Joy in the House of Prayer
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 107:1-9 | Isaiah 54:1-57:13 | Ephesians 6:1-24 | Proverbs 24:8
Today’s Scripture Focus: Isaiah 54:1-57:13
“These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7 NIV).
Prayer should be a joyful experience. Whether personal times of prayer, or corporate times of prayer, those times should be characterized by joy.
Yet often, our prayers lives and prayer meetings are sleepy and boring. They lack focus. Our words become mechanical, thoughtless and flippant. We pray in unbelief and accomplish little if anything at all. One of the enemy’s greatest victories is found when a prayer meeting loses life and vitality and becomes a boring, redundant exercise proving the faithfulness of a few.
There is joy in his presence (fullness of joy) and so when we connect to him in prayer, we can expect a surge of joy. When we pray together, we can expect that joy to be multiplied and to overflow.
Don’t allow your personal times of prayer to become redundant and boring. Try something fresh and new. Don’t get in a rut where you begin to pray mindlessly—and without any real faith.
When you pray with others, be careful not to drone on and on endlessly. Nothing drains the life out of a prayer meeting like a longwinded prayer, or praying exactly the same phrases each week predictably. People tune out. It’s not time to catch up on your personal devotions; it’s time to pray together. It is not a time to try to impress others with flowery sentences and archaic phrases.
Learn to pray corporately instead of as individuals in a group. It helps to remember the “B’s” of corporate prayer:
Be brief, be bold (pray in faith), be biblical (pray the scriptures, claim the promises), Burden (pay attention to the burdens and insights the Holy Spirit gives), build on each other’s prayers, breakthrough (remain focused on one thing at a time until you sense there is a breakthrough).
Expect joy in your personal times with God. Come expecting to be a part of a joyful experience when you gather to pray. It is God’s intent to bring joy to your prayer gathering.
Father, in your presence is fullness of joy. Help me to be aware of your presence as I pray that I might find the joy that flows from being with you. Help me to bring that joy to others as we gather to pray. Strengthen me today with your joy. Amen.