Praying for children has been heavy on my heart during this current season of school and church buildings being closed with the need for social distancing, self isolation, and stay at home orders. I pray often that families will be able to shield children to some extent from the negative emotions that cling to this COVID-19 pandemic. This is day seven of the devotions from my “The Heart of a Child” book to help each of us pray for a child of any age, including our age. Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you understand, and live, some important traits of living and praying with the heart of a child.
Here is day seven with an important reminder to find joy through your relationship with Jesus and pray that your example would help others to know the joy of the Lord.
Know the Joy of the Lord
“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.”
Nehemiah 12:43 (NIV)
How joyful are you? Would your closest friends agree? Would strangers agree? Why? What is the source of your joy? Does your level of joy vary? Why? How does living with the joy of the Lord change the amount of joy you express in your day to day life? What does the joy of the Lord mean to you? How can you help others to find and have it? What is it about your relationship with the Lord that brings you the most joy? How often do you express that reason, and that joy, to others? Do you think the children around you, and the child within you, believe you have great joy in the Lord? Why?
Living with joy is not easy, especially when much of what we label as joy is based upon the circumstances of life being in our favor. The joy of the Lord, however, tends to be based upon two things. One, a recognition of the Lord’s presence with us, and two, an understanding of what the Lord has done for us that only He could have done. When we help the children around us understand those two things, we set them on a path where the joy of the Lord can be found. When the joy of the Lord is in us, there will be no hiding it.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to fill you with a joy that can only come from Him. Pray that your expressions of joy will help the children in your life to know that true joy can be found when we seek it in the Lord. Pray for wisdom in leading others to see a path of joy when the journey they are walking is filled with difficulty. Pray that you would be an example to the children around you when it comes to ways to express the joy the Lord has filled you with.