Life contains many rich, powerful emotions. Often, these emotions change from one day to the next. You could have a reason to celebrate one day, only to experience something the next day that could leave you feeling sad or angry.
The good news is that as Catholics, God gives us many reasons to be joyful. Joy transcends happiness, but it also influences our happiness in everyday life. Let’s discover why prayers for joy and happiness are important in every Catholic’s life.
Why Should Catholics Pray for Happiness?
In Philippians 4:6, the Apostle Paul tells us to pray to God with our requests instead of spending time worrying. This includes Catholic prayers for happiness. God wants to hear your prayers, and He also wants the best for you.
Here are some areas in your life where you could pray for happiness:
1. To Celebrate the Goodness of Life
Life is full of happy moments, but sometimes, you might feel like the less-than-happy moments are overshadowing the good ones. You’re allowed to celebrate life’s best moments with a happy heart. Pray that God can open your eyes and heart to the blessings and good aspects of life so that you can celebrate them and praise God for making them possible.
Satan wants you to focus on the bad. God wants you to acknowledge trials and remember the joy you have in Him through those times. This is what allows you to truly celebrate the goodness of life when the happy moments come.
2. For Happiness at Work
You spend a lot of time at work, making it a big part of your life. What happens at work can also impact how you feel and act when you’re at home. You should ask God to give you newfound happiness at work as you seek His joy in every circumstance.
Whether you love your job or are feeling the weight of it, God knows about your situation. If you pray to Him that He can help you experience greater happiness at work, He will guide you to come to a place of happiness. Maybe God wants you to start focusing on the good in your job rather than the bad, and through that, you will experience a new appreciation of the job God has given you.
3. For Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful feeling of thankfulness that often comes as a result of being happy. Going back to Philippians 4:6, Paul says that our prayers should include thanksgiving to God. This means that we can choose thankfulness over worry, but sometimes, this is easier said than done. Ask God to help you seek gratitude and fill your life with happiness so you can more clearly see His hand in every moment.
4. To Be Uplifted From Sadness
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. As a Catholic, you should understand that you will have sadness in your life, and that’s OK. However, you can also pray that God can give you happiness to replace that sadness. If you’re feeling a sadness today that is trying to take over your life, ask God to give you happiness and uplift you from whatever is holding you down.
7 Bible Verses About Joy and Happiness
The Bible is full of verses that can help you gain a new perspective on your circumstances and how you should think and act within them. Here are seven Bible verses about happiness and joy that can encourage you today and for your entire life.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13.
This verse is a prayer of the Apostle Paul for the Church in Rome. He is asking for God to fill them with joy and peace as a direct result of their belief in the work and power of Jesus. By this, the Holy Spirit can fill them with an abounding hope.
You can use this verse to shape your own prayers for joy and happiness today. If you believe in the work of Jesus, you can share in this boundless joy, peace and hope through the Holy Spirit.
“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” — James 1:2-3.
James, a Jewish Christian leader in the early Church, begins his letter with a statement that might seem foolish. How could anyone think that encountering trials is something to rejoice about?
Then, he gives the big reveal in verse three, saying that the trials we face are tests to prove our faith. When we make it through those trials, holding to the faith, we achieve greater perseverance for the next trial. With this mindset, we can see trials in a whole new light. They could even be something to find joy in.
“Blessed the people so fortunate; blessed the people whose God is the LORD.” — Psalm 144:15.
This life is full of blessings. The greatest blessing of all is that, as Catholics, we know our God is the LORD — the same God mentioned in this verse.
As a follower of God and His son Jesus, you are truly fortunate. Many people around the world are unaware of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, living lives of spiritual and physical needs. Find joy in the fact that you know God, a relationship that can carry you through even the most challenging life circumstances.
“…Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is your strength!” — Nehemiah 8:10.
Some people assume that the Catholic life is boring and dry. This verse proves that it’s actually full of opportunities to show your happiness publicly! Here, we see the Israelites rejoicing over great news and giving all the thanks to God in the process. The verse in Ecclesiastes states that there is a time for mourning and a time for laughing, and this was definitely a time to laugh.
Let this verse remind you that it’s OK to celebrate when you’re happy. When goodness comes your way, embrace it with rejoicing, share your happiness with others and remember to give all the glory to God.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit…” — Romans 14:17.
While the previous verse reminds us that we can celebrate and be glad during good times, this verse helps us keep our focus on our eternal source of joy. Indeed, God gives us moments of happiness worth celebrating, but there are other eternal values that God wishes to see develop in the life of each Catholic.
