Prayers for those who need Hope
“Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Right now our world is shaken. Every tentative plan it makes is tinged with uncertainty and worry. Every attempt at normal life is filled with restrictions and change.
But as God’s children, we have an unshakeable hope, for we are receiving a kingdom that “cannot be shaken”. What is it that makes this kingdom unshakable? It has an unshakeable King, who we are told is “a consuming fire”. That imagery is stirring! God is fierce and powerful, a Warrior who cannot be pushed back. He is a fire that fills and takes over whatever He touches and wherever He is.
But there is also something quite scary about this picture. The imagery forces us to sit up and maybe feel quite uncomfortable. This might give us a terrified fear rather than an awed, reassured fear.
There is a section in C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia where the children are told more about Aslan, a character used to depict God:
“Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion” . . . “Safe?” said Mr Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
God being an unstoppable, fierce, all-consuming fire is only scary if He is against us. That is a heart-stopping enemy to have. But He is not against us, He is for us, even loving us enough to give up His life on the cross for us. The unstoppable God who cannot be defeated tasted the defeat of death in our place, so that we can receive His kingdom, which cannot be shaken—because it’s King cannot be shaken. So, says the writer of Hebrews, let us worship God acceptably. What is acceptable worship? That which is full of reverence and awe for Him who holds our hope ever-steady.
Faithful God, our Father, we find ourselves in strange times, where the cracks in the foundations of our world are beginning to show. The things in which so many put their trust are tottering. Our securities are proving insecure. I look to You; my unshakeable God! When the world is dark, lift my eyes. Show me the blessings You are storing up for Your people. Encourage me to know that You are at work, even when I can’t see Your hand. Help me, when I can’t see any light, to know that nothing has changed in Your kingdom. You are still on Your throne, and You are still good. Bolster me with hope; that one day soon You will right all the wrongs and bring healing to this broken world. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
Lord God, thank You that our lives are secure in You. You have promised that none can snatch us from Your hands. You have taken hold of us for glory and honour; and we praise You for such love. We are humbled, joyful, thankful and full of hope. For all things shall pass away, but Your Word and Your promises to us never will. Thank You Jesus, Amen.
Father in heaven, You are Help for the helpless, Hope for the hopeless, Strength for the weak. While I did not know You, I was without hope in the world, lost in darkness like so many still are. My faith and hope are in You, Lord, my living Saviour. I know You are the reason for my hope today; You have called me to Yourself. I delight to be in Your presence. May I have opportunity to share Your love with a lost soul today. Thank You for being all I need each day and forevermore. Amen.
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