Prayer Focus: The Fruits of the Spirit:: JOY.
Central Scripture: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Wonderful God, today I set before me the example of Your Son, and ask you humbly that my family be able to approach life the way He did. He knew that He was born to die an agonizing, lonely death on a cross, yet not even the tortuous anticipation of what was coming could dissuade Him from his appointed purpose. In everything He faced…in everything He endured…He did not allow Himself to be overwhelmed by His circumstances, but remained overwhelmed by You and Your plan for His life. He knew something better was coming than anything life could send Him, and that changed everything for Him.
Really, that changed everything for us.
So God, looking at Jesus’ example, I ask You today to cultivate in my family the fruit of joy. As Your Spirit continues the work You have begun in us, please let us live as Jesus did.
Life has so much for us to endure, God. There are hard things and scary things and uncertain things for us to navigate every day. But we do not live as children of darkness, Father. We are Your children, and we live in the full knowledge that what we see is not all that there is. There is plenty of trouble in this world, yet in Your mercy You have already told us that You’ve overcome it all.
Father, as my husband walks through this world as a man seeking Your heart, help Him to have joy. Help him to be obviously different from the world’s template for manhood, and let his countenance point watching eyes back to You. I pray against spirits of discouragement, frustration, worry, anger, and stress, and ask for joy to prevail in his heart in every situation. Let Him shine as a lamp on a stand.
And Father, as my children grow up in a world that seems so different from any other generation, I am reminded, God, that there is really nothing new under the sun. The things children today face seem more dire…more urgent…more scary than anything before in history, yet You have overcome even this. So Lord, let my children have joy, knowing in every situation that there is more happening than meets the eye. Let them have joy, understanding that a greater reward is coming. Let them have joy, helping them to stand out among their generation.
Of all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, joy is possibly the one that requires the most explanation. Let my husband, my children, and I be characterized by joy that raises questions and draws hearts to You. Thank you for the hope of joy, God, and that we are not subject to the shifting sands and changing tides of the world. Our joy rests not in circumstances, but in You and Your promises to us.