The One Prayer You Don’t Pray But Should: A Guest Post from Margaret Feinberg (and a giveaway!)

My friend, Margaret Feinberg, has a powerful story of finding joy in the most unlikely of circumstances. Her new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, just released—and it’s the most vulnerable and shocking she’s ever penned.

I invited her to share a bit of her journey with you.

Fight Back With Joy 6-Session DVD Bible Study Promo Video from Margaret Feinberg on Vimeo.

 

Troy’s daughter is a sparkling six-year-old ball of hilarity. She bubbles with delight. One night for evening prayers, she petitioned:

“God, tomorrow, may we have gladness and get the energy up.”

Who prays like that? Troy wondered.

Perhaps we all should.

With striking innocence, this precious child was praying for more joy. She asked God to shower her family with cheer and laughter.

Troy wasn’t the only one smiling at his daughter’s prayer. I suspect God was, too.

IMG_6779

When was the last time you prayed for God to give you more joy?

If you’re like me, you may be hesitant to pray for joy, because, well, it can feel a little self-indulgent. Most of us wouldn’t think twice about praying to become more holy or righteous, but asking for joy can feel hedonistic. Yet I believe God takes delight when we abound in joy, because He is the source of all joy.

Psalm 16:11 declares, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever more.”

In alluding to God’s right hand, the author is anthropomorphizing God (giving him human-like characteristics). The right hand signifies power throughout Scripture. Jesus is seated at God’s right hand (Col 3:1; Acts 2:33). True joy and pleasure are found in Christ.

The Psalmists reveal that the quest for joy is not just an option made available to us but something we’re commanded to pursue.

We are called to seek and obey God, but we also created to enjoy God and partake in the most satisfying pleasure imaginable found in Him. We are meant to live in such a way that God’s pleasure becomes second nature.

birds-019

Joy is the hearty echo of God’s great love for us.

Two years before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I became obsessed with the more than 400 references of joy in Scripture. Two weeks away from turning in a book on joy, I received the phone call that changed my life forever.

I had to scrap the entire project because I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly talk about something as fluffy as joy in the midst of the darkness I felt. Up until that time, I had been searching for joy in the relatively good times of life. But, after cancer, I read the same Scriptures different.

I discovered facets of joy that no one ever taught me:

More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we can use to fight life’s battles.

freezing-rain-015

The thing is, no one signs up for that discovery project—finding joy in suffering. No one. I’ve never felt so surefooted on my path to a joyful life. I know now that without shadows, joy can feel shallow. But, when we can discover joy while in the fight of our lives—no matter what that is—it is lasting.

Everyone who has faced a challenge, or who knows someone in the midst, needs a to know that suffering doesn’t win. Joy wins.

My prayer is that this book and Bible study will be beacon for anyone searching for HOW to fight darkness.

My prayer is that this book and Bible study will be a beacon for anyone ABOUT to face a battle.

My prayer is that this book and Bible study will be a beacon for anyone IN the fight of their lives.

My prayer is that this book and Bible study will be a beacon for anyone who has crawled THROUGH the trenches.

Today, if your future feels flimsy, know that you are not alone. Even in this you can fight back with joy. You can pray like Troy’s daughter—and know God has something powerful He longs to give you.

Margaret Feinberg shares her harrowing journey in the book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. You can learn more at www.margaretfeinberg.com. Follow her on Twitter @mafeinberg

I’m so excited to be giving away a copy of Margaret’s new book Fight Back with Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. But that’s not all. If your name is drawn, you will also win a copy of Jenny Lee Sulpizio‘s new book For the Love of God, Jeanne Murray Walker‘s The Geography of Memory, and my very own Playdates with God. How’s that for a prize package? Enter for your chance to win below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. says

    Laura, this is a wonderful post but this right here spoke deeply >>> “More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we can use to fight life’s battles.” You are so generous with this giveaway too!!!

  2. Dea Moore says

    I find the title of Margaret’s book title compelling with both the words “fight” and “joy.” It’s true that when we struggle through life’s adversities that we must fight not to fall into the pit of self-pity and despair. I am thankful that God helped Margaret to fight her cancer and fight for joy. I am really looking forward to reading and studying the insights God gave her.

  3. Lynn Morrissey says

    Hello] Margaret,
    I’m well familiar with who you are, a dear friend of my friends, Laura Boggess and Shelly Miller. I also knew of your battle with cancer and have prayed for you. But I wasn’t aware that God has given you joy as a key weapon in your fight for health and wholeness. I always think of joy as something God gives us, almost as a byproduct of our relationship with Him. Frankly, I don’t often feel it. I had never thought of joy as an active, God-ordained, battle-fighting pursuit. Maybe I have gotten this all wrong. Your book sounds wonderful. And your joy practically exploded off the screen. It makes sense that as we battle through life (and it *is* a battle) and we combat Satan’s wiles, that joy would be a powerful weapon….because he would hate the joy of the Lord. But judging from what you say here and from your video, joy is also an exuberant, powerful, God-honoring experience, one where you feel His heartbeat and palpable presence, perhaps like you never have before….His presence in good times and bad, His presence that actually can make the bad times good. Oh, I want to read your book. I want to know Him like that.
    God bless you, sweet Margaret.
    Lynn

  4. says

    Ah, this book. I keep hearing about it and I know it’s going to be a joy to read. 🙂 My focus for 2015 is joy. One way I’ve fought back with joy is this past year as my best friend has walked through separation with her husband. They’re the friends we spend the most time with, so it had such overflowing effects beyond just their house. My friend and I found some joy as she sorted through that and is now working on truly reconciling with her husband. It stirred up some childhood stuff in my heart too, so I’ve worked through that. It was a hard year in many ways, but joy was there too.

  5. Ro elliott says

    Margaret… I am excited about the release of this book… I think it will be life giving and changing for many… Thank you for being taught while you were In the trenches… And giving truths like this…I”Iknow now that without shadows, joy can feel shallow. But, when we can discover joy while in the fight of our lives—no matter what that is—it is lasting.” Blessing to you!!!!

  6. says

    Margaret,
    I finally had a chance to watch your video…it was great to see you and your joy exude …Thank you for showing us how joy can be a weapon and for your example. I pray many people read your book and find true joy in Christ regardless of their circumstances. As I watched your video, I was also struck at how God prepared you as you said you had already started studying verses on joy. Thank you.

  7. says

    How God-timed for her to spend hours researching joy…building up the stores for when her heart would need to hold on and seek it most! Beautiful! And this prayer… “God, tomorrow, may we have gladness and get the energy up.” Lord, may that be on my lips every single morning from this day forward! Thank you for sharing Laura!

  8. says

    What a super generous give away! That’s so awesome. Thank you. I ordered MF’s bible study but would love to read the book as well. The other books sound fabulous as well – lots of great options here.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *