Advent: Part 5

'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' - Isaiah 9 v 6

This year those familiar passages  - 'to us a Child is born, to us a son is given' - are tinged with the reality that in 2016, our world has suffered. News story after news story unravels; with natural disasters, political divides and humanitarian crises still at the forefront of our minds. 

This year we live in a world seeking hope. A brighter tomorrow. A clearer future.

In the middle of these broken, hurting situations we fall to our knees in prayer. But often it doesn’t feel like our prayers have been heard. Perhaps there have been moments when prayer hasn’t felt like an adequate enough response. Or maybe the suffering on our news screens has seemed too overwhelming to muster any words of prayer. 

And yet, irrespective of what we feel or think in these moments of desperation, the reality is that we can pray with hope.

We can pray with hope because the God we believe in is the light of the world who came to earth as a baby to save us.

We can pray with hope because our God is Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. These aren’t just words that we say, they are character traits our God possesses.

We can pray with hope because the Bible tells us that God does hear our prayers:

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5 v 14-15

The best way for us to pray is to do so with hope. And not just with hope, but to pray hope.

This Christmas, as we pray for our world, we can lift our eyes in faith to the ultimate hope-giver. Jesus. Who is hope. 

We pray hope for the broken. We pray hope for the hurting. We pray hope for the grieving. We pray hope for refugees. We pray hope for Syria. We pray hope for the United States of America. We pray hope for Europe.

We pray hope to a God of Hope who is our Hope. Today, tomorrow and always.

This article was originally published on the 24/7 prayer website. Check out their blog here.

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