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Scripture

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

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This week we begin a series of prayers and reflections for advent .

“I hope there will be plenty of homemade mince pies!”

“I hope Father Christmas brings me…”

“I hope we can afford that holiday next year.”

“I hope the fighting will stop in…”

“I hope that …will be healed.”

“I hope…”

It’s natural to hope what we wish for. And yet the trouble with these sorts of hopes is that they are only about a moment fulfilled… and then we find ourselves hoping for the next thing, and the next…

Sometimes our hopes are deep yearnings and we may secretly doubt that they will be fulfilled.

But there is a hope that we can always cling onto: Jesus.

Through Jesus we are reborn into a new life. As we follow him he shapes our characters and lives by the power of the Holy Spirit into the person we were always meant to be. Even when we struggle, and we all struggle at some time in our lives and our marriages, Jesus is working deeply to bring about something good. This is a REAL HOPE for NOW that we can trust in.

Ultimately our hope is that NOTHING can separate us from his love, in this life and the next. We will be raised to eternal life and there will be no more tears.

This week, share your deepest hopes as individuals and as a couple.

Why not start celebrating Christmas now and share your hope in Jesus with not yet believers this advent season.

Prayer (as a couple)

Lord Jesus, we look forward to celebrating your birth as our Messiah and eternal hope. We ask that you would fill us and our marriages with renewed hope in you and your purposes. We thank you that you always work for the good and that nothing can separate us from your love as we ask you to help us in any struggles. For your glory and in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Prayer (for others)

Lord Jesus, we pray for … and … who really need your hope in their lives and marriage right now. Please help them to understand that hope, cling onto it as they struggle through difficult times. We ask that you would fill them with love through the power of your Holy Spirit. For your glory and in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Final quote

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. Romans 15:13

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