Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 ESV)
Day 11- Hope and Faith
- I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:16-18 ESV)
Yesterday, when we prayed for wisdom and knowledge, we ended with the above verse from Ephesians. But look how it continues. After the eyes of our heart get enlightened, we are supposed to know the hope to which He has called us.
Have you ever thought of being CALLED to hope? Hope is not just a nice emotion for when our prospects are looking up. Hope is an active permanent place of residence for our heart because of WHOM we hope in.
- Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, (Psalm 146:5 ESV)
My hope needs to be IN God and it comes FROM God. If I really apply this truth, it could change everything. That is why this prayer matters so much.
- Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)
This is why I need the Lord to be my source of hope. When I hope in people or situations, I am often disappointed, producing a sick heart. That explains so much of my frustration and sorrow.
Not only does my hope reside in God, but out of my hope flows my faith.
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, ESV)
We all know faith and hope are essentials to the Christian walk, but how often do we pray for them? I find I am more likely to pray for physical needs than spiritual provision, yet the Bible gives me examples of praying for these very items.
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)
This verse is Paul’s prayer for the Roman church. He is asking God to give them joy and peace SO THAT they can abound in hope!
- And Jesus said to him, "'If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:23-24 ESV)
In this incident, a father came to Jesus for help with a possessed son. He needed faith to believe Jesus could perform this miracle, and while he believed, he also didn’t. Boy, do I identify with that spiritual battle! The best part of the story is Jesus’ answer- not rebuke or condemnation, but a resounding, healing, yes.
- For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. (Galatians 5:5 ESV)
It is the Spirit of God which gives us the faith we need. Then that faith aides us to wait in our hope- hope that doesn’t falter when circumstances mock us and the enemy whispers discouragement in our ears.
- if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, ... (Colossians 1:23a, ESV)
I want to continue in faith this year- all 365 days of the year. And I don’t want to shift one single time from the hope of the gospel. But both those actions are supernatural. The only source of constant faith and supernatural hope is Jesus. Today, as we pray for the faith and hope for 2017, we are asking the Lord for the spiritual resources and provisions to last us the year.
Prayer Day 10
- But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8 ESV)
To You, the only One worthy of my faith,
To You the only One deserving my hope,
To You, I come today.
I confess, my heart felt sick last year as I placed my hope in other things than You. Relationships didn’t produce the results for which I hoped. I did not achieve what I hoped. I ask You to heal my heart. This year, please help me to place my hope only in You, not in anything else.
Lord, I don’t want to hope for lesser things or place my faith in results. I want my hope to be in You and I desire to have faith in Your ultimate plan and victory. How freeing that would be!
Jesus, I ask You to increase my faith. May I believe what You promise, even when I can't see how it could ever be a reality.
I believe You, but I need help with my unbelief. I know You can accomplish anything. I guess I doubt You will do it for me. Please forgive my doubt and replace it with faith, a faith in what I hope for and cannot yet see.
I ask You to give me the hope and faith I need to live faithfully for You. Please enlighten the eyes of my heart that I might see past my current realities and into Your eternal reconciliation.
What a relief- I don’t have to create the faith and hope I need to live joyfully. You, the Creator of the universe are my source. I open myself. Please fill me with Your Spirit.
- So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)
Let's marinate long and deep in the faith and hope the Lord provides. Tomorrow we will pray for the supernatural love we need to live this life, with the people God has given us, to His glory!
- Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 ESV)