A friend sent an email to her prayer partners and suggested we take a few days to not ask God for anything but instead spend that time thanking and praising Him. I wondered, what would that look like? How could that be done when there are so many needs?
Then I thought of a friend I would visit. I know she loves me, no doubt. However, every time I went to her house, she stayed busy. She talked to me, enjoyed my company, but she kept cleaning, or straightening, or the television stayed on, there wasn’t a moment of silence where we could talk in a quiet environment, sit quietly together, and just enjoy one another’s presence.
And, I thought of another friend who never called unless she had a problem. She never called to tell me anything good in her life. Instead, her calls were complaints, worries and concerns, then she would ask me to pray for her, and off she would go with her life.
I hate to admit, I have been that kind of friend with God. I’ve stayed busy and distracted even during times of prayer. I’ve called on God over and over with my complaints, worries and concerns, then trot off to go about my day.
How often have I come into God’s presence just to say hello, tell Him I love Him, and thank Him for who He is and all He has done? I want to do better, to change my prayers, to turn them to pray in a way that blesses and honors God.
The Psalmist reminds us to…“Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations” (Psalm 100:3-5 AMPC).
The wonderful thing is, even with our real-life concerns, we can pray in a praising and thankful manner. The more we turn our prayers from complaints to praise and thanksgiving, the more peace floods the soul, the more encouragement (and courage) is given, the stronger our hope becomes, and the more our faith grows.
Thank God today. Thank God for today. Thank God that even when the world seems out of control, He is always in control. Thank God and praise Him that even when our loved ones are lost or straying that God is the One who searches (and finds) lost sheep. Praise and thank God that we can cast our burdens on the Lord for He cares for us.
Praise God that His mercies are new every morning and His grace and forgiveness. Thank God that He takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it into good. Praise God that He is the God who heals, restores, and redeems.
Whatever you are facing, whatever worry and concern you may have, whatever burden you may carry, thank and praise God that He is a loving and compassionate God and nothing is impossible for Him.
Will you join me in turning your prayers into times of thanking and praising God?