I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. I realized that we’re currently in the time of year that falls between two great seasons of hope: Christmas and Easter. Just a few weeks ago during Advent and Christmas, we celebrated the thrill of hope that our Savior has come. Next week, as the Lenten season begins, we will turn our thoughts towards Easter and the hope that Christ’s death and resurrection bring us eternal life and the promise of Heaven.
But what exactly is hope? It’s more than a simple wish or a dream. It’s more than being optimistic or really, really wanting something to happen. In his Application Commentary, John Courson explains, “Hope is the absolute expectation of coming good. Hope is the antidote for divisiveness and defensiveness. And throughout scripture, hope is most often referred to in conjunction with the coming of Jesus Christ.” Hope is the blessed assurance and confident expectation that God is going to do what He has promised He will do. The author of Hebrews encourages us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
How can we understand this promise? One of the simplest ways is through prayer. In his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Tim Keller describes prayer as “the way to experience a powerful confidence that God is handling our lives well, that our bad things will turn out for good, our good things cannot be taken from us, and the best things are yet to come.” This is hope!
As we began to plan today’s third annual ACSI Day of Prayer, we sought God’s guidance for how we should pray. The answer came quickly: Pray for hope. Not the world’s version of hope, but the hope we find in Christ. If our world needs anything today, it needs hope.
Hope Comes from Overflow
As leaders and educators, it can often feel like we’re running on empty. And we can’t give what we don’t have. That’s why our prayer for this year’s Day of Prayer echoes Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It is our prayer that God would not just fill us with joy and peace and hope, but that He would fill us up to overflowing so that we cannot help but share our hope with those around us.
It is also our desire that together we will be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). On this special day, it is our goal that we will be united as a global community of Christian educators, bearing one another’s burdens and encouraging each other in hope as we practice obedience in the spiritual discipline of prayer.
Join Us for a Day of Prayer
We know you pray every day, but today we ask you to unite with us and the entire Christian education community around the globe to pray specifically for Christian education. How? Read, share, and pray for prayer requests on our interactive Prayer Requests Map. Check out our Prayer Guide for suggestions of ways you can pray and activities you can use to help focus your prayers. Use the hashtag #SchoolsThatPray on social media so everyone can see how you’ve participated throughout the day. And know we are praying for you and with you. Will you join us?
About the Author
Becki Rust is the Thought Leadership Project Coordinator at ACSI, where she leads project management for a wide variety of innovative and timely initiatives, programs, and events. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College in New York City. Becki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org