Growing up Catholic, I was never encouraged to read the Bible, never mind thanking God regularly. Being Puertorican, we heard or said the occasional, “Gracias a Dios!” or “Thank God!” But, it didn’t really mean anything. It was just an expression.
I don’t even remember ever saying “Grace” before a meal.
Also, I only learned 3 prayers: The “Our Father”, “Hail Mary” and the “Act of Contrition”. After surrendering my life to Christ and becoming born again, I had to learn how to talk to God — that is, pray — all over again.
One part of praying effectively, is thanking God. Before you can properly and wholeheartedly thank God, you have to realize that you owe your very existence to Him! You are not entitled to life! You are on this earth because He allowed it. Each morning, you wake up because He allowed it. Your home, family, car, food, job — you have all those things because He allowed you to have them. He gave you your skills and talents. He gave you opportunities to earn a living. Everything you have is because of Him.
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!Psalm 100 NLT
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Gratitude is our greatest weapon against entitlement and complacency. Gratitude redirects our attention from our lack to His supernatural provision and blessings.Megan Lacefield, Elevate Him Ministry
Cultivate a Grateful Heart
If you can cultivate a heart of gratitude, everything in your life and the lives of those around you will shift. You can’t be grateful and sad or worried at the same time. It’s impossible. You will begin to see people, life and circumstances through different eyes as your heart lines up with the heart of God.
Here are some questions for you…
- What was the last thing you thanked God for?
- What is blocking you from developing gratitude?
- Are you more focused on what you didn’t get rather than what you received?
Write down five things that you’re grateful for. Then pray. Start with, “Lord, thank you for…” then fill in your 5 things.
Another prayer would be tomorrow morning when you get up or if it’s still morning when you read this is… Lord, thank you for…
- this day
- a good night’s sleep
- my home
- my car
- food in my kitchen
- gas in my car
- clean running water
- heat or air conditioning
- my health
- my family
- my job
Remember that there are people in this world who don’t have a home, a car, food to eat or clean running water. There are people who are cold, or sick. It may sound too simple or silly, but you have to realize that every little thing that you have — that you take for granted — is a blessing from God. Once you realize that, you are on your way to living a grateful life.
If you need to, write them down and keep it on your nightstand or wherever it’s easy for you to grab it and see it in the morning. That helped me get used to praying every day. Now, I just pray my gratitude automatically.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!Psalm 107:1 NLT
His faithful love endures forever.
James, Jesus’ brother wrote…
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.James 4:8 NLT
Daily gratitude is the first step in getting closer to God. If you make the first step, He’ll come closer to you.
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!