Despite our best efforts to nurture an attitude of joyfulness in our children, only God can bring about lasting change in a child’s heart. Before you begin leading your children through this study on joy, spend time alone with God interceding for His help.
You can use the sample prayer below. Or, if you prefer, you can build your own prayer using the verses provided under “Scripture-guided prayer.”
Lord, You make me glad by Your works O Lord. You give me 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). I 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. I bow down in worship before You, my Lord and Maker. With You as my God, I can rest in comfort, knowing I am one of the flock under Your care (Psalm 95:1-7). What joy there is in knowing that You hear my cry for mercy and respond as my strength and shield. As I trust in You, please give me a heart that leaps with joy as I give You thanks (Psalm 28:6-7). You reign in my heart and over all the earth – I need no other reason to rejoice.
As I read in Your Word that I am 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 children, ________ and ________. Please shower them with the joy of Your presence as they read Your Word and follow You along the path of life You lead them on (Psalm 16:11, Psalm 19:8, Psalm 119:111). When they are frightened, please assure them that those who love You can rejoice in Your protection (Psalm 5:6-12). If sin causes distance between You and my children, please send Your Holy Spirit to teach them 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 ________ and ________ to experience the joy of knowing You reminds me of how I feel on Christmas Eve when I fill their stockings. My prayer is that they will embrace You with the same kind of unbridled enthusiasm with which they approach their Christmas treasures.
Now, as I pray for our family, I ask that we will understand that our faith is of far greater worth than gold. As life’s trials refine us, I pray that our faith will be proved genuine and that others will 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.
Read and pray through one or more of the selected Scriptures under each heading. Focus on listening to God and allowing His Spirit to direct you as you pray.
Begin by thanking God for giving you joy through the power of His Holy Spirit.
Psalm 66:1-5 | Psalm 97:1-6 | Isaiah 12:1-6 | John 15:9-11 | Hebrews 12:2-3
Acknowledge the areas in your life where you are lacking joy or peace.
Psalm 51:7-9,10-12 | Psalm 139:23-24 | Luke 12:22-30 | Philippians 4:6-7 | 1 Peter 5:6-9
Thank God for ways you have seen your family members rejoicing, even in difficulties.
Ask God to help you and your children live joyfully in good times as well as in hard times.
Psalm 4:6-8 | Psalm 5:11-12 | Psalm 94:18-19 | John 16:24 | Romans 15:13