Read: Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Reflect: When life comes at us in waves and we feel like we are going to be washed away, prayer is always the wisest choice. Prayer connects our hearts to heaven in a way that provides hope in the midst of despair, healing in the midst of deep pain and promise when we feel abandoned.
But there is actually something more; prayer that gives thanks. When we give thanks or offer thanksgiving our perspective is altered, our hard hearts are softened and we see things as God sees them. Paul said, “In everything with thanksgiving pray.” Everything is such a huge all-inclusive word. In small things that nag us, in big things that wreck us, in everything God has possibility to move if we will invite Him into our circumstances. Praying with thanksgiving does exactly that. It opens the windows of heaven because I am no longer kicking and screaming but I am thanking God for things I still don’t understand, things I often would rather not encounter, and things I wish would go away, but won’t. When I stop and actually thank God my perspective enlarges, from my selfish little angle to an eternal one. I begin to see that God is still for me and these things that threaten me might actually be my answer to prayers I have prayed to grow, to become larger inside, more patient and kind and loving toward others. Yes, thanksgiving can do all of this…it is a very powerful tool in God’s arsenal.
It is too easy to lose our way when things go south, to turn on God and without even realizing it, shut Him out. Thanksgiving opens those doors back up.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:1,8-9
Give thanks when you want to give up, give thanks when you feel ungrateful, give thanks “To the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” Remember no matter how bad life feels, God is still good. Turn to Him, run to Him and open up your heart with thanksgiving and He will move in your midst.
Father, so often when life crashes into me I flee from you, the one I should run to. I flee to my own resources and possibilities and when I do, things only get worse. I want to grow in thanksgiving when life is hard. Teach me to run to you with a grateful heart for a God who will never leave me and whose love endures no matter what I do.