Getting Settled ...in the Hope of God's Calling
HOPE IS a wonderful and complex dimension of Life. Its spectrum runs all the way from false and evil hopes born of Satan and working in the Kingdom of darkness to the true and pure hope born of God and working in those who inherit the Kingdom with Christ, Most people live somewhere in between, with a hope that reaches-sometimes feebly-toward God, but with so much damage that when put to a test, it falters and gives way to despair. Our aim at praying during these days is to rout out the enemies of hope, both in ourselves and in those we hold before the Lord. Our prayer guide comes from Eph 1:18. Paul says here, "I'm praying your heart will be flooded with light so you can know what is the hope of God's calling."
Two things are important in this—Hope and God's Calling. For two weeks we'll consider Hope, then we'll consider God's Calling.
DAY 1—Learning from Our First Example of Hope: Abraham
Job 17:14,15 (Job in desperation said:) I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? Rom 4:18 (Of Abraham it was said:) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
• DEAR LORD, I reach for You through the impossibilities crowding in upon my humanity. I lay before You the mocking weakness of my emotions and dare to have hope as Abraham did. Draw these I hold before you into this same trust. Let hope be born in me and them.
Reviewing the History of Hope Being Born--Gen 15:1-6; Rom 4:19-21
DAY 2—Receiving Healing for a Damaged Hope
Pro 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. I Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...
• FATHER OF MERCIES, find in me, and in these I hold before You, every area of damaged hope. Touch the discouragement that has come to us from other people. Heal us-and them. Help us all hope again.
The Goodness that Heals--Ps 31:19-24
DAY 3—Showing Mercy so Hope Can Return
Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy Ps 33:18,19 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
• GOD OF COMPASSION, reveal where our damaged hope has turned into resentment. Forgive us for resenting. Help us open ourselves to Your mercy for cleansing. Let Your mercy flow through me, on to these I hold before You so hope can become firm in us all.
The Hope that Leads to Purity--I Jn 3:3; Ps 39:7,8
DAY 4--Turning from the Failure of the World to Discover Hope in the Lord
Jer 17:7,8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
• FATHER, forgive us wherein we have placed our hope in people and securities that have failed. We have come to a worrisome plight, but it is a good thing because it is crowding us to You. Draw these I hold before You into the same hope You are releasing in me.
The Hope that is Sure and Steadfast--Heb 6:17-20
DAY 5--Holding Hope While Going through Grief
Isa 33:2 0 LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their (and our) arm every morning, our Salvation also in the time of trouble. Lam 3:21,22 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
• GRACIOUS LORD, I had hoped healing would come some way other than by death- (or divorce, or separation, or breaking of fellowship). My hope has been damaged. But now, I lay its tender shreds in Your arms for restoration. Restore this hope also in the others who grieve over their loss.
The Hope and Grace that Heals--Isa 53:4,5; I Pet 1:13
DAY 6--The Discipline of Hope: Finding the Salvation of God's Presence
Ps 42:5 Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
• FATHER, I lay before You the damage that has come through misguided religious hope. I turn from my disappointment and receive the healing of Your presence. Heal the others who have been hurt also. Give us all a new hope. Renew our trust.
Learning to Wait on the Lord and Hope in His Word-Ps 130:3-6
DAY 7--Continuing the Discipline of Hope: Finding God's Salvation for My Personal Presence
Ps 3:2,3 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But Thou, 0 LORD, art a shield for me; my Glory, and the Lifter up of mine head. Ps 42:11 Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
• LORD, out of the despair of failure and trouble, I continue my turn to You. My circumstances are difficult, but this I confess: You have not failed me. I turn to You for Your sanctifying touch on all that has happened. Let hope become strong in me. Bring this same confidence upon these I hold before You.
The Hope that Is not Put to Shame--Rom 5:1-5
DAY 8--The Discipline of Hope: Finding the Salvation of God's Presence even While under Oppression
Ps 43:3-5 0 send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, 0 God my God. Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the Health of my countenance, and my God.
• FATHER, with the discipline you are working into me, I turn from oppression. I acknowledge Your presence and embrace the healing that is mine through Your indwelling life. Others I know and love need this. I hold them before You that they might hope also.
How God Allures Us to Hope-Hos 2:14,15
DAY 9--Embracing the Hope of Glory
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory... Ps 16:8,9 I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
• LORD, I set my expectation on You. I open up to Your presence with me and Your authority over me. Take my attention. Take the attention of these I hold before You. Help us all embrace the glory of Your presence.
The Promise of His Manifest Presence--Jn 14:18-21
DAY 10--The Hope that Will Not Be Put to Shame
Phil 1:20,21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
• GRACIOUS LORD, my expectation and my hope are firm. This is because I am settled in You. I have no sure hope outside of You. Draw these I hold before You. Help them become settled in You also so their hope need never be put to shame.
The Assurance We Have when We Hope in His Mercy-Ps 33:17-22
DAY 11--Bearing the Testimony of Hope
I Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. Lam 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.
• LORD, sometimes my instability hinders me when I want to give a witness about the hope I have in You. I find I'm not sure of Your love. I think people won't believe me. I need healing in my emotions. Heal me now. Heal these I hold before You so their hope can be firm and their testimony can become sure also.
The Removal of Condemnation when Our Hope is Sure- Rom 8:1,24,25; Ps 33:18-22
DAY 12--The Spreading of Hope from One Generation to Another
Ps 78:5-7a For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israe4 which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God...
