This year has been full of tension, uncertainty, and grief. We are quick to take sides, judge others who have different opinions, call them out publicly and make our voice heard, and call others to action. Our world is divided in a lot of ways, but the one thing we can all agree on is this: We’re hurting. I don’t have answers to all the injustices and problems that exist today, but I have the answer to the biggest question a lot of us are asking, “Where is our hope?”

When chatting with a friend earlier this month, I was reminded that our hope has to be in Jesus–that’s it. There’s so much that 2020 has taught me, and the biggest thing is that there is absolutely nothing I actually control or have power over. Nothing. My hope has to be in the One Who has the power because without Him, I have nothing. The things I do are useless. The things I put my hope in are useless. Without Jesus, I really am just dust.

Although this season has been tough, Jesus has reminded me very sweetly that He has watched over my journey through the wilderness, time and time again. And in all of it, He has and will be glorified – and because I am His child, eventually, so will I. That’s a promise I’ve been clinging to in this season.

When I think of how God answers prayers, the big three often comes to mind: yes, no, and wait. However, I am learning this view of God’s answers to prayer can be narrow, as it only focuses on God’s answers to our prayer requests of Him.

What if our approach to prayer was in alignment with our relationship with Him, the Giver of the gifts, and not the gifts themselves? As we enter into deeper and broader communion with Him, wouldn’t we love to see God’s answers to our prayers in a more expansive, less limited way? I believe that that’s where real change has the potential to happen–in our hearts. When we surrender all of our prayers to God and let the Holy Spirit intercede in them, change is inevitable.

The thing so many of us are calling for and demanding–change–is only possible through the Holy Spirit and prayer. And yet, I’ve heard so many criticisms of the Church, saying that “we can’t just pray,” or “we have to do something.

I agree that we do have to do more–faith without works is dead, after all. However, the word “just” should never be put in front of the word “pray.”

Prayer is where all of our hope is found. So keep praying. Keep interceding. Keep asking for change in the Name of Jesus. It will happen. Prayer is powerful. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.

Sammie Gallo, our Coordinator of Ministry Outreach, is the author of AFL’s Abundant Life curriculum for youth. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2017 with a background in biology and psychology. In addition to her work with AFL, she spends time going into public schools with the Women’s Choice Network, speaking to high schoolers about healthy relationships and sex education.

Sammie spends her day-to-day making sure that every person hears and believes the words: “you were made for more.” You can follow Sammie on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter! She’d love to get to know you!