One of the things that stands out from spending time in prayer is how much hope I get every day. I mentioned yesterday that when I come out of my prayer time, I come out a changed man. The more time I spend praying, the more I notice the change. It can be just a simple burst of hope or it can be a tangible impression of the presence of God. I can’t control it. I just let God do His thing and I let it happen. The point is that prayer changes us and it leaves a footprint of the Lord on our hearts. His footprint is what we need at the time. We ought to be open to it and to yield to His will completely. Prayer for me is a time of surrender and a time of adoration and listening. I bathe in the presence and my fears are washed away by the end. I want to underline the burst of hope that I get during prayer. The joy of the Lord is our strength and hope in Him is everything. God knows what we need and He meets our needs in many ways.
We might have a particular need and not be aware of it but He knows. For instance, if we go to Him with a need of a financial blessing, He will hear us and see the need but His perception is larger than ours and He will see more than can meet the eye. He might see how we are spiritually unbalanced and He will meet our need by giving us the balance we lack before the finances. When we go to God in prayer, we never know what He is going to say or do because He knows way better than we do. Hope is one thing that we should have all the time. When we pray to the Lord and spend time in His presence, hope will come. He will meet that need of having hope before most things. He understands the value of hope and joy. Very often hope comes with joy. God is a joyful God and time with Him results in getting an impartation of His character. God’s hope allows you to stay positive in the middle of the worst situations. That is what God desires for us. Hope is a supernatural power when it is anchored in the Lord. Today I want to encourage you to spend time in prayer so that hope and joy become friends that you take with you wherever you go.
“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). The God of hope is the One you and I trust. We trust that He is good and that He loves us. Since He loves us, He always wants to bless us and to give us what’s best. I used to think that God loved only certain people and I might not be deserving of His very best. I was wrong. God loves everyone with no exception and His heart desires for everyone to come to Him, accept Him, embrace Him and make Him the Savior of their lives. He is the Father who bestows blessings and who shares His nature and that includes hope. We are children of the God of hope, children of hope. God’s Spirit is in us and He helps grow into the fullness of hope. He can give us abundant hope when we spend time with Him and when we acknowledge Him in all we do.
Praying once a week is a not enough to get us to where we need to be in Christ. It is the daily communication and the intentional devotion that takes us there. I wrote about the different aspects of prayer yesterday and praise is one of them. It brings the Lord to the scene so to speak. God is in the praises. When you believe that, all you want to do is praise Him because you want to be close to Him as much as possible. Praise lifts our spirits and gives hope an entry way into our hearts. Here is a challenge for you. Pray every day and start prayer with at least 15 minutes of praise every time and see how hope seeps into your spirit. Make it a habit and hope will inhabit your life. It will become a permanent resident who brings in other members of his family such as joy and peace.
The power of joy and hope are tremendous. They are underrated at times. I have noticed how in some Christian circles there isn’t much emphasis on joy and hope. There is much more of a focus on self-help and self-improvement without too much hope being mentioned and joy is often left out. It sounds more like the pursuit of finding the tools that will make people survive and not so thrive. God is more than a God of survival. He is about thriving and exceeding all expectations. Hope is the guiding force that we ought to adopt and look for. We can find it during prayer time. We should pursue it and cherish it. Hope will keep us connected to faith and we need faith to please God. Let’s rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Let’s stay where hope is through daily prayer!
Suggested reading: Psalm 71:1; Romans 5:1; 1 Peter 1:13