A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture
I received a nice comment recently on a blog post for a prayer for those who make bad choices. The reader mentioned as a person who struggles with prayer, she was enjoying fill-in-the blank prayers.
It was a nice confirmation to hear that because I had actually been thinking lately that I need to start writing some more of those. I have always loved Stormie Omartian’s prayers like this (i.e. Power of a Praying Wife, Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Parent, Power of a Praying Grandparent, etc.). If you have never read or used any of her material I HIGHLY recommend it.
I thought today I would take you through the process of how I come up with and write these prayers. It’s easy! Anybody can do it. I’ll show you how by giving you an example of writing a prayer for lost hope.
Take the Same Practical Steps I Take in Order to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture with this example of A Prayer for Lost Hope:
Step 1-Decide what I need to pray for and make a list of specifics.
For example, I pray for my students in my college classes each semester. Sometimes there seems to be a theme of what I’m praying for a particular group of students. This semester the word that keeps coming to mind for this group is “hope”. I get a feeling that many of them lack a sense of hope or that they feel hopeless. Therefore, some specifics I’d like to pray for them are:
- That God would give them a sense of hope
- I want them to see a hope in me, something that they desire, and I’d even like them to ask me about it, giving me an opportunity to tell them why I can hope even in seemingly hopeless situations
- That they can see a hope in their future and that they don’t give up
Step 2-Find verses and promises in the bible that correlate with the specifics that I want to pray.
To do this, I first see if any verses immediately come to mind. If some do, I’ll look them up. If I know the reference, I’ll go directly to my Bible to look them up. When I only remember a phrase, I’ll type that into either my bible app or into a search engine like Google.
For example, for specifics I listed in Step 1, I immediately thought of a few different things.
- The first phrase that came to mind was “their hope shall not be cut off”. When I typed this phrase into Google, I discovered this phrase is from Proverbs 23:18 (NIV): “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
- Next I thought of a verse that I knew to be in 1 Peter 3, but I couldn’t remember the exact number of the verse. So I looked up the phrase “be prepared to give an answer about the hope that is within you”. The verse I wanted was 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) which reads, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
- Then, I already have Jeremiah 29:11 memorized. So, I knew that one immediately.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- Lastly, I also already have Galatians 6:9 (NLT) memorized: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Step 3-One of the next things I can do is look up key words using either a concordance, my Bible app, a Google search, or using some of my favorite go-to websites.
I’ll use a concordance either in the back of my bible, in an app on my phone, or a separate concordance such as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Sometimes I do a search within my Bible app on my phone using key words. Additionally, I often use various websites or even a google search with key words. Some of my favorite sites to use are Biblehub.com, Openbible.info, and Knowing-Jesus.com.
For example, I might type in the search box in google “scriptures on hope” or “scriptures for when you’re hopeless”. I could also just visit one of the above mentioned sites and type in the word “hope” into their search box to pull up a list of scriptures having to do with that topic or with that word listed in the actual bible verse.
Step 4-I’ll then compile list of the verses that I believe will best suit the prayer need.
Sometimes I’ll cut and paste them to a Word document or copy them into my Notes on my phone.
For example, some verses that I found that fit the specifics about hope listed in Step 1 are listed below (excluding the scriptures already listed in Step 2). I’ve only picked a handful—there were LOTS of good verses on hope.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5 (NIV)
“Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:7 (NIV)
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”” Romans 4:18 (NLT)
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25 (ESV)
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” Romans 12:11-12 (MSG)
Step 5-Finally, I put the scriptures into a prayer format.
I try to use a conversational tone and just turn the verses into a request. Then I’ll leave blanks so I can fill in names as needed.
For example, below is what my prayer for my students this semester might look like.
A Prayer for Lost Hope
_____ appears to have lost his/her hope. According to your Word, hope deferred makes the heart sick. Please prevent his/her heart from becoming sick and heal any wounds. Renew _____’s sense of hope. Help him/her to overflow with confident hope.
We know that you are the source of hope and can fill _____ with joy and peace. Help _____ to realize that he/she can find rest in you because you are where hope comes from. _____ can put his/her hope in you because you have unfailing love for him/her.
Please help _____ hope for what he/she cannot yet see and wait for it with patience. Let this hope that you give him/her be an anchor for his/her soul and keep him/her firm and secure in you. Let him/her see that even when he/she has no reason to hope, he/she can keep hoping because you are a faithful God.
Keep _____ from burning out, and help him/her remain cheerfully expectant. Prevent him/her from growing weary of doing good/hanging on in the hard times. Show _____ that he/she will receive blessing if he/she doesn’t give up. Remind him/her not to quit when things get tough but to instead pray all the harder.
Let _____ know that you have plans to prosper and give him/her a hope and a future. Ensure him/her that your plans are never to harm him/her. Give _____ the assurance that there really is a hope for him/her and it will not be cut off.
Finally, when _____ feels hopeless, let him/her see a hope in me. Give me an opportunity to tell him/her why I do and can hope, even in seemingly hopeless situations. Prepare me to answer questions about the hope that I have, and help me to do so with gentleness and respect. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now, go write you some prayers!
I hope this is helpful in writing your own prayers based off of scripture. Also, don’t hesitate to send any requests or recommendations! I love doing them–I sometimes have a knack for finding scriptures and coming up with prayers based off of scripture for various needs.
What kinds of prayers have you based off of scripture? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below (click on the post link to join the conversation if you’re viewing through e-mail).
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