It is my prayer that this letter helps to open the door to a greater perspective of what it means to be thankful and prayerful in all things. Thanksgiving and praise to God is the very component of prayer that opens the gateway to the glory of God for and in one’s life.
- Psalms 100:3 – 4 (NLT) Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name. Our life on earth is to be a life of praise and thanksgiving unto God. It is to be a life-style of thanksgiving everyday all year round.
- Apostle Paul puts it this way, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT).
This brings up the question, What is God’s will for you and me? We can answer this question from the previous scripture. We need to learn to be thankful in everything. This does not necessary mean we need to give thanks for everything that happens. As a Christian following Godly ways we can be certain that the Holy Spirit will guide and lead us in the direction of God’s plan and will for us. At times we just don’t listen to His direction and wonder off doing our own thing.
There are times of repentance needed when we have been disobedient in following His guidance. We are to keep our hearts set in the direction of thanksgiving at all times no matter what circumstances we are in or passing through. This is God’s will for you and for me. In the good times we give Him thanks for His blessings and goodness. In the times of the storms when things are going bad we give Him thanks for His faithfulness because as His child we are confident that He will take care of us.
- 1 John 5:14-15 reinforces this powerful prayer promise, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
Yes, the prayer of thanksgiving, God has promised to answer. Thanksgiving is to be a way of life that stems from faith, an expression of positive emotions from the depth of our heart.
- Psalms 92:1 (NLT) states, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.”
Thanksgiving blesses God, Thanksgiving blesses us and Thanksgiving opens the gates that lead into His presence…where we need to always be. We are to enter his gates with thanksgiving; and go into his courts with praise. God commands us in His Word to give Him praise and be thankful.
- Psalms 50:23 (NLT) But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
- Psalms 63:3-5 (NLT) Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
- Psalms 136:26 (NLT) Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
- 1 Timothy 4:4 (NLT) Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.
- Philippians 4:6 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Thanksgiving and praise in prayer gives us so many things:
- It gives us satisfaction
- It glorifies God and brings revelation of salvation
- It shows we have been brought out of darkness
- It helps us see that God’s mercy endures forever
- It removes all anxiety from our lives
- It enables us to receive all the good things God has provided for us.
Praying with thanksgiving is vital in the life of the pray-er. As we take a few moments and reflect upon our life we can see how God has intervened to answer our prayers:
- He has blessed us,
- healed us,
- He uses us and keeps us time after time,
- He provides,
- He protects, the list goes on and on.
Ponder these questions for a few minutes:
- How many times has God answered your prayers?
- How many miracles has He given to you?
- How has His ministry in your life changed you? What has He done for members of your family?
- How has He led you?
As we look at these things our hearts will go out to God with hearts of gratefulness; thanksgiving and praise to a God who is faithful and a God who does all things well! God is wanting, waiting for you to praise and give thanks. Here is an exercise that will bring you into his presence.
Get alone, off somewhere you can pray without interruptions. Sit or kneel before God. Began to meditate on the promises of God, His Word. Maintain this attitude of prayer for a few moments and let your heart connect with God and God connect with you.
As you do this with faith believing that God does want to spend time with you, He will bless you with the joy of His presence. Allow God to speak to you through His Word and His Spirit.
As we are thankful for the past answered prayer in our life, faith builds and grows with a greater sense of assurance in our Maker, our Savior our Helper and our Provider. As we realize how much God has truly blessed us, we have greater faith to receive more from His hands.
God answers prayer out of the gratefulness of our heart. As we go to God expecting answers to our prayers we also can go to Him with thankfulness time after time, again and again, a never ending God of blessings and favor.
King David knew this truth who became a strong man of prayer and thanksgiving. Throughout the Psalms, David expresses thankfulness and praise such as the following:
- Psalms 5:11 (NLT) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
- Psalms 9:1 – 2 (NLT) I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
- Psalms 13:6 (NLT) I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.
- Psalms 18:3 (NLT) I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
- Psalms 18:49 (NLT) For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.
- Psalms 22:22 (NLT) I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.I will praise you among your assembled people.
- Psalms 29:2 (NLT) Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
- Psalms 32:11 (NLT) So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
- Psalms 33:1 (NLT) Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
- Psalms 34:1 (NLT) I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
- Psalms 50:23 (NLT) But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.
As David praised God, He reached out for more, his faith grew. As we learn to praise God in all situations and in all circumstances, our life will become a life fulfilled in the promises of God and God’s very will, will opened to the believer. A life of joy in His presence, here on Earth!
Thankful prayer is rooted in faith. Thankful prayer keeps us from anxiety. Yes, we can be thankful with a thankful heart for what God has already done, and for what He is about to do in response to our requests as His children. The key is to be thankful in both the good and the bad knowing God will turn something good out of the bad.
Let’s begin to count our blessings instead of listing our problems.
- Become God-centered instead of problem-centered.
- Begin to experience joy instead of depression.
As we use praise and thanksgiving in our prayer life, things begin to change in life.
Love in Christ Jesus,