Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Advent is a time of year celebrated in the preparation for Jesus’ birth. It is the last 4 Sundays which lead to December 25th. As a four-part series, we will pray through the meaning of each candle as we prepare our own hearts for Christmas. Actual Advent goes from Sunday, November 27th through December 24th this year. For more information about Advent, you can visit Christianity.com Justin Holcomb shares that “The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace.”
Today as we pray through the first candle, hope, may we be reminded of the fulfilled promise of Jesus as the Messiah long awaited by the people of God.
Our Great Messiah, Thank You for being the fulfillment of the promise of eternal life to come. Thank You that You came down to this earth to die for our sins. Jesus, please help us to reflect on Your faithfulness through and through. You give hope to this dark world and You show us how to live with eternal perspective. Help us today and this week not to live with worldly eyes, but to see through Spiritual eyes and know that You are over all and working everything out according to Your purposes.
God, You humbled Yourself to come here and live the life that I could not life. Thank You for standing in my place and taking away my sins. Help me not to go a day without being thankful for that. Lord, I confess areas in my life where I feel hopeless or doubtful for You to work. Would You please remind me that just as You have worked in the past, throughout the Bible, that You are still working today. Remind me that the hope that comes from You does not disappoint. Help me feel confident to trust in the One who never fails.
Lord, You say in Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” You have given us as believers the gift of Your Spirit in us. Hoping in You will not disappoint us. Thank You for your overflowing love.
As we look at the world around us, everything is falling apart. Sin is rampant, lives are broken, people are confused, and the enemy appears to be winning in so many ways, remind us how You have already won the battle and that Your name and Your word prevail and are living and active. Please change hearts, redirect lives, and heal what has been broken.
Where there is distrust and doubts, replace them with faith and hope. As we all come into this season of Christmas with different experiences and various kinds of years, would You meet us where we are? Would you please show us Your glory and draw near to us as we draw near to You?
We pray over those in our lives who need extra hope right now. Give us the words to say and prayers to pray over them and with them so that they would know the freedom and the joy that they can have in You. Whether it be grief, loneliness, anxiety, depression, illness, etc. We ask for discernment how to be love them and point them to Your hope this Christmas season.
God we pray that we are passing on this joyous hope to the next generation. You say in Psalm 145:4, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Help us to declare this hope that we have because of what You have done Jesus. If we are ever tempted to hold it back, move in us to act and to share this hope that we have. You say in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have, may we not neglect telling those younger than us and encouraging them in faith. Amen.
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew for over two years and mom to baby Graham. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She had the joy of hosting Her Many Hats podcast where she explored the many roles that women play while serving One God. Most recently, Emma has released her first Bible Study Book, Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness.
Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Emma also had the privilege of having been a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.comand check out her Bible Study videos on Instagram @Emmadanzey.
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