Giving thanks. We all do that, right? It’s polite to say, “No, but thanks anyway,” more than just plain “no” is. We send flocks of thank-you cards to people every anniversary, Christmas, and birthday. What are the magic words? Please and thank you.
But when we pray, do we say, “Thank you God for that easy test, for the great breakfast this morning, for that encouraging word from a friend”? Sometimes… but more often, does it come out, “I wish you would have given me an A on that test, I don’t want this for dinner tonight, nobody likes me- why can’t I be different”? Let’s face it: humans are sort of complainers.
When I pray in front of people, I have a list of things to say: “God, thank you for this day, and for our food, and for this opportunity to come together today.” Then I list off certain needs, requests, wants, and wishes. After that, I might say something like “In your son’s name we pray, amen.” and that’s that. Praying done.
How much of the actual praying is devoted to thanking God? One sentence. One sentence that could be spread to the entire prayer, like: “Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to learn, and for having nutritious food to eat when some around the world do not. Thank you for this friend, when they spoke to me today it was just what I needed to keep going.”
To turn this back to scripture, I would like to recommend these few verses: Philippians 4:6, Psalm 147:7, and 2 Cor 9:11.
Let’s try, the rest of this month, to glorify and praise and give thanks to the Lord with every prayer we pray.