Do I pray with joy when I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Paul writes: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6
You know, if I received a letter from a fellow believer telling me that every time they pray for me it is with JOY I think my faith would soar to new heights! Sadly, there's probably only a few times I've ever said this to someone, even though I have prayed for joy after answered prayer or when giving thanks for something.
But to be honest, I don't think I pray with JOY often enough at all. Though my prayers always begin with thanksgiving and praise to God, too many prayers are filled with angst and tears and longing and pleas for intervention, and afterwards I get up and feel relief at unloading all that on God, but not often enough do I rise from my prayer time with a JOY-ful attitude.
Maybe some of you are already praying like Paul, but if you're like me, how about we start praying for our fellow believers with JOY?
As Paul said, God is doing a work in them that WILL continue until the return of Jesus so no matter what they are facing God has it all in hand - there are no surprises to Him, it's all under control in light of the Big Picture.
There will still be times when we must cry out to the Lord and intercede over a situation, but we can also pray alongside that with joy. Just like in many of David's psalms - there was a need or a trial, but there was also confidence and JOY and praise!
Many of my prayers this year for Blossom have been anxious prayers about her pregnancy and the associated trials she has faced through it...but from today I'm sprinkling those prayers with JOY.
After all, there is always a reason to be thankful and to praise God - but there's also a reason, given in Paul and King David's example, to be JOYFUL, to even ask for JOY and to open our hearts to receive it.
Today I am praying for you...with JOY.