Gratitude is another one of those topics that I bring up often. I know how powerful it is and how needed it is. Being thankful is very easy when everything is going well. When problem after problem beat us up, being thankful is the last thing we want to be. I once thought there was nothing I could be thankful for. Then I thought that my Bible was a reason to be grateful. I didn’t have much but at least I have the Word of God, the Word of wisdom. His Word had a lot of encouragement in it and I was grateful for that. I took one of the encouragements in the Bible to heart. God encourages us to pray without ceasing with thanksgiving. I made gratitude part of my daily prayers. I have recently developed gratitude prayers or thanksgiving prayers. I am always thankful when I pray but these prayers are meant to just express how thankful I am for who God is and for what He does. I don’t ask for anything. I don’t say anything other than words of thankfulness. It is a prayer of positivity. It rejects any form of negativity and it focuses on the goodness of God. It is a prayer that echoes what David would say. David knew how to praise and exalt the Lord. Now, with the Holy Spirit in us we have the power to praise the Lord and be like David. The Holy Spirit always points to Jesus. Today I want to encourage you to develop gratitude prayers and to say them every day. Let them flow from your heart. If you don’t have much time to pray, make room for those prayers of gratitude before anything else. God knows what you need and He loves hearing you lift up His name. I also encourage you to read the Psalms and learn more about how David praises the Lord and how grateful he is in his writing. He captured who God was very well and he knew how to honor Him and extol His name. If you are looking for a powerful prayer you can say all the time, say gratitude prayers. They will do wonders for you!
Being grateful when there is no reason to be grateful is quite an achievement. It is a beautiful expression of faith. It is the evidence that we appreciate God and we love Him. Have you ever been grateful for people in your life just because of who they are? Not because of what they do for you but just because you love who they are and they are just the best people ever. I understand that being grateful for God because He is God is taking gratitude to another level. Our usual human gratitude focuses on gains or on what we have. It looks at our possessions more than it looks at the One who gave us what we have. We are thankful for our jobs, for our houses, for our cars, for another day, for the peace in our lives, for the love from people in our lives. These are all good reasons to be thankful and I thank God for what I have but I see that when I thank God for who He is, I sound like the David of the year 2020. 2020 has been a tough year and there are not many Davids around these days. Not many people are grateful for God. Some people blame Him for the bad times. David would emphasize the goodness of God and make it his daily song. When gratitude is hard to express, it is a sacrifice that bears much fruit.
The sacrifice of gratitude is mentioned in the book of Psalms. It is similar to the sacrifice of praise. Praise, worship and gratitude go hand in hand. When you are having a bad day and all you want to do is curse the day but you choose to praise the Lord, you are demonstrating the sacrifice of gratitude. Imagine thanking the Lord for His goodness when you have lost a loved one, or you are jobless. That is a real sacrifice. It is a real expression of your suppression of the pain and the heartache. You should give those to the Lord but when they are still getting in the way and you can still make your way to praise, you are doing a very powerful thing. Today I want to invite you to say the gratitude prayers I mentioned earlier. Say them in the morning and say them at night. They don’t have to be long. They just have to come from the heart and to speak of the goodness of God. You can start by thanking Him for what you have and then it will be easier to see the big picture and to see how wonderful He is. This morning I said a prayer of gratitude that filled me with so much joy I felt like I was going to take off and fly. God’s love is steadfast and I let myself embrace it and celebrate it. God always fills you with joy when you get close to Him. Gratitude and praise will get you close to His heart. I intend to stick with the gratitude prayers and speak of God’s love even when the world’s hate is breathing down my neck. I pray that you will join me in the gratitude prayers. See how much they impact you spiritually. They will give you wings to fly to altitudes of joy and peace. Thank God for God!
Suggested reading: Psalm 50:23; Psalm 100:1-5; Psalm 118:28-29