New Message: The SRT Hymns EP is now available! Close

Prayer: Day

Day 14


Join us today as we read Day 14 of the YouVersion Prayer plan, then come back here and let’s talk about what we’re learning!

  • This has been an incredible stream of comments. What really stood out for me in this passage are the absolutes. ALWAYS be joyful. NEVER stop praying. Be thankful in ALL circumstances. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. It seems so SO hard.

    But the answer follows it. We can do this because we BELONG to Christ. We can be joyful because we have Him to fall back on. Our assurance is in Him. And even if the worst thing on earth happened to us, we would still belong to Him. Not only that, but we can call on Him. And I think praying is crucial in this verse. I know I am not joyful or thankful all the time. But when I find myself rejecting joy and being ungrateful, I pray. I ask God to show me His blessings. I ask Him to give me a joyful heart. And I beg Him to help me be joyful and thankful.

    We belong to Him. It ties it all together. It makes the absolutes possible.

    • Kristin

      You totally summarized what I've been mulling around in my head the last couple of days! Well said :)

  • @Eva and @Laura, thank you for your kind responses– and all of the comments. Reading then has really helped and made me realize that I tend to have a knee jerk reaction sometimes. When I was doubting God because of a tragic incident I should have been praying all the more. It’s difficult but I need to take the time to see the JOY in the midst of the bad– or at least just pray, pray, pray and give thanks!
    I give THANKS to you all and this amazing little community!

  • awarriorstance

    I wrote a blog about today's verses – I hope you ladies will read!

  • You all bring up such great and thought provoking comments about being joyful and giving thanks in all circumstances. It is certainly a challenge in a world filled with sin! But I always find that when I can achieve that importsnt step of praying continually – having a constant conversation with God, it suddenly becomes so much easier for me to find joy (even when things are tough!) and give thanks in all circumstances. Like suddenly my eyes are opened to the good works He has been doing along. Prayer really is an important step in the process of living a life filled with joy and thanksgiving.

    To hear one story of finding joy amidst the tragedy, read this blog entry written by the pastor of one of the victims:

  • @Maria: I think situations like the one in Colorado are the reason God says we need to remain joyful, pray with ceasing and always give thanks. One thing I noticed in the verse about giving thanks is that we are to give thanks IN every situation and not FOR every situation. What happened in Colorado was and is still horrible. We should never be thankful or joyful about such terror. But we can be thankful for those who did survive and that God is still with us, even when something that horrible occurs. Several years ago, I became really sick. So sick that I couldn’t even get out of bed for longer than 10 minutes. At the time, I was so mad at God. How could He take everything I loved from me? It wasn’t until many months after, that I began to see that the enemy intended this for my harm, but God was using it for my and HIS good. We don’t always see the light in the middle of the dark storm. But one thing you can be sure of…God can take a mess and turn it into a masterpiece.

    You will be in my prayers; that God Himself may show you what good will come out of that horrible moment in time. Cling to Jesus dear one, and don’t let go. Who knows, maybe God is teaching us all how to love more.

  • I think maybe the world has warped our understanding of joy. If our joy changes because of our circumstances, then that isn’t joy. I think it’s just an emotion. Like Carrie said, joy is a choice. I think that is why it is said so often in God’s word to be joyful. It’s a choice, not an emotion.

    And by God’s grace and not our own strength, we will all choose joy. :)

  • I am working on the choosing joy part. I know it in my head, but still let circumstances bring me down. living Beyond, praying for your sister. As far as the Colorado shooting, there was a great sermon, don't remember the link but you can search for Calvary Aurora that a pastor at a church there did based on 2 Kings 6. he talked about how this was never god's will for us. he also mentioned that hurting people hurt people. god is grieving with those people too. he also said how much worse it could have been. how many lives were actually saved because the responders were so quick? the guy had so much more equipment he could have taken with him and used and didn't. so God did deliver, and we can be thankful it wasn't so much worse. It's a small thing, but it's something.

  • Ok, maybe someone can help me with this one. I love today’s scripture… Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been loving that I’m praying and have this awesome little community to pray with. It’s been fun and brought me closer to God, my family and friends. Then something like the TRAGEDY on Friday in COLORADO happens and I feel like a wall slammed in my face. During the good times I was really in a groove and thankful to GOD for all of the good, but how can those poor people who lost loved ones for such horrific reasons find GOD in all of that? How do I thank GOD for life and this world in the midst of that? How do we FORGIVE the man who performed this senseless act? I understand that things like this have happened, are happening and will happen again. But I’m just having a tough time praying right now… Praying that I can see the silver lining in the bad in the world.

    • Kira

      That's one of my struggles with these verses. They seem so simple and yet they are so difficult to live out. I was talking with my supervisor/mentor today about this and finding hope in really horrible situations. She told me that one thing she does is to ask, "What are you grateful for in this situation?" Working in a children's hospital, being grateful looks different in different situations. I visited a family today who was grateful that they came to the hospital when they did because it probably means that their child's cancer won't be as widespread.
      Even in the darkest, most horrible circumstances, I think we can still find moments of hope, of joy, of peace if we look at the little things we can be thankful or grateful for.

    • Eva

      It is easy to trust and have faith in God when everything is going good in our lives. Our faith is tested during the hard times in life, during the "trials". These times when we are broken and completely dependent on God to sustain us are the times when the heart of our faith is revealed. Will we be like Peter and begin to doubt when the waves of life come up around us (Matthew 14:30-33) or will we stand firm in our faith assured that even through all of the trials we are facing that we are not the ultimate judges of this mans actions. It is because of our faith we can rest in the knowledge that God will judge this man and his acts accordingly.

