Pastor Bankens lived in Louisiana until he was forty years old, attended church at Apostolic Temple Pentecostal Church, pastored by Dr. M. D and Dr. R.D. Treece. He was an evangelist about twelve years, pastored in Rome, Georgia five years, pastored New Chapel UPC, Collins, Mississippi, for almost twelve years. Pastor Bankens is now living in Sulphur, Louisiana and is preaching out as he is again attending Apostolic Temple under his Pastor Rick Treece, Pastor Bankens is ordained by UPCI..
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Luke 18:1-8 (KJV)
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
WE OUGHT TO ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT FAINT
(DO NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT QUIT, DO NOT STOP)
Many people have some wrong concept about praying; it is an area of struggle for many saints of God. I do not have all the answers for you this morning, but I want to leave you with some ideas about praying.
If you will hear what I am preaching to you and Get into the presence of God for yourself, often, He will answer your prayers.
The First Thing that you need to do to move heaven with your prayers is to BE PERSISTENT WITH YOUR PRAYERS.
A lot of people are so confused about praying today, even many that are saints of God; they do not really understand what PRAYER is all about. They do not know how to Pray – They do not know when to pray – Or when to stop praying about certain things.
Many people have been told that they only need to pray about something one time and stop. They also have been told that if you pray concerning something more than once or if you pray about that situation again then you are not showing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in your praying.
That is exactly opposite to what Jesus was speaking about in the scripture that I read to you and that is the fact that the woman continued to come back and weary this judge and he grew tired and she finally received an answer to her request!
Luke 18:1 NIV,
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Finally, it got to a point that the judge gave her what she wanted because she was persistent with her SEEKING AND ANSWER FOR HER REQUEST.
Jesus gives us a parable that tells and shows us that PERSISTENTENCE WAS WHAT HE WANTED!
There have been times in my life when I was praying and God has spoken to me emphatically and clearly and let me know the answer is on the way.
I can remember THE TIMES THAT GOD dealt with me and I did not have to guess nor did I doubt, that the Lord had just answered my prayer.
I can even remember the times the Lord gave me the answer and I knew it when it happened I did not have to pray about it because The Lord let me know that the answer was already on the way.
There have been other times when God has given me the assurance of the answer to my prayers yet I knew I must continue to wait in
His presence until the total victory was mine.
I had to persevere in prayer until God did what He told me He would do.
Now if there was no need for me to pray after God had given me a promise, “Why did God wake me in the early hours of the morning time and time and time again and tell me that I needed to pray for MY special needs and to pray for other people. If there was no need to press the issues of life any more to stand in the gap-to make up the hedge for the many needs around me?
There have been times I prayed the first time that I did not get an answer and I had to go back many times thereafter.
There have been times that I did not get an answer at all the first, second, third time and sometimes the answer was delayed in its coming.
In my life-time I have had to wrestle in prayer all night long for some answers from God. I had to hang in there and keep praying because I knew God would not hold the answer back forever, yes, He has always come through for me.
Now let me be very plain, there have been times the Lord has told me to wait, yet to tarry in my praying expecting the answer to come in God’s timing. Then there have been those times that God has given me an emphatic, ‘NO!” But in these situations, he lets us know, as he did with the Apostle Paul who pleaded and begged God to remove the thorn from his flesh. God basically said, “NO Paul I am not going to remove the thorn,
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Listen to me saints, “God will answer your prayers; He hears the cries of those who are His servants.”
From the very beginning of the Bible throughout its pages we see where God answers the earnest the sincere heartfelt prayers of His people.
In the 3 Chapter of Exodus and verse 9 God said to Moses, "I want you to go to Egypt and lead my people out of bondage because their prayers have come up before me." God is saying to Moses that the cry of His people has come up before Him.
It was the cry of the people that had touched the heart of God. It was the agony, the sincerity, the fervency, it was the crying out, it was the prayers of a people earnestly seeking and crying out to God, that touched the heart of God and that moved God.
The Hebrews had cried out from Egypt in bondage for 400 years, never ceasing to cry out. Many of the people had cried out even until death and the people still never ceased to cry out. They never fainted in their prayer.
Saints of God there are times that we must keep hanging on to being persistent, never quitting, never giving up when it comes to our praying until we know beyond a shadow of the doubt the prayer has been answered. Let us all be persistent in our Praying!
Second - Pray Until Your Faith Grows
Now I realize this may not be good theology for some people but I believe it is scriptural.
Sometimes the problem is bigger than your faith is and you will have to hang in there, keep praying – until you have the faith to claim it without question. When the time comes, I believe you can claim it. Personally, I have got to believe God's Word is true. Whether it be salvation, healing for your body, praying for a loved one or a friend or something else.
HOW DO I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE? Because there have been times in my own life that I have had to continue to pray in that time of prayer I had to continually seek God's face because my faith was not big enough.
It was in that time of prayer that I had to say; God you are my source of strength and my source of power. I have learned that God always responds to our prayer. Saints of God Prayer moves the heavens Prayer changes things in our life and prayer is our lifeline to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our ever-present help in our times of trouble.
If you have been praying for some things and the answer has not come, unless you know that God has spoken to you that the answer is NO, you just keep on praying.
YOU MUST KEEP PRAYING UNTIL YOU TOUCH THE HEAVEN’S, TOUCHING THE LORD, OPENING THAT LINE OF COMMUNICATION.
The one-time prayer warriors are okay when things are going smooth in their lives!
But hear me well, when it is your marriage that is breaking up; when it is you that has gotten that bad report from the doctor; when it is your child that is terminally ill; when you have done everything in your power to keep holding your head up, but despite of all you have done and can do it looks like everything is falling apart you must just keep on praying.
