Litany of Hope (Revised)

The revisions may be slight, but they are significant (to me). So I share this updated version of the prayer. For those struggling with a loss of hope, whatever the cause (but especially due to health), I recommend that you do what I have committed myself to: read/pray this prayer (aloud is better) once a day along with the selected readings from 2 Corinthians. Speak the words into being. Then, please, let me know how you are doing through my private email ([email protected]).

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed!
He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort.

God of all sufficient grace,
     please, hear me.
Immanuel, God ever and always with us,
     please, be with me.
God of all hope and comfort,
     please, be my hope.

Lord, please forgive and take away:
     my sense of entitlement,
     my expectations and bitterness,
     my ingratitude for your blessings.

Lord, help me release to you, in faith:
     the plans I had for life,
     my great hopes and dreams,
     all that I have lost to this disease.
Lord, help me believe and accept:
     you are present when I’m in pain,
     your grace is always enough, sufficient,
     your power works best through weakness.

Lord, help me to fix:
     my eyes on things unseen, not seen,
     my hope on your work, not my own,
     my heart on you alone.

And so by your grace may I find:
     peace in the midst of pain,
     strength in the midst of weakness,
     hope in the midst of hopelessness,
     joy in the midst of hardship.

--Amen

Selections from 2 Corinthians 4-5
Common English Bible
 
We have this treasure in clay pots
     so that the awesome power belongs to God 
     and doesn’t come from us.
We are experiencing all kinds of trouble,
     but aren’t crushed.
We are confused,
     but we aren’t depressed.
We are harassed,
     but we aren’t abandoned.
We are knocked down,
     but we aren’t knocked out.
We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies
     so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies.
We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus 
     will also raise us with Jesus,
     and he will bring us into his presence. 

But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, 
     the person we are on the inside is being renewed every day.
Our temporary minor problems are producing
     an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison. 
We don’t focus on the things that can be seen,
     but on the things that can’t be seen.
The things that can be seen don’t last,
     but the things that can’t be seen are eternal. 
We know that if the tent that we live in on earth is torn down,
     we have a building from God.
It’s a house that isn’t handmade, 
     which is eternal and located in heaven. 

We groan while we live in this residence
     because we are weighed down. 
We want to be dressed not undressed,
     so that what is dying may be swallowed up by life. 
Now the one who prepared us for this very thing is God,
     and God gave us the Spirit as a down payment for our home. 
 
So we are always confident.
 
We live by faith and not by sight.

Glenn Pemberton is a minister turned professor turned writer. After serving churches in Texas and Colorado, Glenn completed a Ph.D. (Old Testament). He then taught at Oklahoma Christian University before coming to Abilene Christian University in 2005, retiring as professor emeritus in 2017 due to a severe chronic pain. Glenn now spends his time writing for the church. Along with short essays he has published four books, including The God who Saves: An Introduction to the Message of the Old Testament (2015), and Hurting with God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms (2012). Glenn and his wife Dana continue to live in Abilene, Texas.

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Author:  Publish Date: January 30, 2018
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1 Comment

  • Craig Churchill says:

    *Excellent*. Thanks so much for your ongoing transparency and for the insight God has given you. In Christ our hope, Craig

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The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @ acu.edu.

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