You make us glad by Your works O Lord. You give us so many reasons to sing for joy! (Psalm 92:4) You have made known Your salvation and shown Your righteousness to all nations (Psalm 98:2). We come before You with thanksgiving and praise because You, the Lord, are the great King above all gods. In Your hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to You. The sea is Yours for You made it, and Your hands formed the dry land. We bow down in worship before You, our Lord and Maker. With You as our God, we can rest in comfort, knowing we are the flock under Your care (Psalm 95:1-7). What joy there is in knowing that You hear our cry for mercy and respond as our strength and shield. As we trust in You, please give us hearts that leap with joy as we give You thanks (Psalm 28:6-7). You reign in our hearts and over all the earth – we need no other reason to rejoice.
As I read in Your Word that we are to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all circumstances, I am reminded that too often my outlook becomes negative and I forget to pray and be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). When Satan tries to steal my joy by infecting my heart with pessimism, self-pity or anxiety, please remind me that I can turn to You and Your love will bring me consolation and restore joy to my soul (Psalm 94:18-19). Please make me glad and remind me to delight in the joy of Your presence, despite the constancy of life’s demands (Psalm 21:6). I want to be fully aware of my eternal blessings so I can choose joy in my everyday duties of _______________________________ (list some never-ending tasks such as going to the office every day, picking up things left behind by others, preparing food that is inhaled and gone in moments, attending to the call "Mom!" or "Dad!" again and again). More significantly, when I am immersed in painful or difficult circumstances, please send Your Holy Spirit to give a deep sense of Your presence, to bring peace to my soul even though there is turmoil in my mind and heart.
It excites me to pray for joy for my child, ________. Please shower ________ with the joy of Your presence as he/she reads Your Word and follows You along the path of life You lead him/her on (Psalm 16:11, Psalm 19:8, Psalm 119:111). When ________ is frightened, please assure him/her that those who love You can rejoice in Your protection (Psalm 5:6-12). If sin causes distance between You and ________, please send Your Holy Spirit to teach him/her that there is great joy in repenting and restoring a right relationship with You (Psalm 51:8,12). Praying through this myriad of ways for ________ to experience the joy of knowing You reminds me of how I feel on Christmas Eve when I fill his/her stocking. My prayer is that ________ would embrace You with the same kind of unbridled enthusiasm with which he/she approaches his/her Christmas treasures.
Now, as I pray for our family, I ask that we would understand that our faith is of far greater worth than gold. As life’s trials refine us, I pray that our faith would be proved genuine and that others would see in us an inexpressible and glorious joy that results in praise, glory and honour for You. Though we have not seen You, we love You and thank You that we are receiving the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:7-9). Amen.
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