The conclusion of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 must be ours as well: “If I do not have love I am nothing” (13:2-3). He finishes this chapter with “now abide faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (13:13). This is a great formula for forgiving in the three areas of giving alms, prayer and fasting. Faith is the answer to our inability and cold-hearts in the area of almsgiving (that is, acts of charity, which involves much more than giving money, but includes it, as well as acts of giving food, water, clothing, shelter, education, healing, etc.). Greater faith is needed in the giving God who gives us faith to be released in giving with our hearts full of joy, with excitement and never from obligation. Obligation giving (like demanded tithing) is for slaves and not for sons. It is for the immature. Faith forgives and restores improper almsgiving.
Hope is the answer for our inability and cold-heartedness in prayer because it produces expectation, confidence and trust. Hope is the essence of prayer because it also involves the decision to have something bigger in our lives than ourselves. That is hope. It requires us ‘to go into your inner room and shut your door’ closing out everything but the Lord. Hope is in God’s forgiveness for not giving our hearts and minds to prayer.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus