Christmas Countdown: Day 8

Dear Lord,

I pray for something almost totally forgotten, something chucked to the wayside, something that’s gotten written off as last year’s model.

I pray for hope.

People can laugh at hope, scorn hope, write hope off as child’s play, and even try to kill hope, but I need hope, God–and not just any hope.  I need hope that’s not going to let me down.  I need hope for something that’s really coming.

I need Your hope.

Lord, I remember waking up one time from a nightmare and realizing, for the first time, really, that You are the One, the only One, that stands between us and Satan.  You are the one shield.  Without You standing guard, we would be dragged away forever.  And yet, we don’t realize it because we don’t think about it.  Millions and millions of people go every day without seeing that You are the barrier between us and the consequences of everything we are.  Every second we live is a shout-out to salvation, a chance to forever stand behind the shield of who You are.

You ask for worship, and we think You are selfish.  We don’t see we would be worshiping our Shield.  You ask for obedience, and we think You are demanding.  We don’t see that You are the Wall between earth and Hell.  You ask for allegiance, and we ask for the right to get away from You.  You ask for love, and we ask to leave the boundaries of Your kingdom to plunge into Hell.

You are so patient with us, Lord.

Because, for every second we’re alive, second after second after second after second, You give us hope.

It’s so available we forget about it.  It’s so free we think it’s cheap.  And it’s so holy we think it’s inaccessible.  What a mess we are.

But you still offer it to us.

You still wait.

Wait for us to choose You before our lives are over.

I have Your hope, Jesus.

My prayer is that I don’t keep it to myself, or live my life so poorly that others don’t want to receive it.

I pray for hope for anyone who reads this and is longing for the very substance of the unseen: the reality of You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.
Yet, in your dark streets so shines the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in you tonight.

O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks (modern translation)

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Photograph by Kimberly Jones, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/owlpacino/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

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