I believe you are “lacking hope” because you are “lacking faith.” Faith and hope go together, and as we shall see, faith is also vitally connected with prayer and that may be why it seems like your prayers are not getting answered.

In the great “faith chapter” of the Bible we read, “Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). This is not so much a “definition of faith,” but rather a “product of faith.” Faith produces hope! Faith gives you the ASSURANCE of the things we HOPE for that God has promised us in His Word. For example, in Romans 8:23 we read that believers are “eagerly waiting for the adoption, the REDEMPTION OF THE BODY.” God has promised us in many scriptures that our body will one day be redeemed when Christ returns to take us home to glory. We read in Philippians 3:20-21a, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODY THAT IT MAY BE CONFORMED TO HIS GLORIOUS BODY.” God, who cannot lie (see Titus 1:2), expects us to believe His promise and when we do “faith gives us the assurance of this Blessed Hope.” If we read on in Romans it says, “For we were SAVED IN THIS HOPE, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (verses 24-25). Once we get to glory “all the things we hoped for” will be realized and faith will turn to sight for we will no longer need it to lay hold of God’s promises to us. You ask, “Is it a sin to feel like you don’t have any hope.” In light of what we’ve just seen from scripture, it is indeed a sin to doubt God’s Word which then leads to having no hope. When God promises us something and you don’t believe it, you are calling God a liar. I would encourage you to read Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:13-20 where God gives us a PROMISE of a future HOPE and He expects us to believe it because it is “impossible for God to lie.”

Now let’s address your question concerning prayer. You ask, “Is there a certain way to pray?” Yes, there is! You must “pray in FAITH.” God’s bids us to have boldness “to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” and to “draw near with a true heart in full ASSURANCE OF FAITH” (Hebrews 10:19 & 22a). In Ephesians 3:12 we read, “in whom (Christ) we have boldness and access with confidence through FAITH in Him.” These passages teach us that when we come to God in prayer, we must sincerely BELIEVE He has invited us to do so. Faith gives us boldness and confidence, which removes doubt and a lack of hope.

We must also “pray in accordance with God’s WILL.” We see this in 1st John 5:14-15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” If we don’t know His will in the matter we are praying about, we may end up asking “according to OUR WILL” and we can’t expect to receive an answer then. We see this taught in James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Now the question is: How do we know what God’s will is? Ah, we learn God’s will THROUGH HIS WORD! Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” Dear friend, if you are a believer in Christ you need to “abide in Christ” (which means continue in fellowship with Christ through His Word) and then “His words will abide in you.” Then, when you approach the Throne of Grace to pray, you will ask for things that please Him and He will surely answer your prayers. He may test your faith by not answering immediately, but in time your desires (which are also HIS DESIRES) “will be done for you.”  (DO)  (495.5)