The Blessing of Gratitude
Believers have the amazing privilege of praying to their heavenly Father. But it may come as a surprise to some that bringing requests to God is just one aspect of our communication with Him. Another important part of prayer—which, sadly, is often overlooked—is thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6).
In fact, the Father wants His children’s lives to be characterized by gratefulness. His Word tells us that an appreciative attitude should be evident in our worship (Ps. 95:2-7; Col. 3:16), giving (2 Cor. 9:12), relationships (Phil. 1:1-3), and even the way we approach spiritual battles (1 Cor. 15:55-57). In other words, thankfulness to the Lord should permeate everything we do (Rom. 14:6).
In the Scriptures, the Lord mandates our gratitude (1 Thess. 5:18), which some people find perplexing. But He knows how a grateful attitude affects our hearts. Thanking Him ...
• Keeps us aware of His presence.
• Focuses us on Jesus Christ; pride diminishes when we remember life is about Him.
• Drives us to look for His purpose in our challenging situations.
• Reminds us of His goodness, which leads to hope and submission to His will, even when we don’t understand the reason for our pain.
• Encourages continued dependence on Him.
• Replaces anxiety with peace and joy.
When we maintain an attitude of thanksgiving in both happy and difficult seasons, our lives will feel purposeful and fulfilling. But more importantly, God will be glorified. Ask Him to bring blessings to mind so you can say “Thank You.”
A Hymn of Thanksgiving
Now Thank We All Our God
Now thank we all our God,
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms
Has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills,
In this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns
With Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.
—Martin Rinkart c. 1636
(translation by Catherine Winkworth)
The Life Principles Bible
This Bible combines the wisdom of Scripture with the principles that guide Dr. Charles Stanley's life and empower his ministry. Order your copy.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2008 All Rights Reserved.