This blog post is an archived post from the Thanksgiving of 2015. It is stunning to read how God was preparing my heart to write and publish a book on the power of prayer almost two years later. (I wish I had gone back and read some of my archived posts sooner.it might have saved me some time on the book.)
I have updated some of the text to keep things current. God has helped me to become a better writer than I was six years ago.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on gratitude in the comments.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Well, here we are, the final post of my four-part series on prayer! But first, I want to thank those who have followed along with me the past month in discussing prayer. I initially started writing this series to share how much I am learning about prayer, and in turn, your insightful comments and replies continue to bless and encourage me.
I began this series by discussing a “disconnect” between God and us without repentance from sin. God cannot hear our prayers unless our hearts are free from unconfessed sin; coming to Him in faith and seeking His will, what a blessing to go boldly before Almighty God and know that He hears us!
I love King David’s attitude in this verse from a Psalm of Thanksgiving! The gates and the courts were referring to the temple. As believers, our body is now God’s temple. When going to Him in Prayer, every word spoken from the depths of our heart should overflow with Thanksgiving!
We have so much to be thankful for, yet sometimes it is easy to forget or take things for granted. I thank God every morning before getting out of bed for allowing me to see another day!
Still Thankful? Yes!
I know it sounds crazy, but I am thankful that God allowed my stroke to happen. He allowed me to survive while realizing all that He has done for me. He chose us to be a part of His family to encourage one another in the faith and help unbelievers know Him as their Savior. I smile just thinking about it. The responsibility that comes with living as a Christian is humbling at times.
Even though I have indescribable pains because of the stroke, I thank Him for healing my brain enough to allow me to eat and drink without drooling and giving me the strength to sit up on my own. I am so grateful that I can read, understand, and study His word each day.
Something else to be thankful for is our family and friends who love us and are allowed to gather and worship our Savior without fear here in America. (at least for now) Most of us are blessed with plenty of clothes to wear and a roof over our heads.
As we prepare to celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy the abundance of food, something weighs heavy on my heart. Some of you will gather together and go around the table, sharing what you are thankful for and reflecting on the bounty that God has blessed you.
However, what about the prayers that take place the other 364 days of the year? Are you praying with Thanksgiving? I know that even as an adult, I have been guilty of the rehearsed prayer.
Remember these? God is great. God is good. We thank Him for this food. Amen. What about “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
I know these prayers are easier to remember for young children. But answer me this. Are we teaching repetitions that become a chore or about the relationship with Jesus and the importance of talking with Him?Prayer is not like hitting the drive-thru and placing our order. Prayer is a true reflection of your relationship with Christ. Click To Tweet
When you pray with Thanksgiving, your heart opens, and you will feel unbelievably blessed. The trials you face seem to fade when remembering all He has done for you as you thank Him.
Praying with Thanksgiving ultimately gives praise to your Father in Heaven. When you pray with a thankful heart, you help open the eyes of those around you and encourage them to open their heart to thank God for all He has done.
Finally, as we head towards celebrating our Savior’s birth next month and the end of 2017, I hope you will take a moment and share what you are thankful for in the comments. Feel free to leave any prayer requests also. If it is personal, you can shoot me an email message via the prayer requests tab. All emails are private and come directly to me. I will respond in kind, praying either for you or with you.
Thanks again for joining me as I shared my thoughts on prayer.
I hope that this series has been a help and encouragement to all who read it, and I want to close this prayer series with one of my favorite verses. When you go to God in prayer, remember the words from this verse in Philippians. I have a couple of different images below for you to share this encouraging scripture.
Horace Williams Jr.
If you would like to read even more about the powerful benefits of prayer, check out my award-winning book on the power of prayer. It is currently on sale through the holidays and is available for both download and in paperback with prayers to inspire and scriptural truths to encourage your heart.