Hope. It's such an essential part of life. And think of what happens when we lose it. Hopelessness. What a grim prospect!
I really like what Episcopal bishop and citizen of the Choctaw Nation Steven Charleston wrote in his book Cloud Walking:
"Hope is the match, prayer is the fire. If you know someone who needs a little help in getting a prayer life going, ask them if they ever hope for something. It's a safe bet that they do. And all the time. Humans are hopeful creatures. We are in an almost daily state of hope. We hope it won't rain. We hope we get better. We hope we win. Hope is a constant for us in our emotional matrix. Prayer is simply hope captured. Rather than a fleeting wish, through prayer hope becomes a focused intention. Prayer matures hope by allowing God to light a fire."
What an image: "Hope is the match, prayer is the fire." I don't know what shape your spirituality or religion takes, but prayer comes alive in many forms. Whatever works for you, I hope these thoughts and images help you find a way for the fire to be lit!