Prayers For Joy And Laughter

A prayer from Knowing Jesus that I hope will brighten your day.

Prayers For Joy And Laughter

Dear Lord Jesus, there are so many sad and troublesome things to face in the world today, which too often cause our hearts to become weighed down with difficulties and doubts – but I pray that Your joy would fill my heart and strengthen my soul.. and that times of joyful laughter would replace those seasons of weeping and hardship.

I pray that in Christ I may be clothed in strength and dignity, wisdom and grace and that I may be enabled to laugh in the storms and not to fear the future, knowing that our times are in Your hands and You have promised to draw near to each one of us.. and be with us in every circumstance of life that may come our way..

I pray that Your joy and laughter may flow through me to others who are facing similar difficulties and hardships – and that together we may maintain an ever deepening trust in You as we look for Your any day return to take us to be with Yourself – this I ask in Jesus name,

Amen

Joy beyond understanding

Joy “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Psalm 16:11)

Experiencing deep connection with God. I find there’s nothing like it. So much so that it’s hard to explain it. There’s no useful analogy. Even when it only lasts a moment, it shifts everything. I wonder if you’ve every experienced that?

For you will laugh

Last week I was looking at imagination and play, so folks, this week I am looking for some laughs.

After all, why should Discordians have all the fun? High time we deconstructed the ‘false dichotomy’ between seriousness and humour ourselves. But first, let’s start with popular perception.

Often Christianity is seen as a somber religion with Christ setting the tone as the man of sorrows. And there is some truth to this. After all, the crucifixion was seriously nasty business. But personally I’ve always such views as lop sided. For just as the crucifixion cannot be fully appreciated without the resurrection, sorrow cannot be fully appreciated without the laughs to come. So, here again are some verses I’ve found useful to reflect on:

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6)

You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the beasts of the earth. (Job 5:22)

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. (Job 8:21)

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2)

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. (Proverbs 14:13)

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (Luke 6:21)

Again, there’s a prophetic dimension to this laughter, and therein lies a paradox: we aren’t taking life seriously if we only take life seriously.

Experiencing God, Experiencing Joy

Overjoyed Experience, experiential, experientialism … are these words you associate with Christianity? Have you ever encountered people who insist, Christianity is about dogma, not experience? Is that your experience maybe?

Recently I came across a comment from a former Wiccan who said, "I didn't know that real Christianity was experiential, that true Christians have a deeply personal relationship with God." I thought, how unfortunate. I then thought, sadly, how unfortunate most introductory courses on Christianity focus on the essential teachings, without any teaching on experience! No wonder so many people get such jaundiced impressions.

It got me thinking about the range of emotions that people experience, in everyday life and in their encounters with God. What reflections have the apostles and prophets left for us? As it turns out, there's heaps if we care to look. I began … with joy. 

Deuteronomy 16:14 
Be joyful at your feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.

1 Chronicles 29:17 
I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

Ezra 6:22 
For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Nehemiah 12:43 
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Esther 8:16 
For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.

Job 6:10
Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

Psalm 16:11 
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence

Psalm 21:6 
Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

Psalm 33:3 
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Psalm 45:15 
They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king.

Psalm 51:12 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 71:23 
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed.

Psalm 94:19 
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 100:2 
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Psalm 126:3 
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Proverbs 12:20 
There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.

Matthew 28:8 
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Mark 4:16 
Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.

Luke 24:52
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

John 15:11 
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Acts 13:52 
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:12 
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

2 Corinthians 7:4 
In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

Galatians 5:22 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

Philippians 1:4 
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy

1 Thessalonians 5:16 
Be joyful always

James 1:2 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds

1 Peter 1:8 
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy

Much to reflect on … and much more if we look deeper.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Here’s proof that consumerism doesn’t by happiness.

Donna and I spent our honeymoon on Vanuatu and on the island of Tanna we met the happiest people ever living in dirt floored huts. And here’s me, reading this after having one hell of a stressful week and just recovering from sickness after my immune system crashed.

I am seriously considering downshifting. Seriously.