God as the source of hope – Day 12

Hope through prayer

Prayer played a vital part in the life of our Lord here on earth. It should be an integral part of our lives too. Jesus says that if we approach the throne of grace and ask for God’s guidance and help, we will receive it (Matthew 7:7-11).

But how should we pray? David had the right attitude when he was in distress: “I waited patiently for the Lord’s help; then he listened to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1). Too often when we pray, we expect God to immediately grant what we want. However, God has his own timetable and it is his will that will prevail and not ours.

God answers every prayer in one of three ways – yes, no and when the time is right.

Yes, as in the case of Elijah the prophet: “He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years. Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:17-18).

No, as in the case of Paul: Three times he prayed to God to remove the “thorn in the flesh” that was tormenting him and hindering his ministry. Instead God granted Paul grace to bear his suffering in order to experience the protection of the power of Christ over him (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

When the time is right, as in the case of the priest Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth. For many years they prayed for a child. When they were both old, the angel Gabriel brought them the news: they would have a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth and who would pave the way for the Lord (Luke 1:13-17).

God is a God who hears and answers our prayers. When we pray, we enter into the divine presence of God. There we can confess our sins and he will forgive us and purify us from all our wrongdoings (1 John 1:9).

Paul urged the church at Thessalonica to pray at all times. We should too.