      After reading your post I was moved to read James chapter 1. This chapter seems to fit in so well with what you talked about feeling in your post. I pray that you will find strength, understanding, and comfort during this time of tragedy.


    • Jesyka

      I agree with Kira and the fact that the verses seem so simple but the actual living out of what they call us to is very difficult. Especially in the midst of struggle, tragedy, pain, and confusion.

      There are a few things that I have to tell myself again and again when I am faced with how broken and fallen this world is and things aren't as easy as they once were:

      1. Jesus is WAY more broken hearted by these situations than I can ever fathom. This is NOT how it was supposed to be. But I have to remind myself that that is why He came-to restore and redeem.
      2. God doesn't expect my thanksgiving/rejoicing/prayer to exclude how I honestly feel. For example, I can say, "Thank you that you are just despite my inability to see it in this situation." I try to base it on what is true of Him despite how the circumstances may appear, but I make sure to be honest in the moment. If I'm confused, I tell Him. If I'm angry, I let Him know. But I have to remind myself that my confusion, anger, hurt, etc. doesn't change the truth of who He is. [good/just/loving/kind/etc.]
      3. He PROMISES to work all things together for good. Often times, that is what I thank Him for. Knowing that He has already won and He won't allow any situation or evil deed to triumph in the long run. He wins. And just because I can't see it in the moment, doesn't mean it isn't there already or isn't on its way.

      I don't think we are called to just slap a smile on our face and run around constantly spewing thankfulness and rejoicing when we are hurting or angry. But I think we are called to find the place within that hurt and anger to recognize that His truth is not circumstancial. It transcends how I feel. Someone told me once that "Pain preceeds the Promise" and I can see that the more I ache because of tradegy or injustice, the more I see my need for Him and the world's need for Him and the more I am forced to trust that His promises are true and be thankful that what He is doing, will do, and has done is enough.

    • Kim B.

      Maria~Came across this blog from a person WHO WAS IN THE THEATRE with her 2 teenage daughters. Here is a post she wrote about God & that night;

  • Carrie- I love how you put that. We choose joy. It is a choice! Often don’t feel joyful, but this is a great reminder for me. Thank you!

    Living beyond- so so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. How scary. Also remember the verse from the other day that even Jesus was learned obedience through what he suffered. So hard to think like that or be joyful in a painful situation like yours, but that’s my prayer for you! I am so glad you are close and able to go be with them. Keep us posted on her recovery.

  • livingbeyondthefeedingtrough

    sorry! She needs surgery on carotid artery but as of now they can't do the surgery because to do so she needs blood thinner which can't be given because of the brainn bleeds. She and her husbund along wiht her mother are building a ministry for pastors families here in Colorado to come for a place of rest and restoration. I would really appreciate prayer for her and my brother-in-law and the rest of her family! I am so thankful I have you ladies to ask! The good thingi is that we are only an hour away (we live in Colorado Springs).

  • livingbeyondthefeedingtrough

    Good Morning Ladies. I reaaly needed the reading this morning! We got some news that my sister-in-law has been airlifted to Denver after having been bucked off her horse and kicked in the head. She has a fractured skull and neckruptured carotid artery, two brain bleeds, and a

  • Some close friends of mine did a Beth Moore study on the fruits of the spirit and in the study th three of us really clung to the fact that joy is a choice we make and the source of our joy is Christ and his sacrifice for us. We use the catch prase Choose Joy all the time. To encourage and even correct each other when necessary. We text it, have Christmas ornaments with it, paint it one canvases in our houses, sign it in cards to each other. I love these verses and the concept and the reminder to choose joy.

  • Thank you for the prayers yesterday, ladies! As for today, don't you find it interesting how everything you find in current self help books is actually right in the Bible? "Be thankful. Be Happy." Interesting… :)

    • Kim B.

      YES!! I LOVE how today's verse speaks directly to your circumstances that we were praying for yesterday. God DOES know what we're going through & He DOES care! Congratulations on your pregnancyI I am praying Psalm 55:22 for you: Cast your cares on the Lord & He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. When those moments arrive where you don't think you can function, God WILL give you everything you need to sustain you & get you through them :) Praying for you!!

    • Laura

      I think it is important to note that joy and happiness are not the same thing. God understands our need to feel emotion other than happiness. The bible is full of tears and pain and anger and emotion. But joy is something deeper than emotion. Joy is found in our confidence in our faith with God. It is found by knowing we can turn to him. Christ is our source of joy.

      If God is calling us to be happy all the time we would fail so hard. He created us to feel. But he also gave us the ability to live beyond our emotions.

  • Love this verse! 'Be joyful always'. I am one of those people that too often let's my circumstances determine my joy. But this is not God's will for me! God's timing also amazes me. I literally just found out that my husband and I are expected our 3rd little one – we have a 3 and a 1 yr old and this was most definitely a surprise. My husband travels all the time and I am terrified about caring for a newborn as well. But I also know what a blessing life is and God was so good to remind me with this verse that I should rejoice and pray and give thanks for this is His will. Love this prayer study. Will be praying for you ladies and would you mind doing the same for me?

    • Jen

      Congratulations!! You'll be in my prayers!

    • Nancy

      Praying, praying, praying!!!

    • Kelly

      Congratulations. What a precious blessing. You know we will all be praying for you and be here to support you whenever you need it.

    • Laura

      Congrats! Lately God has been reminding me through his word that children are ALWAYS a blessing. God blesses women in the bible with children. They are never seen as a curse. I know you're not feeling like your new baby is a curse, but I know how overwhelming motherhood can feel sometimes. I keep reminding myself that my little rascals are ALWAYS a blessing.

Further Reading...