Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NRSV

These verses teach me about the interconnectedness of joy to prayer and the giving of thanks. The words 'always', 'without ceasing' and 'all' point me to an integrated life - lived from within. In reality no one can live these out 24x7. Yet the heart of these verses seem more about an inner attitude than an outer performance. And a life connected to God.

Jesus put it this way: "Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water." The promise of the new heart is the promise of connection to God - the source of joy. This joy flows like a river from our heart as we connect with God through prayer and the giving thanks. In a sense prayer and thanksgiving are the gateways to these springs of joy. Always.

Open our eyes Lord to the joy that is ours when we pray and give thanks.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

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