I’ve heard it said that it’s easy to praise God when life is good and skies are blue, but it’s harder to lift prayers of joy when trials loom large and stormy seas threaten to overwhelm us.
I suppose that’s true in a sense, but over the course of my life, I see myself having a much harder time remembering God during seasons of joy than I do in seasons of difficulty.
This realization makes me a little sad, I must admit, because it ought not be so.
God is my very best friend, after all.
He should be the first One I run to in celebration.
In good times and bad, His character and His provision for me mean I can have joy no matter my circumstances.
And in that spirit, I share with you these four psalms. Maybe you’ll lift them as prayers of joy from a full heart. Maybe you’ll offer them as humble confessions of truth, a prayer for joy to return even in the desert of hard times.
Let’s get started praying the Scriptures for joy.
Prayers of Joy
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like You?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
You will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
I will also praise You with the harp
for Your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to You with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to You;
my soul also, which You have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of Your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
For the Lord is good;
His steadfast love endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations.
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help,
and You have healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
and His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By Your favor, O Lord,
You made my mountain stand strong;
You hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To You, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it tell of Your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my Helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for joy unending that comes from lingering long in Your presence and then remembering Your presence all day long. Please draw my heart ever closer to Yours, that You would be the first One I run to when my cup runs over with good news and celebration. Because after all, You are the Giver of my cup and every single thing in it. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.
As I read through these psalms in preparation for this post, it occurred to me that they would be great words to hide in my heart, so that when I want to celebrate with my Savior, the words are right there waiting for me.
If you agree, you can find a two-page printable with the Joy Scripture Memory Cards here.
What comes after prayers of joy? Give these a try: