Prayer, Hope, and Repentance

Prayer and hope are essential in the Christian life, whether you’re talking about becoming like Jesus, evangelism, healing, or justice.  Hope in the Lord sustains us in prayer, and prayer to the Lord strengthens our hope.  This pattern is revealed many times in Scripture (see Psalms 42 and 43), but especially in the life of Jesus. But what if you’re experiencing a negative cycle?  Weak hope that suppresses prayer, further weakening hope?  What can you do to break out of a soul-crushing rut like that?  The Lord has given us three powerful tools:  Repentance, Encouragement, and Participation.  Let’s look at […]

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Prayer, Hope, and Becoming Like Jesus

The Lord has promised to transform us into the perfect image of Jesus.  This transformation began when we came to faith, and will be completed on the day of resurrection.  For now, we are in process, like unfinished sculptures emerging from a block of stone. Transformation can seem painfully slow at times, and we often find ourselves wishing that the Lord would just get on with it – that he would change us dramatically with a bolt from the blue.  Instead, the Lord leads us on a path that requires strenuous effort.  We are to “work out our salvation with […]

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Prayer and Hope

Prayer and hope go hand-in-hand.  Hope inspires prayer, and prayer strengthens hope.  It doesn’t matter which one you begin with – jumping into the loop is all that matters. Paul Miller says that one of the great obstacles to prayer – and therefore to hope – is cynicism.  Cynics see half the picture – they recognize the evil in the world without grasping hold of the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Jesus shows us how to see everything: “While Jesus is hanging on the cross, the religious leaders cynically mock him for his childlike trust.  ‘He saved others; he cannot […]

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