A Prayer to Empower Us to Live in Peace and Joy

by Jim on December 31, 2013


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #078 – 12-31-13

Your Host: Rev. Jim W. Hollis    Our Sponsor: Proactive Ministries (proactive-ministries.org)

Hello and welcome to the Ministry Encouragement Podcast after Christmas! If this is your first time with us, I want to personally thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me as we seek to move our lives to a new level spiritually in Christ.  If you’ve been with me for past Episodes (there are 77 earlier ones) then I’m delighted to have you join me as a regular member of our community.

As you may know, I took the week of Christmas off this year and am now returning with this week’s new topic to help us prepare for heading into the new year we’re about to begin:

  A Prayer to Empower Us to Live in Peace and Joy

As with nearly every year past, I could have shared some new year’s resolutions with you and had a discussion about making some great ones to try to keep for at least six weeks.  But there is plenty on that topic readily available.  And it can be meaningful.  I want to explore something far greater, deeper and more lasting.

However, as I decided to not talk about resolutions, it occurred to me that 99% of the resolutions we make are intended to improve our overall quality of life.  And I thought, “Wow. What could be one or two things that would definitely be present in a clearly higher quality of life?

For me two were crystal clear from Scripture:  Divine Peace and Joy.

We all instantly realize that stress is what we work hard to reduce.  Increased levels of stress can lead to all kinds of struggles, issues and pain.  Our health can be attacked by accelerated stress.  Our relationships can become strained through the heaviness of stress.  If left unchecked, stress can deliver high blood pressure, mini-strokes, violent outbursts, physical abuse, emotional abuse and severely damaged or destroyed relationships.

Peace provides a huge reduction of stress and can give us extended periods of blessing and contentment – even if the sources  of stress continue.  Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.  Jesus provides the quality of peace that passes all human understanding.  The peace that Christ brings into our lives is far beyond any peace that can be achieved through mere human means.  It is Divine Peace.

With the peace of Christ at work in our lives the possibilities for joy increase significantly.  Let’s not miss the difference between happiness and joy as I reflect on these today.  In my understanding, happiness is nearly always tied to a circumstance, situation, relationship or an object.  We hear people say, “I’m happy SINCE I got this.”

Or, “I’m really happy now that this circumstance changed in my life.”  And other times we hear, “They are becoming closer to me now – that makes me happy.”

But happiness can be incredibly temporary and terribly fragile.  When circumstances, situations, relationships and objects change in ways beyond our control – our happiness can disappear.  Then we begin to hear different statements from just a few minutes earlier:

  • “I no longer can afford cable TV, that makes me sad.”
  • “I lost my car because I can’t make the payments.  I’m unhappy.”
  • “My daughter got caught at school with illegal drugs.  My happiness has been destroyed and I don’t know if it will ever return.”
  • “I’m really unhappy with the way people at church respond to me.”

So what we want to pursue is not ultimately temporal happiness, but Divine joy.  With Divine joy that comes out of knowing peace through Christ in our lives, we find joy through a foundation of blessings that no person, circumstance, situation or object can steal from us.

The Bible tells us, “The joy of the Lord IS our strength.” So not only is joy much less fragile, it is also grounded in a totally different foundation than happiness.  Notice the difference and consider this in your own life.  How often do you hear persons you know, work with, are related to or simply overhear in conversations make statements like:

  • “With Christ in my life, all things are possible – even with all the junk I can’t control!”
  • “My peace and joy in the Lord will get me through this.”
  • “If God brings me to it, God can certainly get me through it.”
  • “In Christ, the strength I find is not my own.”

Ultimately then, we want to pursue and discover peace and joy that come from walking daily with Jesus Christ.  Does this mean that we will remain IN peace and FILLED with joy?  I wish.  But probably not.  It won’t be because this is impossible or some “pie in the sky” wish – but because we will choose to trust in our own strength or place our trust in mere circumstances, situations, human relationships, or objects that appear hopeful. 

The bottom line becomes, “So what does this actually mean for my life today?  The question comes down not to WHAT we want to pursue – but HOW can we authentically come to live in peace and joy?”  Let me offer three major Biblical foundations for PRAYER that are not my ideas, but arise from the teachings and example of Jesus Christ as communicated to us in Scripture:

  1. The Greatest Commandment: (Matthew 22:34-40)
  2. The Fruit of the Spirit: (Galatians 5:22-26)
  3. The tangible ways to live in Divine Love: (I Corinthians 13:4-7)

I wouldn’t begin to refer to the three of these Scriptures as mere New Year’s resolutions.  I would encourage us to move them to the top of our prayer list as priorities to pursue in our daily lives.  These three foundational texts, prayed in a personal walk with Christ will bring amazing spiritual transformation to our lives.

We can begin each day praying this prayer for empowerment to the Risen, Living Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in our daily lives:

  • “God our Father, Son and Holy Spirit – I desire and will to love you this day with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  And I also commit through your strength to love my neighbor as myself.”
  • “God our Creator, Son and Holy Spirit – today, starting from this moment, I sincerely repent of my sin, issues and brokenness, gladly receive forgiveness as you empower my witness to live out your Divine joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  I’ve crucified the flesh through you Jesus, with its passions and desires.  Strengthen me to live by the power of the Holy Spirit and keep in step with your Holy Spirit.  May I not become conceited, provoking and envying others.  May I do no harm, but good.”
  • “Greatest God, Son and Holy Spirit – grant me grace today to become patient and kind.  Keep me from envy, boasting, and selfish pride.  Guide me to not dishonor others.  Prevent me from being self-seeking, easily angered and may I not keep any record of wrongs.  May I not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth.  May I always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. In the name of Christ – that name above all other names I pray.  Amen.”


While I’m a huge advocate for spontaneous prayers in any moment of every day, I’ve learned through teachers and wise spiritual mentors who have guided my life, immense value in written prayers – grounded in Scripture.  That is what I have shared with you today.  I encourage you to consider the option of praying the three-part prayer which I want to personally pray in each day going forward in my own life.

Would you also be intentional in sharing this podcast with others you know?  You can do that with a couple of “clicks” or by sharing a simple email with those you desire to encourage.  I’ve found many fellow Christ-followers who have simply written their friends a brief note saying, “Here’s a podcast that touched me spiritually,” and their sharing it grew our community by something that simple.

As always, I’d love to hear from you personally.  How do you pray each day?  What prayer methods work well in your life?  How is living out the Divine peace and joy of Christ most consistently in your life?  In your family?  As you prayed the prayer I offered today, how did you experience it in your spiritual walk?  Are there elements you would add?  Are there words or phrases that you would omit?  I’d love to hear your responses.

Please know that I would love to receive your thoughts and sharing in one of the following ways:

  • By VOICEMAIL on the right side of this page.  Just click on the voicemail button, and using your built in or external microphone leave me a message – I will get it directly.
  • By Phone:  Give me a call at our ministry offices in Smyrna, GA: (770) 803-9988 or by fax: (770) 803-9989.
  • By personal email: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com
  • By Facebook: Jim W. Hollis OR Like our Proactive Ministries page
  • By LinkedIn: Jim Hollis

Until next time may God’s Divine Peace and Joy be with you!  Thanks for your prayers for our ministry, which sponsors this Podcast each week – www.proactive-ministries.org) and for me.

In Christ’s Grace,


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