The Holy Spirit offers us peace, righteousness and joy. These are attributes of people who are a part of the kingdom of God. Remember this verse in the good times and in the moments when it seems like there is little worth celebrating because you have eternal joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:8-9
“Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.” — 1 Peter 1:8-9.
Faith is the foundation of your Catholic walk. It’s what lets us love Jesus even though we’re unable to see Him presently with our eyes. Our faith is also the bedrock of the indescribable joy we can experience as followers of Christ.
The final glory of your faith in Jesus is the salvation of your soul. This is the ultimate reason to rejoice every day. Let this verse remind you to keep the faith so that you can remember the everlasting joy of knowing your eternal future is secure in Jesus.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” — Philippians 4:4.
There are many Bible verses about happiness and joy to research and study. If you’re looking to memorize one to carry with you every day, this may be the best one.
Here, Paul gives the encouraging command to always rejoice in the Lord. In fact, he repeats himself to emphasize the point. Each moment, whether you’re in a difficult time or a good one, you can choose to rejoice in the Lord. Hold steadfast to truth and remember all that God has done for you. You can always find a reason to rejoice in God.
Saints to Pray to for Joy and Happiness
Whenever you want to say short prayers for happiness, you might find it helpful to remember some saints of the faith. The following saints lived lives and spread teachings that can help you to remember to hold on to joy and happiness in your life and pray for them when you need them most.
St. Philip Neri
One of the best saints to pray to for joy and happiness is St. Philip Neri, the Patron Saint of Joy. He lived a comfortable life as a child and was even appointed as the sole heir to his uncle. It seemed as if all was perfect for Philip to experience a comfortable, happy life.
Instead, St. Philip Neri chose to cast off worldly comfort to seek God’s will for his life in Rome. He gained a reputation for his humor and his love of animals, along with his excellent preaching and teaching of the word. Even in his late 70s, St. Philip Neri emphasized levity in his life, joking with the people he contacted. Even on the day of his death, he was more joyful than ever knowing he was going to meet the Lord.
Let St. Philip Neri’s life and testimony remind you that following God’s will is more important than earthly gain. You will find more lasting joy in choosing God instead of the world.
St. John Bosco
St. John Bosco had a reputation for being joyful from when he was a young boy. Early in his life, he started the Society of Joy, which was a group that met in the evenings to pray, read, learn and fellowship with other believers. St. John Bosco and this group would sing and laugh on the roads, picking wild fruit in the woods and visiting wayside chapels.
To further exemplify his joyful attitude, St. John Bosco would put on acrobatic shows for his friends. Later in life, he stated that he loved experiencing joy and only wanted everyone else to be happy. For St. John Bosco, the key to true joy and happiness was found in God. That was the message he spread everywhere he went.
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More maintained joy in everything he did in his life. He even stayed joyful when the people around him began persecuting him for his faith in Christ. His ability to maintain his joy stood out to others.
Today, you can get a glimpse at St. Thomas More’s joyfulness in a prayer he composed called “Prayer for Good Humor.” Throughout the prayer, he puts real requests in enjoyable and humorous terms. By the end, St. Thomas More’s prayer acknowledges that the “self” wants to grumble, but God’s grace allows us to be able to take a joke and share it with others, spreading joy and happiness along the way.
St. Dominic Savio
St. Dominic Savio learned how to have a spirit of joy from his teacher, St. John Bosco. St. Dominic Savio claimed that his mission was to make holiness consist of always keeping a cheerful attitude. By avoiding sin and keeping the grace and peace of God in one’s heart, he believed one could fulfill their godly duties to the fullest.
St. Dominic Savio tried to cheer up his friends when they were sad and always had a knack for telling a great story. Even in difficult times, St. Dominic served as an example of what it means to hold on to the joy of the Lord.
A Catholic Prayer for Joy and Happiness
If you need a Catholic happiness prayer today, then we invite you to share your prayer intentions with us, so that we may pray for you and your happiness.
Send Prayer Intentions to Catholic World Mission
Thanks to the generous donations of our partners, we can make a spiritual and physical difference in the lives of people in communities around the world who are in need. We invite you to donate to our cause today to impact more than people’s present situations, but their eternal lives, as well. Even a small donation makes a huge difference.
We also encourage you to send us your prayer intentions. We would be honored to say a prayer for happiness and contentment in your life.
Deacon Rick Medina is the Former Executive Director of Catholic World Mission and for years oversaw the management of all of Catholic World Mission's projects in over 35 countries. He was ordained a deacon of the archdiocese of Atlanta in 2013. He currently serves at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Georgia, and is active in several ministries, including RCIA, baptism preparation, Life Teen, Altar Server group, Grief Share, and Adult Faith Formation.