Praying for Joy!
When life has tumbled your around until you don’t know which side is up, when too many circumstances are outside of your control, when boredom or burden so beats you down that next steps are agony; you need joy.
Not just an emotional high. Not a party. Not escape through some addiction of your own making.
You need joy, God-breathed, Spirit-infused, irrepressible, heart-expanding JOY! And the only One who can give it is God.
That’s where today’s prayer comes in. I have prayed this prayer over and over when life gets complicated and feels like it squeezes every bit of hope and joy out of me.
I pray that God, the source of hope,
Will fill you completely with joy and peace
Because you trust in him.
Then you will overflow with confident hope
Through the power of the Holy Spirit.
he prayer begins with God as the source of hope because that’s where joy begins, in the place where God’s hope reigns. I can’t hope myself into joy or any other state of well-being. Nor can I positive-think myself into joy. I have to go to the source of hope for refilling. I have to connect every part of my hopes to what God hopes for me.
And what is it that God hopes for me? Everything that gives me His abundant life. Everything that anchors me in His character so that my trust in God is never compromised. Everything that God sent Jesus to accomplish for me and in me. This is a hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5) as most of my hopes do.
When God is my complete and purest source of hope, His hope begins its trickle through my heart. As I keep focused on every hope God has for me; it picks up speed to full gush. Joy comes in the gush.
Do you see what the companion gift of joy is? Peace. Heart settlement. Soul calm. This prayer reminds me that sometimes I waste my time trying to pray for changes I think will bring joy. Instead, I must pray for a new infusion of God’s hope that will bring the joy I need.
Because God-sourced hope brings joy, it also strengthens my trust in God. Not because I think something will change to bring my joy, but because I trust with renewed vigor that what God plans for me will bring deep joy even if I have to wait for it.
And if I wait for it, I can wait with joy. No hand-wringing here.
I wish I could tell you this prayer describes every day of my life. It doesn’t. That’s why I must pray it. Just like every other prayer, it cleans something away in order to bring its special gift.
Pray it for a week with me and see what God’s joy looks like in your life.
Prayer Prompts for the Week
Is God your source of all hope? Pray until you know only God brings true hope.
Where is your trust? Pray to anchor it in all of God’s resources without giving God any instructions about how to dispense them.
Where there is no peace, there is no joy. It’s a warning sign. Pray asking God to reconnect you with His hope. Live there until joy and peace show up.
What powers God’s hope in us? His resurrected Spirit! Then pray our first prayer again from Ephesians 1:18-20.
As you review God’s greatness through worship, do you recognize some part of the joy God wants you to have? Pray your gratitude.
Begin the week praying that God will fill you with hope. Then, look for the ways it shows up in joy and peace.
What have you learned about joy by praying this prayer? Thank God for new lessons.
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