Personal Devotions: Hope

An rock-shaped heart in an opening in a stone wall

Photo: Anne Hoganson

Happy New Year! The 1st Sunday of Advent (December 2 this year) marks the beginning of the Christian Year. Why is the Christian year different from the calendar year? Because the Christian year revolves around Jesus. It starts with preparing for Jesus’ birth (Advent and Christmas) and ends with celebrating Christ’s reign (Reign of Christ Sunday).

Choose one or more of these prayers for daily use over the course of the week.

Scriptural Prayer

Memorize this scripture:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)


Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. (Psalm 25:4–5)

Breath Prayer

(breathe in) Oh my God, (breathe out) in you I trust. (Psalm 25:2)

The Prayer of Jesus

The Lord’s Prayer in Tagalog (Josefina Forcadilla)

Graces and Blessings

The following Hot Cocoa Prayer can be used individually or in a group.

  1. Measure two tablespoons of cocoa powder. Taste it (it’s bitter). Pray for some of the things that are bitter in your life and a little hard to take on their own.
  2. Measure and add 1–2 tablespoons of sugar or sweetener. Taste it (it’s sweet). Offer a prayer of thanks for all the things that are sweet in your life and are perhaps best in small doses.
  3. Add a pinch of salt. Taste it (it’s salty). Offer a prayer for moments of grace and clarity, experiences that bring out the flavour of life.
  4. Warm some milk (or milk beverage) while reflecting on when you have experienced the Holy in the past day or week. What has warmed your heart?
  5. Mix warmed milk beverage with hot chocolate mixture. Taste it (it’s yummy). Give thanks to God and enjoy.

Find more family prayers and blessings on our At Home page.

Be hopeful. In God’s story, you are just right!

Alydia Smith is Program Coordinator, Worship, Music, and Spirituality for The United Church of Canada.