There are tons of Bible verses on joy and happiness that we can use to experience the joy of the Lord each day. These Scriptures are infused with hope and strength, and we can use these Scriptures to pray with power! Have you ever wondered how you can pray with more joy?
In the chaotic world we are living in, we continually need to be reminded of the joy and happiness we can experience through Christ. Let’s take a look at how we can pray with more joy, and how we can use 21 Bible verses on joy and happiness to pray in ways that will give us hope and strength!
What’s the Difference Between Joy and Happiness?
Joy is not a fuzzy gooey feeling, but a powerful decision we can make daily to choose joy in the midst of our circumstances. Paul encouraged the church in Philippi to choose this same joy.
To the Philippian church he wrote,
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…Philippians 1:3-5
The Greek word for joy in this passage is chara, which means cheerfulness, calm delight, gladness, greatly exceeding joy (source). I love this definition because this type of joy cannot be manufactured, but beautifully flows from a heart that is filled to the brim with the goodness of God!
So how is happiness defined in Scripture? One word for happiness in the Greek comes from the word euthymeō, which means to be of good spirits, gladden, to make cheerful, to be joyful, and of good courage (source).
This type of merriness, or cheerfulness in found in Scriptures like,
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. James 5:13
I also love this definition because happiness is much deeper than a fleeting emotion, but an experience of joy and fulfilment that surpasses our current circumstances. That is how we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can still have unshakable joy and happiness in the midst of difficult situations in life.
That is how Paul was able to boldly proclaim in James 1:2,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…
Is it really possible to experience joy in the midst of trials and suffering? There are many Bible verses on joy and happiness that we can focus on in the midst of our pain. When we rely on the supernatural joy of the Lord through the Holy Spirit, we can still experience joy in the midst of difficulty. Only through the grace of God!
How to Pray with Joy
Several years ago I was at my sister’s house and came across a box of letters I’ve had since the sixth grade. Immediately a flood of memories rushed through my mind, as I reminisced on sleepovers, camping trips, and joyful moments with my closest friends.
As I carefully thumbed through years of sweet memories, it reminded me of the letters God has written to us through His Word. The book of Philippians is a powerful letter written by Paul to a church in Philippi. Though Paul was not able to physically be with the Philippians due to his imprisonment, he stayed connected to them through his letters.
In his letter, Paul encouraged the church to cultivate joy in the midst of their circumstances. As I read through the book of Philippians, I have discovered five strategic ways we can experience more joy in our prayer lives.
1. Pray with Thanksgiving
I thank my God every time I remember you.Philippians 1:3
Paul begins his letter to the Philippian church by thanking God for their impact and influence in his life. Do you have people in your life who you are thankful for? Have you recently thanked God for placing them in your path? A heart of thanksgiving not only gives us a positive perspective on life, but it increases our joy!
Later on in the book Paul exhorts his friends to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and thanksgiving, to present their requests to God (Philippians 4:6). We can truly experience joy in our hearts when we surrender our anxious thoughts to God. Instead of anxiety and fear, we will experience the powerful peace of God that surpasses our understanding!
Related: Check out this post on ways we can overcome anxiety and experience the peace of God!
Lord, I thank you for filling my heart with your joy through the Holy Spirit. I know that I can experience your joy and true happiness when I pray with a heart of thanksgiving! I thank you right now for my family and friends. Thank you for bringing them into my life. As I think of the ways you have blessed me, I also release any thoughts of fear or anxiety over to you. Please flood my heart with your peace and joy as I trust in you each day! Amen.
2. Pray with Humility
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:3-4
After spending time in prayer thanking God for the people who enrich our lives, another way to increase our joy is to pray for their needs before praying for our own. Even in the relationships where we sometimes experience tension, praying for God to touch and heal the hearts of our loved ones will give us renewed compassion and empathy–and fill our hearts with the joy of Christ.
Lord, increase my joy by giving me a heart of service to you. Help me to consider the interest of others above my own, and give me a humble heart that seeks to honor you in all that I do. Amen.
3. Pray without Grumbling or Complaining
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure…Philippians 2:14a
If we are not careful, our prayers can sometimes turn into grumbling sessions with God. The Israelites in the Old Testament were notorious for this. God provided manna, and they complained about it. They were tired of the harsh heat of the desert and grumbled against God. It is easy to forget the Lord’s blessings of provision and develop “greener grass” syndrome.
Whether we find ourselves in a desert season or in the promised land, we must do everything without complaining! Replacing a grumbling attitude for a heart of gratitude will increase our joy and give us reason to lift up our hands in praise to God!
Lord, this day I choose to turn my grumbling attitude into a grateful heart. Help me to remember to do everything without grumbling and complaining. I know that through your Holy Spirit I will become blameless and pure, and will experience your complete joy. Amen.
4. Pray God’s Word
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Negative thoughts and attitudes are major joy-stealers. I have found that the best way to combat negative thinking is by praying the Word of God. Is there anything more true, lovely, or admirable than uttering the very words of God? Turn your favorite Bible verses into prayers, and you will walk in greater joy and peace!
We cannot pray the Word of God if we do not know the Word of God.
That is why getting into in-depth Bible studies that help us uncover the gems of truth from scripture are so important. Kari Denker from Stone Soup for Five has a Bible study called Growing in Joy that is a great way to get into God’s Word.
Her approach is different because it is not a “fill-in-the-blank” kind of study, but gives you the freedom to study the Bible at your own pace and in whatever format that works best for you. Are you a list-maker? Make bullet points of your insights and discoveries. Artistic? Draw and color your way through the Bible (she has awesome doodling guides!) There is no right or wrong Bible study method. Simply dive into God’s Word!
5. Pray Creatively
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Have you ever received a letter or card in the mail that brightened your day? Everyone loves opening their mailboxes to a beautifully decorated piece of stationary with a message written especially for them. Our prayers are precious letters to God who desires to meet with us daily.
Consider creative journaling as a way to draw closer to God in prayer. You can use a special spiral notebook or a simple journal for your Bible study notes and prayers. Add some pretty washi tape to your notebook or other faith stickers. Bible journaling stamps and erasable colored pencils are also great ways to get creative!
Choose a scripture to serve as the foundation of your prayer, and pour your heart out to the Lord. I like to think of Mary of Bethany and how she poured out her expensive jar of perfume at Jesus’ feet. Present your prayers as a fragrant offering to Jesus. Lay your cares and concerns at his feet.
This type of prayer is powerful and will truly fill your heart with joy!
Related: Check out in this post how to make your own War Binder to pray with power and joy!
21 Bible Verses on Joy and Happiness
Here are 21 powerful Bible verses on joy and happiness that we can use to pray prayers of joy, and to cultivate lives of grace and peace!
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give!
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy…
May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy..
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
When we use these powerful Bible verses on joy and happiness, we can pray more effectively and experience lives filled with hope and unspeakable joy!
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