1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When you pray in faith with hope, you turn yourself toward God, trusting fully that God is faithful & makes all promises real.
Faith in God, the Holy One, requires us letting go of fear. It is not an easy thing to do. In the 19th century, Theologian & Philosopher Kierkegaard can be quoted as saying: “Faith is like floating in seventy thousand fathoms of water. If we are afraid & struggle, we will become exhausted & drown. But faith gives us buoyancy.” This metaphor is reflected in Denise Levertov’s poem “The Avowal”, that speaks of this meaning of faith: “As swimmers dare to lie face to the sky & water bears them, as hawks rest upon air & air sustains them, so would I learn to attain free fall & float into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace, knowing no effort earns that all surrounding grace.”
It is that complete surrender that is necessary to experience when we are in the presence of God engaged in communion with Him. In the silence of prayer you can freely spread out your hands to embrace nature, God, & your fellow human beings. This acceptance means not only that you are ready to look at your own limitations, but that you expect the coming of something new. For this reason, every prayer is an expression of hope. In the prayer of hope, there are no guarantees asked, no conditions posed & no proofs demanded. You expect everything from the other, in this case; God, without binding the other in any way. Hope is based on the premise that the other gives only what is good. Hope includes an openness by which you wait for the promise to come through, even though you never know when, where, or how this might happen. When you pray in faith with hope, you turn yourself toward God, trusting fully that God is faithful & makes all promises real.
There is no question that we live in a very challenging time. It is a gift of Grace that we are able to be in communion with God through prayer & thus to live in His Holy presence through these troubling days. I lift up this prayer now to God for all of us, trusting in the fullness of God’s goodness:
Praying: “Holy Living God, as we stand at the beginning of this New Year, we confess our need of Your presence & your guidance as we face the future. You always know what it holds for us & only you give us the strength & the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So, help us God, to humbly put our hands into your hand & to trust You & to see Your will for our lives during this coming year. In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.
As we look back over this past year God, we thank You for Your goodness to us which has been far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to a new commitment to make You the foundation & center of our lives in this year. And so Holy God, we thank you for the promise & hope of this new year & we look forward to it with expectancy & faith. In Jesus Name we pray. AMEN”
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
Our team is ready to help you. Schedule an appointment online today.
3671 Southwestern Blvd.
Suites 101 & 213
Orchard Park, NY 14127-1752
(716) 662-7008 Office
(716) 662-5226 Fax
View Office Hours by Practitioner