Header Image

A Praying Life, Chapter 10


Chapter 10: "Following Jesus Out of Cynicism" | Week of May 13, 2018

“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


REFLECT:

In chapter 10 of A Praying Life, Paul Miller lists six cures for cynicism found in the life and teaching of Jesus. As a church this week, we're going to focus on one of them: learning to hope again.

"Hope begins with the heart of God. As you grasp what the Father's heart is like, how he loves to give, then prayer will begin to feel completely natural to you." (Page 71)

God promises to set everything right at the end of history, and that's absolutely worthy of our hope in the midst of an evil world. However, we sell God short to merely hope in that coming day of redemption without also recognizing His work in the world here and now. To go through life expecting nothing so that you won't be disappointed may feel like it's sensible, but in reality, it betrays a distrust that God in fact loves you, is for you, and works in the world for your good and His glory.  

RESPOND:

How often are you looking for God at work? Spend some time thinking about the areas where it feels scary to hope that God might in fact be working behind the scenes. Make a list if you need to, and keep it in mind as you live your 'normal' life this week, keeping an eye out for the God who makes all things new (Rev. 21:5). 

PRAY NOW:

Pray about God's work in areas where you're prone not to hope. Spend some time reflecting on the truth that God loves you by praying your life into Romans 8:38-39: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Add those areas where you fail to hope into the list of things in these verses that we fear might separate us from God's love, and then ask God to help you to hope in His love this week. 

PRAY LATER:

Mother's Day was this Sunday. For many, it's a time of celebration, but for others, it's a time of heartache, anxiety and sorrow. Be praying for those who struggle with this holiday, asking God to give them hope despite the sorrows that may come from broken relationship, loss of life, unfulfilled expectations or distance from family. 

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Read Romans 15:13 with your children. Talk about what the words "hope," "joy" and "peace" mean, and how God provides them all because of His love through Jesus. Spend time praying that you will be filled with all three this week as you see God at work in your family.

Tags : prayer, devotional