I honestly believe that God expects His people to be persistent and hang in there and intercede until the answer comes. At times praying is not easy, and it seems like it is to no avail, but we who are of the faith must understand God does answer our prayers in due season if we faint not.
I remember the many times I have received those emergency calls, and have met people at the hospital and watched as we have gathered around patients in the ER and prayed the prayer of faith. I could call so many names of those you know, the situation was impossible, to see the people get up from the ER bed, that day and go home; many of them a day or two later to come home after the Doctor’s and medical workers have said it is impossible.
I have personally seen family members join me and stand in there and together we have prayed and interceded in prayer for some of the individuals that were even unconscious at the time, “Asking God to touch that individual to move with faith and God would come on the scene and change the situation that looked like certain death and deliver this individual and within five minutes this person had regained consciousness and from that moment to this have improved.
I have personally stood and looked the devil in the face and told him he could not touch this individual any longer, and I have seen a literal change come over the individual while I prayed.
GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE!
Then there are some things you will need in life that all of Satan’s Demons will fight you to stop it from happening. It is during these times that you will have to buckle up against them and be persistent in your praying, never giving up and never stop praying.
There will be times that you will have to rebuke Satan in Jesus Name. Literally Speak to Satan call him out in the name of Jesus. "Satan, I command you in Jesus Name leave me alone, or leave this individual alone." Saints of God you will have to take authority over Satan, the devil and his evil spirits in Jesus Name.
As you walk forth in the power and authority of the name of Jesus, WALK WITH BOLDNESS…
The powers of darkness will have to move back before you when you take the authority that God has provided for you.
I can tell you of the times that I was literally attacked by Satan, (this happened on more than one occasion) I have wrestled so hard that I was literally in a struggle I would then begin to pray in the power of the Holy Ghost. I would literally wrestle in my prayer against Satan and then I broke through in prayer to a point of speaking in tongues and I could feel it when the devil turned loose and began to flee. You see at that point the Lord had taken over my prayer and was speaking to Satan through me and the battle was won. Saints of God when we pray we have power, when we pray we understand the heavens are moved and God will come and rescue us with an answered prayer.
(Some religious people call this speaking in your prayer language) Saints of God it is nothing more than you, speaking with other tongues. Saints of God do not get caught up with all this religious jargon, this religious hype that people use to spiritualize everything.
Remember, we as Apostolic Pentecostal people do still believe in speaking with tongues when we pray. It is not something we learn to do. It is you or I simply submitting our will to the Spirit of God while we are in deep prayer.
In these cases of intercession, I have watched God literally heal, deliver and set individuals free from the grip of Satan, the grip of death and the grip of disease. When I turned, myself lose and let God speak through me, OH what anointing can be felt.
Saints of God there is that unction of anointing that comes upon us as saints of God when we turn loose and let God have his wonderful way while we pray.
Saints of God you must pray always until your faith increases! Sometimes you will just have to stand in there and keep doing what you know is right and say, "God Help My Unbelief!"
Mark 9:23-24 (NIV)
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I know the Word says, Romans 10:17 (ESV)
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
But I also believe that our FAITH IS BOLSTORED
AS WE BEGIN to mix the Word of the Lord into our prayer and believe God as the Holy Ghost begins to divinely intervene.
Remember you must BE PERSISTENT IN YOUR PRAYING
Secondly you must PRAY UNTIL YOUR FAITH GROWS.
Thirdly as SAINTS OF GOD WE MUST WILLING WAIT WITH PATIENTS FOR AN ANSWER.
This may be one of the most important points of this lesson, “WAITING FOR AN ANSWER!” It is so very important that we wait until we hear from God.
Maybe you have already prayed about a need one time but the answer has not arrived yet, you continue to PRAY, and you also WAIT with patients knowing the answer is on the way.
So often we may reason within our self, we have prayed, we have been waiting so we decide within, “Well maybe it is not God's will.” “Maybe God does not want me to be healed, saved or delivered.” “Maybe God changed his mind,” maybe I should not be praying about this at all."
Don’t we see what we are doing, when we begin to question the will of God? We are beginning to doubt, beginning to Question God’s abilities. We ARE BEGINNING TO LET OUR UNSWERED PRAYER DETERERMINE OUR FAITH.
Nothing will destroy your faith any quicker than praying and then coming up with your own personal self- determined answer that it is not the will of God to answer you.
When I begin praying about something sometimes the answer seems to come at the very moment I pray. Then there are those times it is a week, or a month, 6 months or a year. Then there are those things, that come years later, I am still praying about. We must continue praying, believing and waiting without fainting.
Something I have prayed for what may have been in my personal pray life for years, but I still know there is an answer on the way and I do not stop, no I do not quit praying until an answer comes.
I have had the question asked, "Does God answer all of your prayers?"
My reply, "Yes, my God does!" I honestly believe that if we will stay faithful, continually seek God’s face with all our hearts, do not faint, do not give up or quit. The Answer will come if we will just give it all to Him.
We must realize there are times that the answer to our prayer is “NO!”
Then there are some answers to prayer where the answer is not now. Some of the answers are yes, but before I do give you the complete answer, you have got to get some things right in your life.
Some of the answers that come from God are YES!
Saints of God we must understand that God is not tongue-tied; He is not deaf either. God can hear and he will answer you if you will stay the course in communicating with Him.
Saints we play a dangerous game when we pray, then we are not willing to wait for God to give us an answer. Do not begin to reason within yourself and say well maybe it is not God's will, remember If it is not God's will He can tell you it is not His will. If it is not what God wants with you If it is not what He wants with you, I believe God will let you know exactly that without your help.
HANG IN THERE! KEEP PRAYING (asking, seeking, knocking) AND BELIEVING! WE OUGHT TO ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT FAINT (NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT QUIT, DO NOT STOP)