||2013-09-28 16:03:00, 조회 : 1,976, 추천 : 435
| Michelle Yim|
“Thank you” is probably one of the most frequently used phrases. We’ll say thank you for just about anything you can think of. Often times it becomes so ritual like, that I say it when it isn’t called for. Even when raising your child, you try to implement these kinds of manners. But a lot of times they don’t even know what they’re saying thank you for! When we pray, and have a whole list of “thank you” without any deep gratitude behind it, how do you think God feels? Many Christians know that God deserves appreciation however many of us don’t effectively communicate it to him.
1. The Cause and Purpose of Gratitude
Saying “thank you” unconsciously is pretty much the same as not saying thank you at all. Reflecting back at our prayers we often times say “Thank you for keeping me healthy… for watching over my family..for keeping all of us safe… for sending your son to die for our sins…” In a literal sense, there isn’t anything growing with conveying our thankfulness. Pratt says “But when these words simply come to our lips automatically, they fail to reject the true attitude of our hearts”. The Bible teaches us that when we give thanks in our prayers, it should be a deep gratefulness for what God has done for us. We often times get so caught up with our daily lives, the blessings start to vanish from our minds. We must put consciously give effort into praising Him and showing him our most sincere gratitude. Paul says this clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
When good things happen in our lives, we mustn’t think that its just a natural happening but rather God is blessing us. A Psalmist gives us a good example of how he conveyed his thankfulness in Psalm 34:1-2,
“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice”
2. Words of Gratitude
The reason why many of us aren’t effectively communicating thanks to God is because of our lack of expressions. Simply just saying “thank you” doesn’t begin to explain what’s behind that phrase when speaking to God. Throughout Psalms, many of the psalmist gave excellent examples to how we can use a variety of expressions. One Psalmist describes blessings from God by saying,
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers him” (Psalms 34:4-7)
Another Psalmist in Psalms 18:6, conveys a different kind of thanks when he said,
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my came before him, into his ears”
When I pray, I find myself saying thank you for so many things but I don’t take time to explain what is it that I’m thankful for. Pratt shares a story of how he visited a hospital where a member of the church was undergoing treatment for cancer. The sick ridden person was asked to pray and when she did Pratt was dumbfounded. She prayed about “Gods care for her through the discovery of the afflicition, His comfort in her times of fear, and His sustaining hand through the pain she had suffered” She prayed without asking for a single thing, instead she gave a story of what God has done for her. Every believer has a story that they can tell to God. God always gives greater blessings and does wonders for his children. He invites us to tell Him our story. Just like He wants us to come to Him when we need something, He also wants us to come to Him to show our gratefulness.
3. The Results of Gratitude
Does saying thank you have any effect in our lives? Pratt raises this question to us and the answer is yes. Not only is it pleasurable to God but it also benefits us as well. During our lives we go through many trivial things that sadden us and makes us angry. Watching the news and seeing whats going on in the world can also bring upon these kinds of feelings. But through prayer and showing God thankfulness, can overcome these ill feelings. A Psalmist in Psalms 30 portrays it perfectly when he said,
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever”.
The psalmist celebrates that God has turned his situation around and made it into a joyful one. Giving thanks is part of being who a Christian is. We must show our creator the upmost appreciation and gratitude. Doing so is one of the most key elements in our prayer so that we may make God happy and so that we may have a fruitful prayer life.
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