Very truly I will tell you: My Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. Until now you may not have asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16, 23b - 24

 

Praying is simple: Part 3 "Praying leads to joy".

 

Dear readers,

 

do you love the scent of flowers? Or the aroma of a good meal? The smell filled the house where Lazarus lived together with his sisters Mary and Martha. The siblings had invited Jesus and his people for dinner. I can imagine Martha standing in front of the stove together with the smell of delicious oriental food. Then suddenly Mary takes a pound of anointing oil and anoints Jesus' feet. The whole house is filled with the scent of the anointing oil. A true orgy for the nose. "And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” the evangelist John is writing in Ch. 12, 3.  

 

Jesus says: Praying leads to fulfilled joy. In the same way as the whole house was filled with the fragrance of perfume, God wants to fill us with joy. When our prayers are perfectly in line with God's will, the Holy Spirit creates joy within us. A joy that we may experience, that fills our thoughts and feelings. Ans then nothing is able to grieve our heart.

This joy of which Jesus Christ speaks about, is independent from external circumstances. It is a gift from God. It can be a great comfort in difficult times. The almighty Lord Jesus Christ puts it in our heart, and nothing can extinguish this perfect joy. For Jesus Christ is perfect.

 

500 years ago a pastor, living in Germany, wrote a song about this joy. His name was Cyriakus Schneegass. In his youth he experienced war and saw misery and death. As a father of eight children, he saw two of his young sons die. The lyrics of the song, which we still sing in our services today, says "In you there is joy in all suffering, O sweet Jesus Christ." It is a joyful song. The pastor took the melody of an Italian singer and composer (Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi). The parish pastor had chosen a joyful Italian melody for his song.

 

What melody fills our heart? Praying can fill the heart with the melody of joy. When we ask God, the heavenly Father, according to His will, we can be assured that Jesus Christ will fill us with this joy through the Holy Spirit. Then joy flows through our thinking and speaking. After all, joy does not remain buried. We want to show our joy to others as well. If you are invited to a good meal, then you express your joy to the host. When I give my wife a present of perfume or fragrant flowers, she will be happy! (She is also happy when I wash the dishes and take out the trash!)

 

May I make a suggestion to you? Why don't you start praying, right now? Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to provide you with a gift of his joy. Be bold and ask God to fill your heart with joy. May God bless your prayer! 

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