• DEAR LORD, help me teach the right principles of life to those who follow me so they too can have hope. Help me point the way not only by the words I say but by the example I set. Help these who follow me spread a good example of hope to those who follow them.
The Duty of Parents to Impart Hope to Their Children--Is 38:18,19; Eph 6:4
DAY 13--Finding the Hope that Will Stand in the Day of the Lord
Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the Hope of His people, and the Strength of the children of Israel.
• FATHER, today I set my heart on trusting You with a steadfast hope that reaches to where Jesus is. I give up my fears, my worries, my fretting about the future. I open myself to the peace You give. I confess: because of who I am in Christ, my hope is certain. Bring this upon these I hold before You.
The Sure Anchor of Hope--Heb 6:17-20; Gal 5:5
DAY 14--Embracing the Living Hope
I Pet 1:3 (Again!) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.
• FATHER, I embrace the faithfulness and mercy You revealed in the Lord Jesus. Because of this, I can say, I'm "possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure." Draw these I hold before You into this same hope.
Abounding in Hope--Rom 15:13; Heb 10:35-39
NEXT: The Calling of God. This involved two things on our part: hearing Him and obeying Him. We give the rest of the month to prayer about these two things. Here certainty enters. As we wait before Him, we can know the certainty of what He wants with us-and the same can be released in those for whom we pray.
DAY 15--Making Our Calling Sure
II Pet 1:10,11 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
• LORD, I wait in Your presence, asking that Your calling on me will become sure. I want my every move to be within the bounds of Your calling. I pray now for these others. Draw them to wait before You with desire that Your calling upon them will become settled.
The Wisdom of Listening to the Lord--Mt 7:24,25
DAY 16--Becoming Settled in the Hope of His Calling
Eph 1:16-18 (I) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in MY PRAYERS; that the God of our Lord Jesus. Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling...
• FATHER, open our understanding so we can become settled in what You want with us. Set us free from all the things, persons, circumstances, and challenges calling us, but that are not of You. Let our attention become singular in obeying You.
Becoming Pure for God's Calling--I Jn 3:1-3; Mt 6:24,25
DAY 17--Knowing the Purpose and Grace behind God's Calling
II Tim 1:8b,9... but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His Own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
• DEAREST LORD, help me-and these I hold before You-to see that Your calling is holy and is according to Your purpose and Your grace. Bring to completion in me-and in these- what is dear to Your heart.
Becoming Holy for God's Calling--I Pet 1:13-20
DAY 18--Accepting the Humility of God's Calling
I Cor 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called... Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
• FATHER, with humility I accept Your calling upon my life. I lay down my foolish pride and ideas of self-importance. I submit to what You want. Help these I love accept with humility what You want for them.
Giving up Our Reputation for the Calling of God--Phil 2:3-8; Jas 4:10; I Pet 5:6
DAY 19--Submitting to the Suffering of God's Call
I Pet 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps. Jn 12:26 (Jesus said,) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where l am there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
• FATHER, forgive us for complaining about Your call. Work Your enabling grace into us so we can rise above the idea that we are suffering.
The Call to Suffering-Ac 9:15,16; I Pet 2:21-25
I Cor 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. I Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation (trial, or test) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (trial) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
• FATHER, as a called one, help me see Your faithfulness all around me. I open up my soul for a new degree of fellowship with Your Son, even in suffering. Help these I hold in prayer to bear up under the trials they are facing. Help them see You in their darkness.
Simply Learning to Abide--Jn 15:4,5
DAY 21--Becoming Settled in the Calling of God
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Ps 37:23,24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.
• FATHER, I am sometimes weak in obeying Your call. You know I have stumbled more times that I like to admit. Thank You for keeping Your hand upon me and bringing me on through to this day. Strengthen me-and these I hold in prayer-so from this day we can walk upright in the path You have put before us.
Walking in a Holy Calling--II Tim 1:8,9
DAY 22--Walking Worthy of God's Calling
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
• LORD, I lay before You my weakness in obeying Your call. Heal the wounds of my stumbling-both in me and in those I have hurt. Make us all worthy of Your call upon our lives.
A Prayer for Those Who Are Called--Col 1:9-11
DAY 23--Trusting God to Work Things Out
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
• FATHER, simply stated, I trust You in this trial. Draw these I love to do the same.
Magnifying God in the Trial--Phil 1:19,20; Ps 46:1-7
DAY 24--Embracing the One Hope of Our Calling
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling... I Pet 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
• DEAR LORD, help me see that Your calling does not separate me from others You have called. Help me love those who are different and encourage them in their calling.
How None Has a Calling that Does Not Need Another--Rom 12:3-16
DAY 25--Considering the Chief Apostle of Our Calling
Heb. 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.
• FATHER, today I consider the Lord Jesus and confess He is the Chief over the call on my life. I acknowledge His presence with me. I listen for His commands. Now, here are these I hold in prayer. Draw them to consider Him also and to listen for His directions in their lives.
Looking, with Undivided Attention, unto Jesus--Heb 12:1-3
DAY 26--Standing with the Lord Jesus in the Final Conflict as One of the Called
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
• FATHER of MERCIES, my commitment to You and to the rule of Your Son in my life is settled. Even as the attacks increase on all of us who are believers, use them to drive us closer into relationship with You. Here are some who are still weak. I hold them before Your Throne. Prepare their hearts to suffer and to stand with You.
Reading a Personal Letter from the Lord Jesus, and Returning to Our First Love--Rev 2:1-7
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