Joy and Hope in prayer

Ok. So here I am back at work on the blog. My goal is to post twice a week, perhaps more, Lord willing.

This past Sunday, I had the privilege to teach our adult Sunday School class. Picking up where I left off the last time that I had taught (“The gospel in our evangelism”) I attempted to address the topic of “The gospel in our Sanctification”. We read from two different passages and made our way through small pieces at a time. The principal thing that we covered was prayer, our failure to do it and some of the reasons why.

So this week I’ll be trying to write some of the things that I had no time to teach about the grace given us concerning prayer, scripture and our walk with Jesus. I will be using the passages from Galatians 2:20-3:14 and Colossians 3:1-14.

But first a bit about hope and prayer.

Prayer is so very necessary. It is a means of grace in our walk with the Lord. By means of grace what I mean, is it is prayer is both a daily expression of our dependence upon God as well as the way that we receive His sufficiency. So then prayer exists not because the Lord needs us but because we need Him so very much.

If we are honest, most of us don’t feel that we pray well, and that feeling may very well be one of the greatest reasons that we don’t do it at all sometimes.

We often lack the assurance that with our sinfulness, lack of focus and frustration, the Lord hears us.

But He does hear us and we are commanded to pray.

There seems to be a paradox to our being commanded to do something that we need to do. “I command you to breathe.” or “I command you to eat or you’ll starve to death.”

We are commanded to pray because apart from prayer, and the Word we will spiritually starve and suffocate slowly.

Even worse, the deceitfulness of sin will lead us to enjoy the process. Right up until we find ourselves embracing the spiritual cancer that we know we hate.

But there is hope for our prayers, our praying, for us.

The understanding of the idea of hope in scripture is not what we normally attribute to hoping in our daily lives. We generally say “I hope” and we mean “I wish”. There is an uncertainty in our hope. But Scripture leaves no such uncertainty. The hope that God’s Word speaks of is so much more. Here are just two such mentions.

“For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.”- Psalm 71:5

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”- Lamentations 3:24

Hope is not a wish but a confidence. Imagine saying “I hope today is Monday”. If it is Monday, then your hope is rooted in what is. If today was Wednesday, all the hope in the world will not make it so. Our confidence, our hope in our praying and seeking after God is rooted in the risen Lord who reigns now and presents to our Father the scars of His suffering that crown His glory. Repent and be of good cheer, your sins (including not praying) are forgiven.

The Father is listening even now and the Spirit helps our weakness (Romans 8:26).

Pray.

“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

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~ by secondaryreformation on August 6, 2012.

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