're such a depth to you because of its apparent you've been spending time with God.
And so when we are with you and even fire listeners. I wish they could pull up in there that's what they're basically doing today is there pulling up beside us and working to review this book that you wrote years ago but now you're passionate about why now, why is this reignited your heart and I was laughing about what you said of why you brought it back out. Yeah I was doing and before he started that Susan came to me not too long ago and she said that you need to do a real edition of your book on prayer and I said why there's lots of good books out there and pray she said, but yours is really good told and uploaded them off the shelf. The old and written about what is pretty but I'm glad Susan been able to just be friends to you. All you all with in turn always looked up to you. It's really helpful isn't it.
If you have a couple of folks along the way who are older, who little bit further along in life and I think that's one reason why I have for so long wanted to pray wanted to be a man of prayer because I had some models when I was younger and you know Dave, I've never known a man who had a significant walk with God or was living a significant life of service to God wasn't a man of prayer and when I was young man in my 20s I met for men like thought I be like tell us about them. Well you know when you're young Mary lived in Pittsburgh and I like to go Pittsburgh houses and run across the street from us was a couple who they were in their 70s and later missionaries in Africa. For years they had retired. They came out of retirement came to Pittsburgh to be with a bunch of us and they started a new seminary for our little Anglican movement as I would look out the window early in the morning across the way it out for Marjorie's house was a little room up in the top of the house that was Al study and every morning when I got up and went back to my little study on the back corner of our house. The light was always on house room might be dark outside, but the light was always on the new what he's doing.
That old man was on his knees, and I knew that because I used to meet with them every Friday afternoon we have a cuppa tea and cookies in the garden and he told me stories, but I got enter prayers 40 years in Africa.
One story after another after another. This will be like you are you that man now I mean is you think about we respect you and Susan well things I respect obviously is your finishing well, I mean I've seen so many of my colleagues and I know you have as well.
You started well maybe even ran well in the middle, but not so well at the end of your finishing you're not done but you're horrible on the last was a sobering thought. Years ago when I was thinking about my not my mentor Alf and I she now I'm older than that really shook me. You know, I don't think anybody can guarantee that he's going to finish well.
You just don't know what's going to happen right but you pray that you will and you try to maintain relationships with friends who will tell you if they think you're veering off. You want things we did as were getting ready to retire was we ask of five or six other couples who were almost 6070s if they'd like to begin meeting together. How can we encourage each other to stay effective in our lives for God as long as we live, and that we call the Oaks group is we want to be trees of righteousness know. Anyway, I don't know how I'm doing to the truth but I'm very grateful for this time in life when I am able to be with grandchildren more able to be with our daughter churches more able to be with family and able to study able to pray more.
I think every woman listening is hoping and wishing that there has been listen to this because I think as women we long for husbands to be passionate about this area but there's barriers when you feel like the barriers are for men. What I think men are that they don't often feel equipped when a man opens his mouth to pray aloud he's stepping into a vulnerable place and he's afraid he's going to be judged or is going to say something stupid and you don't mind talking about sports, but it has to say something about God or the pray God for yeah that's a really risky thing you know the only people to hear prayer of the pastor's own son in the past of pray these long great prayers that they've written out in advance.
I can't do that.
I think mainly they just don't feel capable maybe they don't feel worthy.
Maybe they feel like I did try to lead my family in prayer and they don't quite realize how much a wife.
She doesn't care if she doesn't care if it doesn't really know what he's doing all she wants is to hear him say no honey likes, challenging these days and the reason this family is not all that easy, and I'm realizing more and more that we need God's help and I don't know we have done this much, but I'm thinking maybe we should pray together as a couple, sometimes just couldn't hurt, could yeah I don't quite know how to do it.
Yeah I don't know a woman in the world. So that's a bad I tell you in our book we talk about that too. We talked about this could be my greatest gifts you give your wife but to your marriage and your family.
So I get this text from this pain. She said my husband said to me let's pray together. We got on her knees and she said I couldn't stop crying. He said it was just simple. We kissed. It was a few sentences, but it was the most intimate that we could have had together of this praying together. She said it filled me up for a year and my husband like why you cry and she said because this is meant so much to me like I feel so connected and bonded to you and to God with us doing together but I think you're right Dave, have you felt like that. Why was as good as you're the only woman in the room is what is it a wife feels why is it so intimate to a woman. I think going together before the father. Think spiritually, we can feel alone or isolated from one another and when we join our hearts spiritually to canter its mysterious thing that were dealing of vulnerability that connects our souls together. I mean physical intimacy connects our bodies together that spiritual intimacy through prayer connects our soul. It's one of the most beautiful, vulnerable things, and as a woman. It makes me feel like I'm not in alone like hear my partner were battling together for our children for our family for the world fire is everything every time you and Dave pray together. Every time it's like it adds another layer of bonding two of you dispose your experience to somebody told us before we were married. You should pray together every night with each other and on our honeymoon.
