A Prayer for Hope Secured - Your Daily Prayer - February 21

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A Prayer for Hope Secured
By Laura Bailey

"But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." - Psalm 73:28 NLT

Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts assessment? The first time I took one of these tests, I was about to graduate high school. Our Sunday School teacher encouraged us to use the unique gifts and talents the Lord blessed us with as we went off to college and into the world. As a know-it-all teenager, I confidently whispered to my gal pal I didn’t need to take this test; looking at the list of giftings, I knew which ones I had. And, while I was accurate on my gifting strengths, the areas where I scored the lowest came as a shock.

How did faith rank as one of my lowest giftings? I’d grown up in church, accepted Christ as a young child, and was active in our youth group, reading my Bible and leading small groups. This test was mistaken. In reality, these assessments should be held with an open hand. They are guidelines, not definite answers to how the Lord has created us. However, they can be valuable tools to open our eyes to areas we need to improve or give more attention to fostering. And the hard truth was that I did struggle with my faith.

I am a results-driven kind of girl, and when I don’t see things happening, life moving forward, or tangible improvements, I tend to give up. I wrestle with God, asking Him to show me where He’s working. My faith is shaky at best in times of uncertainty and almost non-existent when I can’t see God at work. My lack of faith quickly turns into hopelessness and, eventually, if I stay there long enough, despair.

In the book of Psalms, we find a man named Asaph, a temple leader who was having issues with a wavering faith and waning hope in God’s plan (Psalm 73). Asaph was faithful, living a righteous life, but things weren’t going all that great for him. Meanwhile, the people around him–who openly rejected God– were prosperous in their lives (outwardly, at least). We see Asaph presenting his complaints before the Lord in the first few verses of Psalm 73, but then we see a shift. Instead of looking around him, he started looking up, and as he began to draw near to God, his faith renewed and hope restored. And that same comfort and hope is available to us, too!

We read in Psalm 73:26-28 that being in the presence of God renews our faith and restores our souls:

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”

Friend, I don't know exactly what you are going through right now, but I do know that God sees you, and even when it feels like He has checked out, I can assure you He is there with you. And here’s the other good news: even if, like me, faith doesn’t come naturally to you, we can ask God to help us in our unbelief (Mark 9:24).

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, we come before you in reverent worship. You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration. Forgive us when we doubt and question you; we are thankful you are a God of grace and mercy. Help us to call out to you in our unbelief. When our faith is wavering and our hope dwindling, give us strength to fight the good fight and finish the race set before us.

We thank you for the gift of community; help us to seek counsel and prayer from our brothers and sisters in Christ when we feel our faith is especially vulnerable. We ask that you guide us as we look for ways to strengthen others, build up one another, and bond with one another. We love you, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen,

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Motortion

Laura Bailey headshotLaura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word.  She is the author of Beyond the Noise, and loves any opportunity to speak and teach women of all ages. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. Connect with her on her website,  www.LauraRBailey.com, Facebook and Instagram.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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