Hope comes from a renewed focus on the Lord and his never-ending mercy and love. Lamentations points out the need of remembering that about the Lord (this I call to mind – Lam. 3:21). There is also the powerful picture of humility and repentance before the Lord, “let him put his mouth in the dust” (Lam. 3:28).
A people who humbly come before the Lord, remembering His mercy, have great reason for hope.
In that great section of Zechariah 9 that combines promises of both the first and second Coming of Christ, this insightful description is given regarding hope: “Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (Zech. 9:12).
Those who await the work of the Lord are called prisoners of hope. That is a good description for the Church today as we long to see the Lord restore and renew His people, and with them, a nation that desperately needs His healing touch. Prisoners of hope never quit praying until the Lord accomplishes His purposes or until He silences their prayers.
Lord Jesus, renew my hope for this nation! Give me a fresh vision for what can happen as Your people submit themselves to Your Lordship! Make me a prisoner of hope, dear God. Keep me on my knees until You accomplish Your purposes in and through me, in and through Your Church, and in and through this nation! Make America a shining light on the hill once more for the glory and honor of Your Name!
–-adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for his excellence in creation. Give thanks for the creation’s variety and splendor. Confess ways in which you have misused parts of it. Commit yourself to the proper care and use of God’s creation. Ask God to help you regard it as “clean” (Rom. 14:14), receiving it from him with thanksgiving.
Pray for sensitivity among Christians toward one another’s beliefs about food, drink, religious observances, and other discretionary matters (Romans 14), so that fellowship and caring might not be hindered. Ask God to help you to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (14:19).
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