Sometimes when I pray I forget to be thankful. Troubles weigh on my mind, illnesses scare me, bills come in faster than cash, concern for problems that haven’t even happened—and may never happen!—clog my thoughts, sleep is fleeting, things around the house need fixing, the boss stresses me out, and when I don’t have a boss, I’m stressed out even more.
The worries of life filter in like a never-ending parade, each one demanding attention until they’ve bogged me down into a sad mess of a soul crying out to the Lord for help.
I know He hears me. 1 Peter 5:7 tells me: “Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.”
I can’t thank Him enough for that.
And that’s the other side of the coin, isn’t it? Being thankful? Because I know I’m not nearly thankful enough. Someone anonymously once asked, what if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today? It hurts to admit I’ve had days when the answer would leave me destitute.
If I’m going to take time to ask God for things, I must also thank Him for what He’s already blessed me with. Even more importantly, when I’m anxious and afraid, worried and tired, stressed and hurting, I need to give thanks. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. See that? Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
I’ve had days—and maybe you have, too—when, selfishly, I couldn’t find something to thank God for.
Jesus the Christ. Light of the world. My Savior.
If I have nothing else in the world, I have that. Because Jesus didn’t just die for me; He suffered. He saw my future in hell and loved me so much He determined He’d rather bleed my way into Heaven than allow me to skip blissfully into hell. The least I can do is be grateful.