Over the course of the last several days I have been delivering excerpts from my New Year’s Day sermon to you. The hope has been to strengthen our prayer lives in 2012. To do that we have been discussing coming to God through:
Faith with a
Adoring God before everything else
Confessing both the strengths and weaknesses of our situation
Thanking Him for His move in our lives as we recognize it and finally
Supplicating with the Lord in regards to the things HE wants to give us.
Today we are going to discuss the spirit of thankfulness.
One of my friends recently made what I though was an accurate, if generalized, observation about Christians. He noted that we tend to be really good at asking for prayer in negative circumstances but when it comes to recognizing the prayers that God has answered and thanking Him for those answers we tend to be a little less enthusiastic. I know his words were a dope slap for me. I am the guy who doesn’t even realize a prayer has been answered until four days after the answer has arrived.
This year I am determining to do some practical things to increase my own thankfulness in prayer:
1. I am making a list of requests and reviewing it monthly to see which ones were answered
2. I am going to celebrate daily the good things God has done in my life. I will take time in prayer to thank Him and also thank Him publicly.
3. When God does something I will try to post it to the social networks I use. Are you with me here? Instead of OMG, and LOL, I’m bored, or I ate hamburger let’s fill cyberspace with the little praises and the big praises of God.
Tell me, how do you maintain a thankful spirit?
Oh, I like #3 bunches! I just entered into that world, barely. Felt His nudge. Trying just to support people and encourage. But what a wonderfully great idea to twitter about! I’m excited!
Pastor J, I did a year of looking for joy and things to be thankful for. I’m continuing this year, writing something down each day. What I’ve found is then in the hard things, I’m thanking Him that I have food to eat that day, for a blanket and pillow, that I can be here to care for my daughter, for a pretty sunset. Something. There is always something. 🙂 And to kick start your idea, yesterday my car wouldn’t start. Was thinking it would need towed, that it might be the starter. Turned out to be the battery and my hubby was able to take it and get a new one installed. Praising Him for taking care of us like this!
A-men. I love to play the “Glad game”. In every situation I try to find at least one thing to be glad for! Some days I am better at it than others. 🙂
For me, I thank God in all the little things throughout my day no matter how small. For instance, I come to a red light and just as I get there the light turns green, Thank you, Jesus. This way when I’m in the midst of a trial it is much easier for me to thank Him for the good that will eventually come out of it. I want to say Thank you, God for Pastor J’s blog it is such an inspiration to me. Thanks, Pastor J.
And thank You God for all my friends who encourage me daily on this blog!
I started a prayer journal last year and was (admittedly) shocked by how many prayers were answered and yet I never really realized it. Sad, but true. The really interesting ones were the prayers that didn’t necessarily *seem* answered, and yet they were. In the best way possible. 😀
So true Sarah! Prayer journaling is one of the greatest faith-building exercises I know of!
Thanks, Pastor J
Great suggestions. Practical is good 🙂 Thankful for the support I get from you and other members of this blogging community.
I found an entire website dedicated to being thankful … “Life is not an accident and neither are you. Life is filled with challenges. The greatest gift of all is the gift of giving thanks”
I try to be thankful all the time but sometimes (oftentimes), I miss the mark. I practice thankfulness by verbalizing my thoughts. If I miss the bus, I thank Him for His peace instead of getting anxious.
Thanks Ann! I am thankful for how God has used you in my life to bring encouragement! Thanks for the website suggestion!
Thankfulness – something I have experienced a lot of in recent weeks.
There were so many “by chance” circumstances which could ONLY be accounted for as God’s intervention. Even the final operation was “by chance”. The surgeon had finished his list and had no intention of including me until the next day. The nurses were amazed when he was persuaded (by another doctor) to call in a surgical team and a specialist anaesthetist to operate that evening . . . and afterwards he told me they had operated with no more than an hour to spare. Praise God for answering the prayers of many people near and far!
Praise and thankfulness SHOULD be an essential part of life. After all, those who have been adopted into the family of the Creator God, bought with the shed blood of Jesus, given His abiding presence, and all the resources of heaven at our disposal SHOULD be non-stop full of praise of thanks. Sadly, we too often fail and self usurps His rightful place.
I missed your previous posts on this but will catch up when I can. Thanks.
Thanks for your words Angela. During the season when you were away you were much in my thoughts. I am glad you are back! 🙂