Giving Thanks

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ~ Colossians 3:17

It’s Thanksgiving season. Time to gather family and friends, to eat delicious food and to be thankful. Many families have the yearly tradition to go around the Thanksgiving table and ask each family member to say out loud one thing for which they are thankful. Maybe you do, too. It’s nice. Warm and fuzzy. After all, scripture tells us: whatever you do, give thanks to God. But during the rest of the year, how often do we catch ourselves only praying for things to go our way, focusing on our shopping list of what we want instead of acknowledging all that God has provided to us already? Do we pray to God asking for a better job, a bigger car, a nicer house, more money, and maybe even for our football team to win the big game? Or do we begin each prayer with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to God for our many provisions?

Well, I will be honest with you. This year, I unexpectedly lost my job. And in the many weeks that followed, I surely focused on praying to God for new employment. Preferably better employment. There were many days, on which I was disappointed after yet another rejection from yet another employer. I felt down on my luck. Discouraged. Distraught even. How was I going to pay the bills? Make ends meet? I wanted to be a productive member of society again. And in those discouraged moments, it was truly difficult to be thankful for the fact that I had some money in savings, a car that was paid off, wonderful friends and a church family to boot. Those sure provisions didn’t seem to matter, when all I could focus on was what I had lost.

Sound familiar?

Maybe it does. If so, let us encourage each other to begin each prayer with thanksgiving. And let’s start today. Let’s make our next prayer a thank-you-note to God, our Father. And not just for our possessions. But for the positive relationships in our lives. For the folks who pray for us. For the air we breathe. For a place to lay our heads at night. And for each new morning that brings a new day with new opportunities. And let us begin today. Not next month. Not as a New Year’s resolution for 2018. Today.

Let’s do it.

I will join you.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4: 6-7

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