A Prayer for Joy
By Meg Bucher
“Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.” Philippians 1:25 NLT
The joy of your faith. Paul is writing to a group of people dear to his heart. The Philippians befriended Paul, prayed for and helped him when he was in need. When debating which would be better, to die and meet Christ or live and preach Christ, Paul couldn’t choose! He chose joy over and over. No matter what the circumstance, Paul understood what it meant to find joy in Jesus. Joy isn’t the fleeting feeling of happiness but the rock-solid hope in Christ Jesus. And because he chose joy, Paul rejoiced! The apostle Jude wrote:
“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.” - Jude 3 NLT
Joy is worth fighting for! Though it cannot be taken from us who live in Christ Jesus, we surely do forget about it sometimes! Daily life can distract us from the joy we have in Jesus. Yet, Jude reminds us of the faith that God has entrusted to us. We are his holy people. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” - 1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT
There will always be something or someone threatening to distract us from our joy. We must choose daily to fight the good fight of faith. To remember the joy we have in Jesus.
You are pure joy, creating the heavens and the earth and all we see and know in Your goodness. Father God, we run into Your loving arms today, so incredibly thankful for joy. Thankful that joy isn’t the same as fleeting feelings of happiness. Thankful for Your faithfulness to create and implement joy in our hearts and lives. Thank You, God, for the joy we have in Jesus. We cling to it in our desperate days, God, as we cry out to You. And we cling to joy when we are rejoicing in gladness. Constant joy echos off the borders of our hearts because of You, God, and the compassion You have for us. The perfect love which You express towards us. We are so thankful for You. So thankful for joy.
Solidify our faith more than ever before, God. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit in us through Christ Jesus, sharpen our senses to be on guard. Firm our stance in the faith. Develop courage and bravery in us which we cannot conjure on our own, to face trials and fight them …or to wait on You. We want Your will for our lives, God. Your good plan, which You promise for us. Your purposes, which You express through our lives, to Your glory.
When we are weak God, give us strength. Make us strong in You, God, and mighty in Your power. Strength to be humble, gentle, meek, empathetic, and kind. Strength to have the depth of perception we need to see the people in our lives the way You see them, Father. Strength to pray for our enemies, for the people who have devastated us. Give us the strength to obediently forgive them, and place them in Your hands.
Anything which has, is, or will threaten our joy … in the name of Jesus, we pray it be eliminated, removed, and the slate wiped clean, God. Let nothing distract us from the joy we have in Jesus. Let us be amazing stewards of the faith You have entrusted us with. Help us to love the people in our lives, God. Help us to love them well, as You would love them.
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/torwai
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team. Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls.
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Originally published Monday, 20 March 2023.