Feasting on Fruit: Joy

May 18th, 2014
Joy: Pointed Star

Breathe In

You might begin by exhaling joy's opposite which is sorrow or seriousness. Imagine joy filling and spreading through your body with each inhale and letting go of any sorrow or places you are being overly seriousness with each exhale.

Soon you'll not only be able to picture yourself breathing in joy but you will have such an abundance of joy it will overflow and you'll begin breathing out joy into the world. Practice consciously breathing joy in and out as long as desired.

Look at today's body prayer, notice the energetic expression of the full self, just as God is calling us to shine like the unique stars in the sky, we find joy in this posture. Read the instructions and allow your body to be open to joy. Prayerfully rest in the posture allowing your body to experience a deeper welcome and awareness of this particular fruit of the Spirit.

  • Consider beginning with yesterday's love pose and moving into joy, allowing a flow to develop as your body starts slowly and deeply moving into the passage in Galatians.
  • You might combine the posture of joy with the breathing described above. God delights in your prayer of joy filling and being embodied by your own body.
  • Some may like to invite their minds/wills to join the body posture. Through the Holy Spirit, we are freely offered the wisdom of God, the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2). Whether combined with the posture or said lying in bed, driving in your car, standing in a line somewhere, joining others at church, you can prayerfully say,

    I have the mind of Christ.
    My mind is full of joy.
    I choose joy today in my
    thoughts, words, decisions, and actions. 

Breathe Out

How can you breathe out joy everywhere you go? Remember Hildegard of Bingen's words and allow yourself to be “a feather on the breath of God.”

  • As you sit in church or consider the people you worship with, pray and envision joy being breathed over or perhaps growing and ripening in your congregation. Imagine joy growing within each person, breathed among the people gathered there.
  • Figuratively or literally walk through your own neighborhood or larger community. Perhaps look at a community map and divide it into nine areas to pray over. You may even take your own body of joy and walk through each area and with each breath, blessing it with this fruit of the Spirit.
  • Looking at a world map, you might consider praying for these nine areas—the seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America), eight being all bodies of water and nine, all air/space. Whether you pray for a particular area or over all areas, allow yourself to be led by the Spirit whether with words, picturing joy in a certain place, or silently offering that area to God.

More ways to breathe out and kindle the fire of joy in the world:

  • Turning to the New Testament stories of Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter's vision of the sheet coming down and conversation with Cornelius (Acts 10) and Paul's blinding on the road to Damascus (Acts 22), enter in with all of your senses and pay attention to how joy may be present.
  • What part of your own self is hungering for joy?

As you consider the Scriptures you've read, any dreams and conversations or times of prayer, do you have a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying about joy in your own internal world?

  • Who is the Spirit bringing to mind that is in need of greater joy in your external world—workplace, church, neighborhood, family, etc.? Is there a particular person or group of people coming to your awareness that is hungering for joy today? How might the Holy Spirit be inviting you to widen the welcome by bringing and offering joy to the world? Ask the Spirit to show you what simple step you can take now in offering the fruit of joy.

This full series will be posted here.


Joy: Pointed Star
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