Focal passage: Philippians 1:3-11
Paul set the example of praying with joy in verse 4 when he tells the church at Phillipi he is “always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer” (Phil. 1:4).
This is significant because Paul was able to make this statement while imprisoned in Rome.
He provides this example to us that no matter the circumstances, we still can experience joy in prayer.
Our lesson writer provides a simple approach to pray with joy.
We can find joy in what God has done in the past, what God is doing right now and what God will do in the future.
As a parent of five young adults, I find so many things to pray about!
I find this approach to praying with joy to be very applicable as I pray for each of them.
As I reflect on the past experience of raising children, I find such joy in the ways God has provided for, developed and matured each one.
I find joy in praying for what God is doing right now as I enjoy the maturity and spiritual fellowship with each adult. Then, I find joy in anticipation of all God will do in their lives as adults in the years to come.
There is something so key in finding joy that we see the big picture that God’s got this, in every time of life – the past, the present and the future.
Depending on your season of life, you may find that you reflect more on the joys of the past, than the joys of the future or vice versa.
Paul’s days of traveling on missionary journeys were over and he could have focused his thoughts on what he was not going to be able to do anymore, but instead, he found joy in what he believed God would do in the lives of the believers in Phillipi.
He prayed that they would be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (verse 11).
May that be our focus too!
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