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About James Banks

Dr. James Banks and his wife have two adult children and live in Durham, North Carolina, where he is the pastor of Peace Church. He is the author of The Lost Art of Praying Together, Praying the Prayers of the Bible, Prayers for Prodigals, and Prayers for Your Children. Find books by James Banks

Praying the Distance

By | 2019-04-25T13:01:49+00:00 May 2nd, 2019|

Kevin wiped a tear from his eye as he held out a slip of paper for my wife, Cari, to read. He knew Cari and I were praying for our daughter to return to faith in Jesus. “This note was found in my mother’s Bible after her death, and I hope it encourages you,” he said. At the top of the note were the words, “For my son, Kevin.” Below them was a prayer for his salvation...

Borrowed Blessings

By | 2019-03-26T12:10:23+00:00 April 1st, 2019|

As we bowed our heads over lunch, my friend Jeff prayed: “Father, thank You for letting us breathe Your air and eat Your food.” Jeff had just been through a difficult job loss, so his heartfelt trust in God and recognition that everything belongs to Him profoundly moved me. I found myself thinking: Do I honestly understand that even the most basic, everyday things in my life are really God’s, and He’s simply letting me use them..?

No Comparison

By | 2019-02-27T16:27:25+00:00 March 1st, 2019|

“One of these days I’m going to put it all on Facebook—not just the good stuff!” My friend Sue’s comment—made casually over lunch with her husband—caused me to laugh out loud and also to think. Social media can be a good thing, helping us stay in touch with and pray for friends across the years and miles. But if we’re not careful, it can also create an unrealistic outlook on life...

Praying and Growing

By | 2019-02-15T16:21:07+00:00 February 18th, 2019|

When my friend David’s wife developed Alzheimer’s disease, the changes it brought to his life made him bitter. He needed to retire early to care for her; and as the disease progressed, she required increasingly more care. “I was so angry at God,” he told me. “But the more I prayed about it, the more He showed me my heart and how I had been selfish for most of our marriage...”

Deeper Love

By | 2019-01-24T16:10:28+00:00 February 1st, 2019|

When they first met, Edwin Stanton snubbed US president Abraham Lincoln personally and professionally—even referring to him as a “long-armed creature.” But Lincoln appreciated Stanton’s abilities and chose to forgive him, eventually appointing Stanton to a vital cabinet position during the Civil War. Stanton later grew to love Lincoln as a friend...

All Things New

By | 2018-12-19T16:00:09+00:00 December 30th, 2018|

Junkyards intrigue me. I enjoy working on cars, so I frequently make trips to the one near our home. It’s a lonely place, where the wind whispers through discarded hulks that were once someone’s prized possession. Some were wrecked, some wore out, and others simply outlived their usefulness. As I walk between the rows, a car will sometimes catch my eye, and I’ll find myself wondering about the adventures it had during its “lifetime...”

Lord of the Moment

By | 2018-11-23T14:22:25+00:00 November 29th, 2018|

Not long ago I was working on a construction project at my son’s home three hours away. The job took days longer than expected, and each morning I prayed we would finish by sunset. But every evening there was more to be done. I wondered why. Could there be a reason for the delay? An answer came the next morning. I was picking up a tool when my phone rang and a stranger’s voice spoke urgently: “Your daughter was injured in an accident..

Who’s Driving?

By | 2018-11-05T16:20:11+00:00 November 12th, 2018|

My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” based on Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?” The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way...

Your Way, Not Mine

By | 2018-10-12T12:35:36+00:00 October 28th, 2018|

Kamil and Joelle were devastated when their eight-year-old daughter Rima was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. The disease led to meningitis and a stroke, and Rima lapsed into a coma. The hospital medical team counseled her parents to make arrangements for Rima’s funeral, giving her less than a one percent chance of survival...