Prayers for joy and peace

Over two thousand years ago a band of shepherds heard some startling news from angelic visitors: “Be not afraid;” “good news of great joy;” “peace on earth and good will.” Seriously? But that was then, and now is now. Is that joy and peace still available? If you’re craving those things for your life this year, no matter where you are, here’s a prayer for peace and joy to be a reality in your life this year at Christmas:

Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our Christmas stockings. Crazy weather disasters strike at unsuspecting areas, ravaging peaceful homes and interrupting the lives of unsuspecting residents. Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus.

Lord, we still carol the wonderful message, huddled beneath winter caps on snow-covered porches, or from churches, led by enthusiastic musicians or choir members. Yet we confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true?

In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again. This Christmas, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. Forgive us for forgetting—that Your love never changes, never fades, and that You never abandon the purpose for which You came:

to save us from our sinful condition, and to give us life eternal, the joy of relationship with a holy God. Your birth—and Your death—sealed Your promise to us forever.

SEE ALSO: A Prayer for a Thankful Heart

For those whose hearts are battered by sorrow or broken relationships, for those whose lives know only conflict and confusion, for those whose bodies are tired and tested beyond their ability to endure this year—precious Savior, draw them close to You. Let them know You are still the same Jesus who was born of a virgin, not in a hospital but an animal barn, laid in a manger of hay. You are still the One sent by a heavenly Father who offered not condemnation for our sins, but love and forgiveness—and daily, divine fellowship.

We not only need Your peace and joy; Lord, we crave it. You’ve promised rest for the weary, victory for the battle-scarred, peace for the anxious, and acceptance for the broken hearted—not just at Christmas, but every day of every year.

Release the joy in us that’s been crushed by pride, wrong priorities, or world events. Tear down the strongholds that have held us captive far too long. Extinguish the flames of apprehension that rob us of a calm, quiet spirit. Show us again the beauty of that holy night so many centuries ago.

Your name is still called “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” and “The Prince of Peace.” As Your children, we cry out for a fresh filling, and a new awareness of Who You are. We choose by faith to make the “good news of great joy” a reality in our own lives, so others can see us as lighted trees of life, pointing to You this Christmas. We know one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that You are Lord. And we also know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You.

SEE ALSO: 7 Prayers for a Thankful Family

You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. You are no longer a babe in the manger. You are Lord of lords and King of kings. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.

Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.

Publication date: December 16, 2015

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

SEE ALSO: A Prayer for Peace Within

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FIRST DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, while suffering the pain of a broken leg and waiting to recover your health, you began to think seriously about life.

Then you began to discover what it is that brings true peace and joy to the human heart.
You discovered that it is in the teachings of Jesus, His example of life and in the manner of living of the saints that we are able to find joy and peace.
I also am looking for peace and joy in my life.

Ask God to help me discover what His will is for me in order to have peace and joy in my life.

Ask God to help me walk on the road of Jesus and find there the happiness my heart desires.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read John 10:10.
– Pray the Our-Father.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

FINAL PRAYER (pray every day):
Together with St Ignatius of Loyola, we ask you, Lord, that all our thoughts and actions, desires and all our being and doing be purely directed to Your greater glory and to the service of our brothers and sisters. Amen.

SECOND DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, you experienced a strong desire to imitate the example of the lives of the saints. You did penance for your sins, like the saints did. You asked for God’s forgiveness, trusting in His great mercy. Ask God to help me to do penance for my sins. Ask God to help me trust in His mercy and never fall into despair. St Ignatius, pray for us.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read Luke 18:9-14.
– Pray the Hail-Mary.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

THIRD DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, during your search for peace and joy, you obtained from God the grace to pray a lot and to live in great union with God. I also feel inside me the thirst for peace and joy that God, my Creator, placed in my heart.
Ask God to teach me the art of prayer. Ask for the grace to live united with God on the road of Jesus and to be able to spend some time praying every day.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read Luke 11:9-13.
– Pray the Hail-Mary.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

FOURTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, you understood that we are created to serve God, to love Him with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves. You discovered that everything that exists in the world was created to help us fulfil these two commandments of love. Ask God that I may obtain the grace to know how to treat people and the things of this world in such a way that I may always grow in the love of God and neighbour.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read Mark 12:28-31.
– Pray the Hail-Holy-Queen.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

FIFTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, we know that you felt great joy in adoring the Most Holy Trinity. We know that you believed in God as a community of three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are always working for the good of humanity. Ask God that I may obtain the grace of understanding that God is a community of Divine Persons who work together for our salvation. Obtain from God the grace for me to live in community with my brothers and sisters. Ask that the communities of the Church may know how to work for the salvation of the world and for the liberation of all the people.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read John 5:17.
– Pray the Creed.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

SIXTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, you had a great knowledge of Jesus Christ and you were a personal friend of His. You realised that God the Father called you to be a collaborator in the work of Jesus, His Son, and in the service of the salvation of the world. Ask God to give me the grace to know well Jesus Christ and to become His companion in the work of evangelizing the persons in His life of society.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read Matthew 11:27.
– Say a spontaneous prayer to Jesus Christ.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

SEVENTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, contemplating the life of Jesus, you received the grace of understanding in practice what it means to firmly follow Christ, poor and humble, on the road to God in spite of persecution. You understood that the ambition of riches and the desire of having honours leads to pride. Ask God to help me understand this also so that I may have a poor, meek and humble heart to love God and neighbour.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read Matthew 11:29.
– Pray the Our-Father.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

EIGHTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, many times you contemplated the glory of the risen Jesus and rejoiced with His victory over death and sin. This strengthened your life of faith. Ask God to grant me the grace to rejoice with His risen and victorious Son. Increase in all Christians hope for the complete liberation that God promised His people.

– Think over this prayer. Ask for the grace you desire.
– If possible, read John 20:19-20.
– Pray the Hail-Holy-Queen.

St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Final prayer.

NINTH DAY:
Dear St Ignatius, ask God to help me pray with sincere faith this prayer you used to pray:
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, also my understanding and all my will. Everything I have and possess You have given me with love. All the gifts You have given me I gratefully return to You. Do with them, Lord, whatever You will. Give me only Your love and Your grace. This is enough for me, and nothing more will I ask. Amen.”

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Father, I pray for all of the people here, that you would send legions of angels into their lives and homes to do battle on your behalf for the benefit of your people and for your name’s sake. I rebuke the enemy forces that have taunted, harrassed and bound these men, women and children made from your hand. In Jesus’ name their plans and schemes are brought to naught. Father send healing, warring angels from heaven, from the ends of the earth to shore up these lives, and families. Bring peace, blessings, strong marriages, healing in body, mind and soul, pour out your spirit on every person here, that they may walk in your truth, wisdom and joy for that is your desire toward us. Your thoughts toward us are good, you love us with an everlasting love, you are kind and merciful, quick to forgive and ready to defend and help your people. Bring repentance, revival and restoration to our land, be lifted higher than every principality, every force that may try to exhault itself. Bring lasting change, deliverence and pwoer to live and to bless your name. In Jesus’ name, Jesus whom you sacraficed to accomplish all that is written here, whom you love, to bring us freedom and peace and reconciliation to you. Holy Spirit fall on us, pour out your power on us, we beseach you, we welcome you into this darkness to shine a holy light. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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My Father, You created me out of joy; when You made me, You said that I am perfect. You made me to live a prosperous life, full of happiness and peace.

James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Abba Father,  as long as I am on this earth, I know adversities will come my way, but I ask that You help me to rest in You. I know that You are in control. Help me to have that joy and peace in my life so I will be able to smile through any storm confident that I will come out stronger for it. Help me not to look at my adversities but to look directly at You.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, I pray that You fill me with the joy of the Lord, that overwhelming joy because Your joy is unlike anything this world has to offer. It brings peace, trust and hope and with that a rest because I know You are in control.

Psalm 27:6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.

I will lift my eyes to the hills, Lord, because I know from You comes my joy and peace. I thank You, Father, and I love You. Amen!

prayers for joy and peace

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