I’ve gotten two terrific answers to prayer in recent months. One within my family, one within my church that has been shared by many (which I’ve cryptically alluded to).
The number of individual entreaties I made of God in these two matters are well into the hundreds for both. When the answer came back from the throne, I committed myself to thanking him. I didn’t want it to be another “thanks God, see you next crisis” on my already considerable list.
But it occurred to me…how much thanks is enough?
What if God got one thanks afterward for each request beforehand?
For a fleeting moment, I thought that was a great idea. Until I remembered that this is probably exactly what God’s been getting at in the Bible this entire time.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Nobody is without grounds for thanksgiving. Every one of us can look backwards to something we once spent hours on our knees for, something which once gripped our hearts with a fierce desperation, something which we’d give anything to see God grant us.
Maybe that’s one reason we’re constantly commissioned to give thanks: we’re being urged towards a respectably low ask-to-thank ratio. Doesn’t every pleading, every session, every “amen” deserve its own thank-you? It seems to fit the rich, vigorous, austere tone that the true faith always holds.
I won’t let that desperation evaporate into complacency, as the enemy would desire. Tonight, I will go to bed and give thanks for these two things and others, not because I must to earn his grace (though that grace will also get its thanks), but because I wish it. Because God deserves it.
It’s the least I can do. Because there was once nothing I could do, and God did it instead.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!
Maybe someone else has the problem I struggle with of waiting to feel thankful first. It feels less than genuine to simply give thanks but it is what God asks. So who are we to argue? Thanks for the reminder!
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That’s a really great point and probably deserves its own mention in my blog’s Facebook page. Do the right thing and right feelings follow – that’s our faith.
Thanking in advance and then afterwards, too, is a great practice! He is so worthy! Rejoicing with you for answered prayers!