A friend wrote, “I just wanted to post a prayer thanking God for letting my hand slip while weeding the flower bed. I fell nose first into my most fragrant dianthus, and I never would have noticed if he hadn’t given me a nudge.”
She is not a professing Christian, but she reads the postings in a prayer forum I’m part of and it struck her how little thanksgiving there is in relation to the requests. She said she might be more likely to read the posts there if there were things like that written by people.
It made me think of the time Jesus healed the ten lepers, and only one of them came back to thank Him and give glory to God. Ironically, that one was a Samaritan, an outcast not only because of his leprosy, but because of his social status as an outsider. The religious people went to the Priest, but never returned to thank Jesus – and He’s the one who healed them!
Boy, she hit the nail on the head. Believers do get caught up in asking, seeking, knocking…And we lose sight of the thanking. Often, when we do thank God, it’s a means to an end; we know we’re supposed to start our prayers with thanksgiving, so we do. Ouch. But she’s right.
So what are we to do? I think we are to cultivate gratitude in our hearts, to make a conscious effort to be thankful. I think the whole concept of “pray without ceasing” means not being on your knees 24/7, but having a constant awareness of God in our lives and keeping in fellowship with Him.
I’m reminded of how I feel when I am behind my camera, taking nature photos. I am so into it, so aware of everything around me. Camera in hand, I see so much and I want to see it even better; I want to capture those images and share them with other people.
God wants us to be that way with Him. He wants us to see His hand in our lives, to notice His working in our lives, and to share what we notice with others.
When you see a beautiful sunset, thank Him for painting it for you! When you see someone exemplifying something good and right, thank Him. Don’t let it just end with warm fuzzies – let your heart make note and rejoice!
The reasons for thankfulness surround us, but do we notice? Believers need to make it an ambition to notice, and to give God the glory for the blessings.