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A Praying Life, Chapter 26


Chapter 26: "Hope" | Week of September 2, 2018

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” – Psalm 62:5

REFLECT:

The last few chapters have walked through what it means to pray in desert seasons, learning to lament and looking for God in the story he's writing in our lives. In chapter 26 of A Praying Life, Paul Miller focuses on hope. The Christian posture ought to be one of hope, because "Tragedy doesn't have the last word. God saves the best for last." (Page 207)

Miller identifies hope as uniquely Christian in western culture. In Ancient Greece, Stoic philosophers believed all of life was suffering, and therefore must be endured. On the other side of Greek culture, the Epicureans believed that because life was so hard, the best plan is to ignore it and have what fun you can. Notice, however, that in both of these approaches there is no hope. The best possible life merely gets by somehow, whether strength of will or lack of care. This is not how Christians ought to live!

"As we wait and pray, God weaves his story and creates a wonder. Instead of drifting between comedy (denial) and tragedy (reality), we have a relationship with the living God, who is intimately involved with the details of our world." (Page 211) 

RESPOND:

Miller holds up C.S. Lewis — who is known for The Chronicles of Narnia children's books as well as many other classics of Christian literature, like The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity – as an example of a life lived in wonder. He quotes a Lewis biographer, who noted, "Lewis's mind was above all characterized by a willingness to be enchanted, and it was this openness to enchantment that held together the various strands of his life.... his willingness to submit to the charms of a wonderful story." (Page 212)

When was the last time you felt wonder and awe as you considered God, the Creator of the universe and the One who holds all things together? Spend some time reflecting on our wonder-working God, and allow yourself to wonder as you are still with your thoughts. 

PRAY NOW:

Now that you've connected with wonder at the God who loves you so much that he offered his Son, Jesus, to save you, redeem you, and make you part of his family and kingdom, pray thanksgiving for this wondrous love. Pray that God would soften your heart with wonder so that you, like C.S. Lewis, can submit to the charms of the wonderful story God intends to write around and through your life. Ask him to help you see him as a good Author.    

PRAY LATER:

Please pray for our Gospel Community leaders and hosts as we approach our Fall Launch Sunday on September 23. Pray for encouragement for them as they prepare to open their lives and homes, and pray for community at Daybreak to be strengthened as we grow together in GCs. And if you're not already connected to a GC, your opportunity will come on September 23, so stay tuned!     

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Spend some time with your children talking about what "wonder" means. Maybe even take a family field trip to some tide pools or a botanical garden to help prompt the feeling of awe at the beauty of God's creation. Pray together that you will see how you, too, are God's creation whom he loves, and that he intends to include you in a story that will wow you.

Tags : prayer, devotional