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God's Hand

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Cross Radio
August 15, 2020 12:00 pm

God's Hand

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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August 15, 2020 12:00 pm

There’s a phrase that you see in both Ezra and Nehemiah, and it’s hard to miss because it’s in several places. Ezra 7:6, 7:9, 7:28, 8:18, 8:31 Nehemiah 2:8, I’m sure there are probably more references, but that’s just a quick reading, and all talk about “the gracious hand of God being on someone,” and as you read it, you can’t help feeling, “I want that in my life!”

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This is the Truth Network encouraging prayer got off Tatian for his people to talk with him anytime about anything urgent prayer. Dr. James Banks selling and many other books on prayer provides weekly insight help you learn to mom and now James found something to our list of more about okay will praise you see in both Ezra and Nehemiah hardness because it's in several places, as were 767-9728 818 831 and in Nehemiah 28 and I'm sure you're probably more references but that's just a quick reading but what you see in those verses is a phrase that talks about the gracious hand of God being on someone.

And as you read at, you know, for me by my ears perk up, but I think the gracious hand of God. I want that in my life: some of those places.

It has to do with traveler God's provision or encouragement or protection but also that covers a lot of ground.

Yeah, it really is a number of areas and I especially love what is right. Sinners were 728. He says I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was upon me and were talking about encouraging prayer. There's nothing more encouraging and then knowing that God is with you that your in his presence. What more do you need all things about this. Just about God blessing us. Blessings come and go about God showing up in our lives in an exciting and really in his presence is peace, so let's talk about how this relates to prayer. Okay will let you start with the fact that again. We all love to have this in our lives right we probably all have those moments where we recognize God is doing something you can if you like your you're in the flow.

You know that God is making the way and I II think that that's a good place to start is to just tell God I want your gracious hand upon me, and then ask him to help you live right there under his that's the key is really saying isn't just you want God to bless you that you really want to live with him in the moment. Really, more and more right I think about what David writes in Psalm 1835, your right hand sustains me nothing about that God's hand sustains us because he's the creator of our lives and what happens is that when we are walking in step with the Spirit when we are are are living under his mercy and am truly submitting ourselves to his hands.

Then you are very purpose for living is is fulfilled and God's hands are mentioned throughout Scripture and you know for example what we call the work of his hand in Isaiah 64 eight. That's the power Potter and the Claver's right right yeah that's right. And the cool thing that I was just thinking James is that in Hebrew the word God is the word for hand but yada is the word for MOC, which has to do with holding hands is, call what I think about that that you know just what you're saying to be with God, more, more, but that brings up an important point putting ourselves in God's hands is not always the easiest thing to do.

I mean, Clay gets molded and shaped and sometimes that's not so fun. But when you're in God's hands. There's also really no better place to be corrupt and that's why it's good to go back to his words, I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord is upon me, God's hand is described in many different ways in Scripture. Sometimes it comes against his enemies. That's a scary thing, but but I think it really helps here to realize that what's going on in in Ezra and Nehemiah's lives. These are both men who are really looking to live for God and to do something for him and for his people. So it's not all about them. One of them is rebuilding the temple. The other ones were building the wall around Jerusalem and and here's the point.

We don't want to just ask God to bless us. You know, but we want the last God and when we live with that is our intent, then we get blessed as well. He draws near to us in some beautiful ways you think about what David writes in her delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart so this doesn't always mean that everything will work out in the moment you see that in these two accounts of Ezra Nehemiah. They both faced plenty of opposition. But God has ways of showing up in the middle of that and we really want this way to look at this is if you're praying while you're praying to say, God, help me to live with your purposes in my heart exactly because that life is a venture. Again, your purpose for living is fulfilled in Ezra 8 UCS were telling the people to fast and pray before God and to humble themselves before him, and to ask for safe journey. You know what he's doing. There is saying, submit yourselves to him.

I didn't want to ask the king for help because he had already told the king that God watches over those who worship him, so they fasted me earnestly pray that God would take care of them and you know they basically said were yours in this God and God heard their prayer. So the interesting thing is they were just thinking about their situation. They were also thinking about God about God's honor. If you will, and you know what others might think of that didn't work out and you see Moses, thinking the same way you know him in the wilderness. In other places so again they have God's interest is at heart.

Is there living for all.

This brings us back to the familiar themes of this house and that his attendance really declaring their dependence on God and trying to live in a relationship with white. It all comes back to that.

It's about so much more than just words. And you know are you with me, Jesus, are you blessing me. It's it's about am I with you, clearly trying to live by faith, suffering to sum up all this we could say. As for the gracious hand of God, to be honest and look for ways to get closer to him and serve him.

And whenever you do. Yeah, that sums it up really well and I would add to look for ways to get close to him and serve him asking to help. You want what he wants to show you things that that he would have you do for him. One of the beautiful things that God will really do that if we ask him in. This doesn't have to be anything grandiose you know I think God often does his best work even in the smallest things. Sometimes when he wants to use you he hides you in and we just want his gracious hand. To be honest in what ever were doing and we need to tell them that we do not know your experience you've experienced this in your own mind. James and I have two there's really nothing better yeah that's so true.

And again.

What could matter more than just knowing God is with you and of course Jesus has promised to be with us.

He always is.

But it makes it different somehow when we are with him, so it helps to be intentional about this and and then we learn to sense his hand upon us. Even in difficult circumstances, and maybe not always. You know, because were learning and growing.

But more and more we begin to sense okay the Lord is near. He's good he's faithful and absolutely nothing can separate us from his love how I feel encouraged because God's gracious hand was on. I love that. Let's pray for that right now is as we close Jesus, thank you for your gracious hand and the intimacy that I know is connected to that Lord we desire that NMC intimacy on your innocent intimacy on the things that you would have us do to grow and build and love your people love your kingdom. Help us to focus on your gracious hand that you provided force in Jesus name I pray, amen and amen hear more from Pastor James by visiting the website James Banks.org or by visiting these church in Durham, North Carolina.

May God bless you and encourage you.

Pray