“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness!
Come before Him, singing with joy!” (Psalm 100: 1–2)
Prayers of Joy
Go around the room and ask the women to complete this sentence prayer:
“I am filled with joy because the Lord …”
We read in Psalms 33:3, “Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.” Ask the women to share the names of some of their favorite hymns that express joy in the Lord. Enjoy a time of singing some of them. Some suggestions are: “Sing and Make Music to the Lord,” “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” “I love you, Lord.”
Expressions of Joy
Have card stock, colored pencils, gel pens, and colored paper available for women to create a card masterpiece to send to a friend who needs a message of joy. An alternate idea would be to invite the women to make praise journals. Cover composition notebooks with cardstock or fabric and decorate the front. Instruct them to use their journals to record their praises to the Lord each day. Often we think only about our problems and not our blessings. This exercise will help the women to focus on the joy found in serving the Lord.
When my son was younger, his birthday, Christmas and Easter were times of celebrations for him. He lives life to the fullest and has always been excited for a party or festive occasion of any kind. It would make the adults smile, because after every gift (no matter what it was) he would shout, “Just what I always wanted!” It may have been the first time he had seen the toy or book, but it all filled him with joy. He would get so excited; there was no mistaking his joy during the celebration.
Each day should be a celebration for us. As we come into the Lord’s presence, we should be ready to shout for joy. When we realize what He has done for us, it should fill us with joy. It is exciting to serve Him. Praise should flow out of a grateful heart.
We know that not all things we go through are exciting and joyful. My son would open some gifts that were not really exciting, but because he was in the presence of family and because his heart was entering the celebration, his response was still joyful.
I may not like all of the circumstances of my life, but I can celebrate because God loves me and because He created me. How often do we enter our worship celebrations, our Sunday worship time, or women’s ministries worship, with joy? Do we enter with resignation (gotta do this) or with passive acceptance (I guess we can do this)? Wouldn’t it be great if we treated every moment of worship as a time of celebration? If we could say, “Just what I always wanted!” as we sing, listen to the message God has for us and spend time in His presence? Scripture tells us this is what we should do.
Shout for Joy!
Earlier we shared our prayers of joy, talked about and sang songs of joy. We’ve worshipped as an expression of joy. We need to share that joy with others. Earlier we created a card to share our joy with a friend. As you mail this card, remember to uphold your friend in prayer and ask the Lord to be with them.