There are many scriptures that mention joy. John 15:7-11 reminds us, “If we abide in Him and His Word abides in us, we should ask whatever we wish, and it will be done for us.” We are then told to abide in His love. It is important to note that if God’s Word abides in us, we will pray according to His will. Therefore, anything we request in our prayers must be aligned to the will and purposes of God, if we expect them to be answered. This is a joyful hope and worth some meditation!
Do you regularly meditate on the wonders of God, His blessings and kindnesses, His faithfulness and provisions? What a wonderful way to slip into slumber; remembering the faithful acts of love God has demonstrated throughout your day/life! What sweet sleep you will enjoy, and what peaceful dreams!
“My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.” Psalm 63:5-7 (NAS)
We serve a God of eternal hope who fills us with joy and peace. Why? So that we overflow with hope…. And serve as His reflection. We are His representatives, ambassadors of Christ. With hope, and the grace of God, we can do all things. Hope enables us to journey down unknown and dangerous paths with a song of joy in our hearts. Hope has the ability to spur us on to do good works and push us through the darkest of times. Joy, praise, and unspoken feelings of joy are one way we, His creation, can give Him the glory He deserves.
Unfortunately, It is easy to loose joy when we are suffering a pain or sorrow. Should depression or despair be your companions of late, it is most likely your focus has moved to something other than your Savior’s face. Jesus, because of the joy awaiting Him, endured the cross. He looked beyond His present circumstances of suffering to the eternal glory He would soon partake.
Can you look beyond your present circumstances and rejoice with a joyful heart, knowing that what you suffer now is not worth comparing to the glory soon to be revealed in you? Can you maintain joy in your valley and sing of it to your Savior? This would be a beautiful sacrifice of praise and a witness to many.
Let the joy of the Lord be your strength at all times. CHOOSE to be joyful. Make a decision to see the positive blessings that are to come, or that are all around you. We have been gifted with an inexpressible joy, thanks to the love and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you open His gift with a decision to sing, speak, or even whisper His praise. You will find your joy grows and matures when you praise Him in your valley.
“There is nothing dreary or doubtful about (the life). It is meant to be continually joyful…We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength.” ~Amy Carmichael
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name.” Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)
In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Colossians 1:22 (NKJV)
I want to see with holy eyes,
And intervene for those in need.
For all the children who break Your heart,
Grant them mercy… do not depart.
My hope forever lives in You.
Be my strength. Be my guide. Be my friend until I die.
I will no longer hide from You.
Your grace and mercy is my shield.
Remove my rags and wash me clean.
Forever Yours, this heart of mine.
No longer mine but forever Yours…..
This heart of mine.
This heart of mine.
Forever Yours, this heart of mine.
“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2 (NIV)
“ Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.” Zechariah 3:3-5 (NKJV)
Today’s Guest post is written by Sophia Reed, you can learn a little more about Sophia at the end of this article.
A common misconception about prayer is that it is a formal ritual that has to take place between you and God. Some people feel they have to pray for hours and hours on end in order for their prayers to be heard. Some feel they must only pray for others and they have no right to pray for their own needs. Some people are confused about prayer and are completely lost on how to go about it all together. Prayer is one of the things that confuses many Christians. Either they do not understand how to do it effectively or they do not understand the significance.
Before I get into the power of prayer, one must understand that God is not a genie. Just because you pray for a million dollars every day and truly believe in your heart that you are going to get it, does not mean it is going to happen.
The Bible teaches us “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20.
This verse alone gives people the impression that if they truly believe something and they do not doubt, whatever it is they prayed for will happen. However you cannot take the verse out of context. It does not matter how much you want something or how much you believe it, if God does not want you to have it, then you won’t. The bigger picture in prayer is understanding God, and understanding God’s will. When you pray in accordance to God’s will, you will receive whatever you pray for because you know it is God’s will for your prayers to be answered.
The Bible teaches us in James 4: 2-3 “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
So yes, prayer does change things, and through it you can have whatever you want from God. But first you must know God’s will to ask for the right thing and your motives have to be right when you pray in order for your prayers to be answered.
You must remember that God knows your heart; He knows who you are, and what you really think. So if you are praying for someone else, but the only reason why you are doing it is so that others can see how religious you are so that you can get praises from others on what a wonderful Christian you; then you are blocking your prayers from being answered. If you are praying to be successful in an area, but the only reason why you want this is to make a lot of money and spend it on material things that do not matter, then your prayer will be blocked.
It is important to know the power of prayer because prayer is the most powerful spiritual weapon that you have. However, our prayers are often not effective because we are not doing it properly.
In closing if you want your prayer to work, spend time with God, so that you can know Him and His ways. It is through the direction of Holy Spirit that you will learn how to pray which will make your prayers more effective.
About the Author:
It is not always easy to be joyful at ALL times. However, with the right perspective and a thankful heart we can try to change our attitude. Pain, loneliness, sorrow are all a part of life. We can become bitter and focus on the pain and suffering or we can look up and remember that life on earth is but for a second. Everything we experience and everyone we meet has a lesson and purpose to give and teach. I pray you CHOOSE to be joyful today inside your circumstance. God knows what you are feeling and wants to have a conversation with you. He will encourage and advise you. Never stop praying!!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
“For this is God,Our God forever and ever;He will be our guideEven to death.” Psalm 48:14 (NKJV)
So what did Corrie ten Boom mean when she wrote these words?
While you are in prayer, do you take time to listen for instructions? One of the ingredients to prayer is listening to the voice of God. By listening during your prayer time, you will find guidance given by the Holy Spirit. Directions will be sent your way so that you can navigate and steer your spiritual wheel in the way God wants you to go.
Now if prayer is your spare tire, it probably means you pray ONLY when you get a flat and need God’s assistance. Making petitions of God is never a bad idea. He will always listen to sincere prayers of repentance and requests for help. Lovingly, He will direct you out of your trouble.
However, wouldn’t it be better to learn ways to avoid repeated pitfalls or flat tires? This requires a listening heart and an agreement to not only hear His instructions, but to receive them with an intent to carry them out.
Why not decide today to make prayer your steering wheel in life?