BE GRATEFUL IN PRAYER
Our prayer life is very important to God. The content of our prayers during prayer times also matters to God. It is one of the most effective ways to let God know that we appreciate Him and are most grateful for anything and everything He does for us. This also means that addressing any problem in our lives successfully begins with a grateful prayer.
Reference: Philippians 4:6 New Living Translation (NLT) 'Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.'
Being grateful in prayer is a sign of maturity. It activates our faith expressly. God's heart melts under the power of gratitude because gratitude is powerful. The Hebrew term for gratitude is "hakarat hatov", which means, "recognizing the good that is already yours." Gratitude can be practised and lived as a lifestyle. We can't fake it before God.
Think about it: If someone is always making requests without saying "thank you" for what they've already received from you, how would you feel? God sees it the same way. He doesn't just want us to ask Him for what we need or want, He also wants us to thank Him for all He has done for us. Simply put, He wants us to ask Him with gratefulness.
Looking at the reference, the latter part says, 'Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.' When we pray and ask God for anything, the Scripture says that we should thank Him for all He has done, at that point of prayer. Most Christians start up with thanksgiving first and this shows the condition of their heart.
In times of prayer, what should we be grateful and thankful for? First, by looking at the referenced Scripture, we are to pray about everything. If that is the case, it equally means that we can be grateful about everything. Nothing good in our lives is less significant to be thankful for. The fact that you can overcome worry itself is a good reason to be grateful. During prayer times, we can start by thanking God for the gift of prayer and the opportunity to pray. Beloved, it's a great miracle to know how to pray. This is because there is a great variance between worry and prayer. Mastering how to pray effectively is living a worry-free life.
If it is possible to rise above worry by praying about the object of worry, that in itself, is a great miracle. Did you know that it is possible to sink below anxiety level in mere imagination and depressing thoughts? Did you know that many people are longing to be free from over-anxiety about worldly concerns and the difficulties and dangers of life, but they don't know how to do it? Did you know that anxiety can distract you from serving God faithfully, and even hinder your spiritual growth? So count yourself supremely blessed to know the way to live beyond it, as specified in Philippians 4:6.
When it comes to telling God what you need, the latter part of Matthew 6:8 tells us this, '...for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!' In other words, God already knows the request in your mind before you mention it in prayer. Since such is not hidden before Him, then don't you think its smarter to thank Him for everything and be intentional about it? Being grateful in prayer shows that you're content with whatever blessings God has already furnished you with in life. It also indicates that you rely on Him for more and...the more gratefulness you express, the more established you become in an intimate relationship with God.
Scripture Reading - Daniel 2:23; Psalm 9:1; Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 4:2; Hebrews 13:15.
Guided Prayer: Righteous and faithful God, forever you are the true living God. Your blessings and favour greatly inspire me with thankful lips and a grateful heart. By living a life of gratitude, I stay rooted and ever grounded in Christ, I get strengthened in the faith and I overflow with joy. Today and always, I sing heartfelt praises to you and I appreciate you for all the blessings and amazing things you make happen in my life in Jesus' Name, Amen!