Everyday Prayers for Joy
Everyday Prayers for Joy | by Gina Smith
The word joy became my word a few years ago after God ushered my family and me into a season of very difficult circumstances. It happened one night when I couldn’t sleep. I quietly tiptoed out to our living room, sat on the couch, and wrapped myself in a warm blanket. The only light in the room came from three letters that sat on a shelf: “J-O-Y.” As I sat there, I reflected on what a difficult season we were in and I knew that God wanted me to learn His definition of joy. Not merely an intellectual knowledge of the definition. He wanted joy to be my heart and soul’s down-deep experience.
I came to the end of every single resource I had been clinging to and was forced to sit alone before the Lord. He opened my eyes to the fact that often I find joy in the blessings He has provided for me more than I find joy in Him, the provider of the blessings. I needed to begin the process of learning what it meant to find joy in Christ alone. Those difficult days and that life-changing lesson was the beginning of what God would use to prepare me for the writing of my book Everyday Prayers for Joy!
While studying the meaning of biblical joy, God highlighted what is called the Prayer of Lament. The prayer of lament is the prayer for a suffering soul. It is our fight with our soul to remember that there is a future. I’ve come to believe God gave us the prayer of lament to help us process the suffering we face in this life. Lamenting is the way we come to God when life is overwhelming. In the book of Psalms, we see this type of prayer when the writer is facing very difficult circumstances. We see him crying out to God for deliverance from a particular difficulty, often listing his complaints, describing his suffering, and crying out to God for help.
We are invited to come to God with our questions and pour out our hearts to Him, but in a prayer of lament, there is an eventual choice to remember the truth of God’s character and His past actions as defined in Scripture. This is a choice we will have to make one day at a time, maybe even minute by minute. After we are reminded of who God is and what He has done, God gently and lovingly challenges us to cling to the hope that is found in Him alone.
It is when we focus on the hope that we find in God’s Word that we can experience biblical joy. Biblical joy is found when we focus on God, his perspective, and his precious promises.
More about Everyday Prayers for Joy
What is joy? We can receive fleeting moments of it when we watch sunlight break through the clouds, or see a little child laugh as he blows apart the fluff of a spent dandelion. But there is only one source of true, lasting joy—and that’s our Savior, Jesus.
During a season of unknowns, God opened His Word to author Gina L. Smith and taught her His definition of joy so that she could experience it deep in her heart. He helped her realize that she had been finding joy in His blessings, rather than in Him, the source of those blessings. And she learned how to “count it all joy” (James 1:2) come what may.
Everyday Prayers for Joy is a thirty-day journey through God’s Word that will help you discover the joy that God wants to share with you. He is with you always and can work out all things for good. Fill yourself to overflowing with God’s joy!
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