Giving Thanks in Prayer

giving-thanksOne of the greatest weaknesses we have as Christians in our prayer lives is a lack of thankfulness. We tend to ask God for what we need, and then when He provides it, we forget to thank Him. Then there are all the times that we experience pain in our lives, yet God commands us to be thankful in ALL things (I Thessalonians 5:18). Giving thanks, then, for all circumstances ought to permeate our interactions with God. Yet if you were to ask me what percentage of my prayers are thanksgiving, I would have to say less than 5%. Many days I would say 0%. Yep, zero.

Every day I spend huge amounts of time in prayer interceding for God’s people. Many times God doesn’t answer those prayer requests for a long time, and it seems like I have nothing to thank Him for.

I read a book recently about giving thanks in all things, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She took the time every day to look for unusual things to be thankful for, like the orange grated cheese that was shining with sunlight through it. Or the vantage point of a young child looking up at the room. All things are given to us by God, even the hard things. Think of Job. His trials were purposely allowed by God, and God never gave Job an explanation. But Job’s life was enriched infinitely because of it. He was able to experience God instead of just hear about Him. He got to see God. And then he had a depth of understanding that was infinitely better than what he had before.

So even when situations at first appear to be horrible, search for the beauty in the middle of it. Pause time. Look upward.

Yes, and give thanks.

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