We go to God when we need Him. We approach Him when we need a serious pick me up. We plead with Him to move on our behalf—and even His own behalf. We invite Him into our lives to work, call on Him for help, and pray for His guidance in our lives.
These are all good things–things that should be in prayer. But I believe that there is one thing that when we do it, it significantly changes the way that we think and pray. And that is, giving thanks.
Thankfulness is ultimately the antidote to forgetfulness.
When we thank God for what He’s done, we remember, “Oh yeah. He is so faithful to me. He’s done this before.” When we thank God for who He is, we remember who is on our side; the boldness of our prayers increases as we become confident in the God who is mighty. When we thank God for the wonders He is doing in others lives, we grow in faith that the same God we are asking for a miracle is well able to do so. Because we’ve seen it. We’ve recognized and acknowledged Him for doing it in someone else’s life.
Giving thanks is so important because it not only gives glory and blesses the very heart of God, but it blesses us to. We are awakened from our spiritual amnesia when we start to recall who God is, what He’s done and for what He’s going to do in our lives and situations. When we give thanks in the beginning of our prayers, our fear-filled requests start to transform into faith filled requests because we have dared to remember the God who has come through before. We remember that the same God who has called us not to fear is in the midst of our mess.
May we be a people that don’t just give thanks during the month of November when it is almost mandatory. Let us not just give thanks when something is taken away from us and we decide to all the sudden be really thankful. But rather, may we be a people who dare to remember all that God has done by thanking Him—all the time.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:18