Even in difficult and dark times, prayer can awaken a sense of hope.
The Christmas season, for many, is a time of family, friends, memories, beauty and warmth. But for others it can be a time of struggle. They may grieve a loss or feel lonely. Or the holidays may stir up difficult memories.
Christmas peace and Christmas joy are not automatic, and neither is Christmas hope. Hope can sometimes surprise us, but it can also be awakened. It can come, even to those in difficult circumstances, as a fruit of prayer.
Here are nine prayers drawn from the Bible that can help foster an attitude of hope, not only at this time of year but all year long:
1) Hope for the Whole Day
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long (Psalm 25:5, NIV).
2) Hope to Have a Need Met
God, I know Your eyes are on those who fear You, on those whose hope is in Your unfailing love. I believe You love me and will not fail me. I wait in hope for You; You are my help and shield (from Psalm 33:18, 20).
3) Hope for a Miracle
Mighty God, You have answered Your people many times with awesome and righteous deeds; You are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by Your power, having armed Yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy (Psalm 65:5-8, NIV). What You have done before, do again, and in the meantime fill my waiting heart with hope.
4) Hope from God's Word
Lord God, the psalmist said repeatedly, “I have put my hope in Your Word.” Even when my soul faints, I put my hope in Your Word, for You are my refuge and my shield. Send me light and blessing and hope—most of all, hope—as I read Your Word (based on Psalm 119:74, 81, 114, 147).
5) Hope of Healing
Jesus, the prophet promised You would not break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick; You show mercy to all, even to those who seem past hope, and in Your name the nations will put their hope (Matthew 12:20-22). Send hope to _______, until healing appears.
6) Hope of Deliverance
Savior, You have delivered Your people from deadly peril, and will deliver them again. On You we have set our hope that You will continue to deliver us, especially __________. Send hope. Send deliverance. Send thanks for all Your gracious favor (from 2 Corinthians 1:10).
7) Hope in Abundance
God of hope fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (from Romans 15:13).
8) Hope for Growth in Righteousness
I am often displeased and discouraged with my spiritual life, Lord. But through the Spirit I eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which I hope (based on Galatians 5:5).
9) Hope for the Future
Father, let the eyes of my heart be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which You have called me, the riches of my glorious inheritance among Your holy people (Ephesians 1:18).
Imagine how Your hope will take root and grow if You pray these prayers regularly—perhaps one a day or every one, every day!