A Prayer for a Life of Joy and Peace - Your Daily Prayer - February 17

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A Prayer for a Life of Joy and Peace
By Chelsey DeMatteis 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." - Romans 15:13

There is something incredibly beautiful that happens when we allow the joy and peace of God to be what we live from. If we’re being completely honest, we tend to live from places of business, angst, control, chaos, or fear, just to name a few. But, when we encounter someone who has a heart marked by Christ’s joy and His promise of peace, there is a tangible difference. Their presence is an invitation to exhale, to feel safe, and to feel softened by the love of the Lord.

I’m reminded of the season in my life when this peace and joy seemed like a distant, far-off, “someday” dream of mine to attain. My life was so contrary to peace. My habits and choices revolved around trying to fill time so that I never had to sit with the reality of what life was turning out to be and all the questions I had looming in my head. I was incredibly anxious once I was alone, it was the hardest part of the day for me (and if that's you right now, please know I'm praying for you). One night, with the smallest mustard seed of faith, I cried out to God and asked Him what He wanted for my life. I knew this couldn't be the plan He had for me. My anxiety, my loneliness, and my fear of the future didn't align with the life I knew to be true of God. 

However, I was very new to my faith during this time. I didn't know tons of scripture, my Bible had verses lumped together instead of individually listing them, but I did have a heart that wanted to God more deeply and experience Him. In that moment, all I knew I could do was cry out to the One who told me to bring everything to Him. I knew from the little scripture I had read that He wanted me to experience real joy, peace, hope, and an abundant life in Him.

In what felt like one of the longest moments of my life, His peace washed over me in my tiny studio apartment. I knew my Father saw me, and I knew He wanted to speak to my heart. Jesus wanted to heal my anxiousness, He wanted to remove the pang of loneliness, and He wanted to wash away the fear that entangled my heart. 

We see Romans 15:13 is written by Paul. He's writing about Christ being the hope of both the Jews and Gentiles. Paul had first-hand experience with the Savior stopping him in his tracks and rewriting the story of his life. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus, and Jesus met me in my tiny apartment. I'm sure you've experienced this too. It's in these encounters that we're met with the opportunity to embrace the gift of grace God wants to give us. Within that gift is the invitation to have His joy and His peace.

I pray that you and I would be people who are marked with His joy and live from a place of His peace. 

Let's pray:

Heavenly Father, thank you for being the One who pursues our hearts and gives us the greatest invitation. I ask, Lord, that I would be a follower who lives my life being filled by your joy, living from a place of peace. Help me steward these gifts to others as they encounter me. Make me available to those hurting and desiring to be filled with the good gifts you offer. Draw me nearer to you, in Jesus' name, amen. 

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/torwai

Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women's Journey Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and iBelieve.com. She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @chelseydematteis and at her website ChelseyDeMatteis.com.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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