Now, for we went to bed for the first time we got on her knees and praying we continue and Susan said the next day. She said you know I really like that. I think we should do that every night and boy you talk about something that forces you to stay together if you promise God you go pray together with your wife every night before you go to bed. There's some ice and that's all let us think of the world.
He will ask that you feel like doing yeah but it requires that you come back together and you understand each other and as best you can and you reaffirm your love for one loving love for God does mean you always go to bed and everything is just peachy keen.
Rosie brought it sure how is you remember ever pray together when you were doing well. You just sleep yeah oh yeah yeah yeah yeah Jeff course I remember the very first time lying in bed now move on that side, she's over on the other. So the end and I'm lying there.
I can't go to sleep and also in our member and pray together.
I pray I got up on one elbow on the said look we promise God, pray. I don't want to brought you to want to parade we got to talk but there been many nights when we you know you talk and you you still don't have things really worked out. You're still upset with each other but if you can then just say well were still upset, but we need to go to sleep.
So let's pray and you know Lord, you know it's going on here you know what a mess we are you know that we need your help, were sorry Lord we ask your help in got us through this time and I think if we could see the spiritual dimension.
I imagine the enemy Satan is trembling when we are praying together because there's so much power in that I think it's easy just to say divided in the midst of our conflict to not come together and I feel like the enemy could think I'm winning there something powerful but I want to get back to some of those. I've had this thought and I've talked about this you know is a man.
I'm sure women have the same thought. There's times when I'm like okay this prayer really do anything because here I am talking to God enters yes you are a billion people talking to God right now going to the you know the intellectual thing like how does this work Kenny really be intimately involved in my life here in Orlando and you know so that is true, but I don't know if women struggle or not, but I know we do.
I have what I do when I start doubting like that in questioning. I just always think back to Jesus Christ and what I know to be true about him in the New Testament we have what was written by the apostles and they're telling us what they believe to be true about Christ.
They were with him had no reason to lie. And we know that what we have today is what they wrote. So I remember one that he prayed almost incessantly and secondly he taught the minimum around them to pray, and he talked about this over and over again. He said men ought always to be praying and I think about that and then I think back over the years to when I've seen prayers answered you. If you just pray general Lord bless the world, prayers are not generally see God answer prayers.
But if you learn to pray specifically God may not always say yes, but many times he does so I think back to those times.
The unexpected or unusual ways in which we have seen God work in answer to prayer was so funny when we're gaze we started making a list of things we want to God's help with and years later is 20 years later were cleaning out the whole filing cabinet on a Saturday night down the basement.
We found this little final black notebook and Susan that's our little prayer notebook from when we were engaged in the first few years of marriage and we opened up over the years we kept that notebook. There were like 88 items prayed about it one time of my wife's beautiful handwriting and we saw many things that we had asked the hotel for that had come to pass, but the thing that surprised us because we saw that before we were ever married. We had asked God one day to give us twins. Now why would we have pray something like that. I don't know what you know 10 years in the marriage. After three children. God gave us twin girls and you know because read the book the I've often written down specific things about prayed for and as you are talking about your son's wedding thinking about how got into prayers for your children.
When I pull out one of these opera notebooks now begin to look at John notebook pictures yeah are these prairie think what is this is a little prayer notebook that II can mid 80s, think, and so is full of photos and things of prayed, I was looking at a little earlier at some of things that I was praying for my children back when they were in elementary school, high school when you realize how faithful God is been over the years. Then it encourages you to keep believing. But Dave I don't know if that little element of doubt never goes away.
There was a pastor in England who lived in the 1700s name William Grimshaw and he was a amazing man) John Wesley George Whitfield and he had wonderful impact of Yorkshire Hills, but he said every once in a while. Mr. doubt would walk into the room and he would have to root. Mr. doubt and run them out of the room or else he couldn't pray and it's still happened. I love hearing John Gates candor is transparency and get his heart to want to be a man who prays effectively for his marriage, and for his family.
I think it's easy for us to push prayer aside and to be busy with other things. When we do we neglect what's often the most important thing we can be doing as we go before the throne of grace and asked the God of the universe to bless us to bless our family to care for specific needs.
God has given us this gracious invitation to come before him, and it's something we need to do regularly as men as leaders of our household. This is a part of our assignment and the good news is, John helps us with this he coaches us as someone who has made this a practice in a discipline in his own life. He's written a book called how a man prays for his family and it's a book we have available in our family life today resource Center you can request your copy when you go email@example.com or you can call to order one 800, FL, today is the number again John Yates book is called how a man prays for his family. This is a great book by the way for guys to go through with other guys in a small group setting, and especially as you think about starting the new year start a new habit or a new practice of more intentional prayer. This book will really help you with that order firstname.lastname@example.org or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today here in the last week of 2021 know many of us are thinking this is one of those years that I'm ready to move on from right, hoping for a new year to be a brighter new year, a fresh new year for us personally and for us as a culture we are family life. We are hoping that this last week of the year is marked by generosity were asking family life to a listers to be as generous as you can possibly be, so that by the end of this week, we can take full advantage of a $2.3 million matching gift that has been made available to us. When you donate today.
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