This is an archived post from December of 2015. I am sharing it now because it is stunning to read how God was preparing my heart to write and publish a book on the power of prayer almost 2 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 pray that you are blessed as you read this post. I have updated some of the text to keep things current. I feel God has helped me to become a better writer than I was 2 years ago. I look forward to reading your thoughts on gratitude in the comments.
Prayers of Thanksgiving
Well here we are…the final post of my four-part series on Prayer! I first want to thank those of you that 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, I have been blessed by your insightful comments and replies and for that I am thankful.
I began this series discussing how that without repentance from sin; the communication between God and us is disconnected. 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 come 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 we go to Him in prayer; every word that’s spoken from the depths of our heart should be overflowing with thanksgiving!
We have so much to be thankful for and 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!
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 both encourage one another in the faith and help unbelievers to know Him as their Savior. I smile just thinking about it and I’m so humbled by the responsibility that comes with living as a Christian.
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 that love us, and that we are allowed to gather and worship our Savior without fear here in America. (at least for now) Most of us are blessed with plenty 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 with.
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 prayer 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 are we teaching repetitions or relationships? Prayer is not like hitting the drive thru and placing our order. Prayer is a true reflection of your relationship with Christ.
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 thanking God for all He has done.
Finally, as we head towards the celebration of 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 at Horace@pleasingtothepotter.com.
Thanks again for joining me as I shared my thoughts on prayer. It is my prayer 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 Him in prayer, remember the words from this verse in Philippians.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Blessings to you and yours this holiday season. Have a wonderful week and I look forward to talking with you soon!
Horace Williams Jr.