Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Sound carries loud across backyard into the house.
Excited exclamations punctuated by shrieks and screams as I try to concentrate and work.
Irritated, I rise and look out the back porch, flung open wide to embrace the cool evening air.
Boys and dad fish illegally in the back yard pond.
I watch slightly annoyed by the intrusion.
In the midst of a season littered with disease and death, this simple scene touches me.
I could scold them and say they have no right to be there, reclaim the silence concentration requires.
Instead, I breathe in and out, watch and give thanks.
Thanks for the boys who shriek in delight with their dad.
No tablets or phones in sight.
Embracing the moment.
When I give thanks for the small, I make room for God.
Magnify Him with thanksgiving.
It’s always a choice – do I magnify the fractures and breaks?
The moments gone wrong?
Praying without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks.
In my season of difficulty, the Lord is showing me the importance of thanking Him.
Naming the gifts because He always gives.
Prayer warrior Daniel did it.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10
Prayers of thanksgiving tame lions.
Philippians 4:6 tells me to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
1 Timothy 2:1 says, First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to Him.
Giving thanks pleases God.
Acknowledges and magnifies Him.The only way to be a person of prayer is to be a person of thanks. Click To Tweet
Discontent and frustration is me kicking goads – wanting my way instead of God’s.
Giving thanks surrenders what I want for what He has.
It’s trusting what He gives me is part of His good plan – even when it feels bad.
That what He gives is enough.
The Bible also speaks of thank offerings:
Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy. Psalms 107:22
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. Psalms 116:17
Thanking Him honors Him.
Naming His gifts, makes the invisible goodness of God visible.
Sacrifice means it’s not always easy.
I search and come up empty.
The gift giver waits patiently for me to look around and see.
See the gift He’s provided even in this place of desert and drought.
In these moments, acknowledging His presence becomes a gift I can give Him.
An act of worship.
It’s easy to thank God in the winner’s circle, when I get a promotion or raise.
When I thank Him in a season where it seems I’ve lost everything, it becomes an offering.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks.
This is the abundant, spirit filled life He has for us.
It’s why He tells us to think about (focus on) whatever is pure, lovely and admirable.
When I look around with eyes to see, I realize He’s brought the garden to me.
In spite of everything, He walks with me.
There’s beauty, goodness and grace.
He never leaves or forsakes me – no matter how far I fall.
In the giving and receiving of salvation, there is love and life everlasting.
Thank Him for the gifts.
Thank Him for His love.
Father God, Lord Jesus,
Thank you. Thank you for calling me out of darkness and calling me Your own. You’ve given me everything I need to live an abundant, Spirit filled life. Forgive me for wanting different and more. Forgive me for wanting my way and will instead of Yours. Today I choose to give You praise and thanksgiving for all You’ve done for me. For your care and provision, Your grace and mercy. Thank you for love that never fails. Thank you for Your patience as You stretch and grow me while I complain about the growing pains. Lord, You are good, just, true – I trust You and Your ways. The servant is not above the master. I pray to live in ways that honor and glorify You. I choose praise and worship and to trust who You are in hard places. I choose to live a life of thanksgiving. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit. In Your Precious, Matchless Name I pray, Amen.