By Peola Hicks
Hoping Against Hope—Always Pray
In my encounter with others and in my own life there have been times when decisions seem so final that there is little need to pray about them. I can imagine how the disciples of Jesus felt when they found out that their teacher and friend was about to come face to face with death. He was about to die on a cross, and what could be more final?
There have been times in my life when it seemed that all hope was lost. The pain and loss of close relationships can feel as if there is nothing left that is good in life. However, I have learned that each day is new, and I must approach it with expectancy. Hope as described in the dictionary is an emotional state that promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. It is the opposite of despair. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. That sounds like expectancy wrapped up into one word called hope.
As a person of prayer, I have to also be a person of hope. When I pray, I am always expecting a good outcome. There may not necessarily be a change in my circumstance, but the more I pray, the more I am changed.
I know when I pray that God is at work. I may not see it immediately, but that is where faith has to be exercised. Abraham and Sarah were past the childbearing years with no possibility of having a child. They had to hope against hope.
When Mary and Martha met Jesus after the death of their brother Lazarus, they thought for sure that they would not see him again. They met Jesus and said to Him, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” They spoke to Jesus out of their pain, but there seemed to still be a glimmer of hope.
The scripture teaches us in Acts 12:5 that Peter was in jail and the church was in constant prayer. That seemed like a hopeless situation, but those who were praying never gave up.
Over 2000 years ago, the day of Christ death seemed like a day to be without hope. In actuality, I now can see it as the most hopeful day of my life. It is a day that I know that God is for me. It is a day that I realize the love of God is greater than anything that I can imagine. I know it is a day that I can “hope against hope,” because I know that when I pray something will happen.
From experience I know that prayer will do one of two things. It will change my situation or it will change me. It has the power to do both. So, I pray with expectancy and I offer this as a prayer point. Pray constantly and with expectancy. Never give up. There is hope for each new day.
God Bless You!
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Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks manages all prayer, volunteer and partner programs for OurPrayer. OurPrayer is a Christ centered ministry that receives and prays for over 750,000 requests on an annual basis through the web, phone and Facebook. Peola is an ordained minister and has a profile on Facebook as Peola’s Prayer Points.