Last week, I wrote on the benefits I reaped when I took a day to pray with no petitions, just thanksgiving. At the close of my blog, I encouraged readers to give it a try. Sally Chambers took that challenge and sent me this message:
Pat, I just wanted you to know I read your blog post today and accepted your invitation to choose this day to turn my usual asking prayers into thanksgiving prayers. This afternoon I am amazed at how alert I was, through God’s grace, to have stopped my “Lord, please” prayers and say “No, not that way,” and change my words into prayers that were prayers of thanks. At first, I really did have to concentrate and be deliberate and think, “Now how can I change ‘please’ into ‘thank you.’ ” And I sit here typing this, amazed at how much closer I sense His presence, how at peace I feel, and at how much more successful I’ve been today in everything I set out to do. It has been a sweet experiment that I’m going to do my best to continue.
I love that Sally took the challenge and reaped its benefits. I hope others of you will set aside a day to pray like this (and if you do, please let me hear from you). Throughout the day, thank God for the things He has done for you. If you begin to think about a need, rather than asking God for it, tell Him that you are thanking Him in advance for how He will handle your need. Believe in all the things you expect of Him and thank Him that you can count on Him with all your concerns. Let your words of thanksgiving embrace the Lord in love.
Gratitude journals are popular ways to focus on our blessings. I don’t have a gratitude journal, but I do journal when I see God intervening in my life in ways that can only be Him. When I re-read my notes on these times, I am always surprised at how much God did that I had forgotten. Having those specifics of God’s personal grace will lead me into prayers of praise every time and I recommend this practice to you. You must write it down while you are fresh on all the details; it will be those specifics that you will cherish and will build your faith.
A.J. Gossip, a Scottish professor and preacher, called thanksgiving the language of heaven and recommended we become accustomed now to speaking that language. Great advice! If you need a little help beginning, click on this link https://youtu.be/f1E_4ooa8bo and listen to Andre Crouch sing “My Tribute.”
Studies are being done on the positive things that happen physically to people when they keep themselves in a gratitude mode. That is good information to have—and important. But, as a Christian, the biggest reason I know to be lavish with your thanks to God is to give Him the honor and recognition He is due. There is no way on earth we could ever get close to thanking Him enough. “With His blood He has saved me” sings Andre Crouch. That alone is reason to thank our God all day, every day.
Find Sally Chambers’ blog, Everyone Has a Story to Share,” at sallychambers.com