In this letter we will see that a close relationship exists between prayer, praise and thanksgiving. The book of Psalms is filled with songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving which all are a result of prayer. Thanksgiving is truly the outward expression of the inward emotion from the heart, gratitude.
Thanksgiving is simply giving thanks; an outward expression to God for blessings received. Thanksgiving comes from the inward expression of gratitude which the soul expresses with an outward expression of praise, born from a heartfelt gratitude of God’s grace and mercy.
Yes, “The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Love is to be in all we do and is brought forth out of gratitude, which breaks out into praise and thanksgiving to God for His mercy endures forever. When we see answered prayer, it causes gratefulness which brings forth a love that declares praise and thanksgiving moving one to an ever increasing desire to prayer. In other words, moving one to a deeper form of prayer, “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
As we express a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving for the past things received, our prayers turn to praise and gratitude for the things yet received which introduces more praying and better praying. Gratefulness is a life opposed to murmuring and complaining. When you are grateful and thankful always filled with a word of praise, there will be no room for murmuring and complaining.
True prayer promotes a life of gratitude and thanksgiving, resulting from a life of answered prayer and God’s promises. I believe one of the greatest sins of the past and of today, is that of a lack of gratitude and thanksgiving.
That of forgetfulness of the mercies of God and ungratefulness of the heart (soul) brings forth murmuring and the lack of praise. So we might say, thankfulness and gratefulness of God and His love will keep us in a spirit of prayer. God desires communication with His creation. I believe prayer is a key that keeps communion between God and man.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18, NLT Always be joyful. Keep on praying.
- Just as prayer brings the answer so does the answer bring gratitude.
- Just as prayer sets God to work, so answered prayer sets thanksgiving to work.
- Just as day follows night so thanksgiving follows answered prayer.
Where there is true prayer you will find thankfulness and gratefulness.
A fully consecrated life will be a life of prayer and gratitude, a prayerful life and a life of thanksgiving. When the spirit of praise is brought back into the house of God (churches), I believe God’s glory will once again be in our midst. As days of old, His very cloud (presence) in our midst; to heal, to deliver and set the captives free .
Again let me say, the spirit of prayer and true praise go hand and hand, for the spirit of prayer is that of bringing the desire of the heart out, with that of praise and thanksgiving. God created man to praise Him both in spirit and in truth, from the heart.
In Philippians prayer is called “requests.” So prayer is asking for gifts but it must be accompanied by thanksgiving. Truly, prayer is that of praise and thanksgiving, being thankful for answered prayer. The promises of God (His Word) is for today. Answered prayer is in the asking, the waiting, the praise of thanksgiving and from a heart of gratitude for which He has already provided and about to do according to His Word.
Trouble is related to prayer in that it often times drives men to pray. Often prayer is the voice of men in trouble. Prayer is often the very thing that delivers man out of trouble and many times gives him strength to go through the trouble.
Always remember, no trouble in the life of a believer comes without the permission of God and is allowed to exist under God’s divine control with God’s hand on it or in it. Prayer is that which helps us when in trouble. Trouble has no power in itself to interfere with the relationship of a (true believer) saint of God. Job is truly an example of a troubled saint, yet God had His hand on it. When we pray at all times with praise and thanksgiving, their will be no place in our heart for complaining.
Again let me say, for the believer in times of trouble; God is always with you, giving you the strength to make it through with a testimony of His faithfulness. God has a purpose for all we go through in life.
There are three words which are in the process of divine discipline of every believer. They are practically the same yet different from each other; trial, temptation, and trouble.
Let’s take a look at these words.
1. Trial – is that of testing. It is that which proves us, tests us, and makes us stronger and better when we submit to the trial and work together with God in it.
2. Temptation –is a solicitation to evil, arising from the devil or born in the carnal nature of man.
3. Trouble –is that which covers all the painful, sorrowing, and grievous events of life. Yet, temptations and trials can become troubles. The very key to victory in these times is to submit patiently to God knowing that He is working a gracious work within us and that through prayer we work together with God.
Remember this, Jesus himself said to the disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless.” In the time of trouble, prayer is the ideal thing to do. Prayer sees the very hand of God in times of trouble. Trouble belongs to the Lord, for the very thing to do is take your trouble to the Lord through prayer; seeking God’s grace, patience and submission. When trouble strikes, it is a good time to ask, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Prayer in the time of trouble brings comfort, help, hope, and blessings, while not always removing the trouble enables the believer to better bear it and submit to the will of God.
Prayer in trouble drives away unbelief, opens the eyes to see God’s hand, saves from doubt and delivers from vain and foolish questions because of our painful experiences.
Yes, taking everything to God in prayer makes us better, wiser, and much easier to bear life’s troubles. Let me say, some troubles may be self-originated, arising from our ignorance, some come from our carelessness. These are yet subject to prayer and should drive us to prayer. On the same note, troubles are human in their origin. They originate with others and we are the sufferers. We are living in a world where often the innocent suffer the consequences of the acts of others.
Again, we should carry our hurts and our wrongs caused by the acts of others, to God in prayer. Read about Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33 of all his troubles which arose from wicked and unreasonable men. No matter where the sources from which trouble originate, God is interested, when they press and bruise us. It is necessary to take them to God in prayer in seeking to receive the greatest spiritual benefit.
Yes, trouble will run its course in a life of prayerlessness or unbelief, or possibly both. Trouble can be a blessing or curse, it either softens or hardens us, it either drives us to prayer and to God or it drives us from God and from the closet of prayer. Truly trouble can harden a heart (example-Pharaoh) and drive him away from God, for this is why one must realize that prayer is the very tool that is provided by God to receive comfort and answers from God.
Prayer is the very key that brings the spirit into perfect subjection to the will of God. Prayer puts us at a place allowing God to freely work with us and in us, removing anything in the way of trouble bringing to us the highest and greatest good; yes, accomplishing its mission in us, with us and for us.
Satan is scheming to break down mankind, to make God look foolish and cause man to curse God…but these truly are the times to recognize God in prayer and come out a victor.
Never, never, forget…God is in all your troubles and He will see that all things “work together for good,” if only you be patient, submissive and prayerful!