The Need for Hope
Hope-filled biblical focus is needed if we are to see a resurgence of prayer that moves the hand of God regarding the United States. Christians need to believe that God is not done with our nation, and begin praying with passion according to the purposes of God. The focus of our hope must be in God and His Word.
If we look to our politicians, our culture, or the economy, we will lose all hope. Our hope must be in the Lord!
Scripture is filled with the command to hope in the Lord. Sometimes the command is directed to an entire nation. The psalmist speaks to Israel with this powerful word:
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption (Psalm 130:7 ESV).
In a passage that I believe speaks much to our current situation, the author of Lamentations spends the first part of chapter three bemoaning the horrible situation he is in. In verse 21, though, his thoughts turn to the mercies of God, and he takes hope. Consider this powerful picture:
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man that he
bear the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope (Lam. 3:21-29).
Hope comes from a renewed focus on the Lord and His never-ending mercy and love. Lamentations points out the need to remember that about the Lord (“this I call to mind,” v. 21). There is also the powerful picture of humility and repentance before the Lord: “let him put his mouth in the dust” (v. 29).
A people who humbly come before the Lord, remembering His mercy, have great reason for hope.
In that great section of Zechariah 9 that combines promises of both the first and second comings of Christ, this insightful description is given regarding hope:
Return to your stronghold,
O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that
I will restore to you double (Zech. 9:12).
Those who await the work of the Lord are called prisoners of hope. That is a good description for the Church today as we long to see the Lord restore and renew His people, and with them, a nation that desperately needs His healing touch. Prisoners of hope never quit praying until the Lord accomplishes His purposes or until He silences their prayers.
Ask the Lord to renew your hope regarding the future of the United States. Pray for a fresh vision of what can happen in this nation as we submit ourselves to the lordship of Christ.
Taken from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts (PrayerShop 2016).
Dave Butts is a founding Executive Team member of OneCry. For this book and an entire web store full of prayer resources, go to www.PrayerShop.org.