A Heart of Gratitude

Life is full. Full of busy calendars, endless to-do lists and places to be. Full of needy people and hearts yet to be changed. Full of things we are waiting for and things we are hoping for. As sons and daughters of the Creator of this world we have a beautiful privilege, and that is that we can bring our very full hearts and lay our needs and requests at His feet. It is a wonder that we can boldly approach His throne of grace and intercede on behalf of those friends that do not yet know Him, those people still hurting.

But sometimes, it seems, we get caught up in the needs and what we are yet wanting God to do in our lives that we forget to be thankful. We are often focused on what God can do for us rather than what He has already done in our lives. It is clear that this is something we've struggled with from the beginning, as it says in Psalm 106:7, "Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea." And later in verse 21, "They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt."

The reason the rebelled is because they were so focused on what God had yet to do for them rather than what He had already done. How often we too have that focus. We get the idea in our heads that prayer is only asking when that really that is just a part of it. Prayer is a way of worshiping our Jesus. How often do we simply sit at His feet and dwell on who He is? How often do we thank Him for past answered prayers? How often do we declare His greatness in our lives and shout out our great love for Him?

God delights to hear our requests and longs to answer our prayers. He loves to see diligent prayer warriors laboring on behalf of the lost and the dying. But God also loves to hear our gratitude as well.

Yes our hearts will always be full, but may they be full of thankfulness instead of complaints and praise above all else. May our prayers be full of worship rather than simply listing our complaints. For when we have hearts of gratitude we are changed and we are able to truly change this world. When we focus on what He has done we can't help but be filled with His joy that will stand out in a dark world and it will build our faith as we continue to labor in prayer over the requests we still have.

May we not be like the Israelite's, but instead may we live lives of praise and adoration to our beautiful King Jesus as we "forget not all His benefits"! (Psalm 103:2)

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.”
-Psalm 105:4-5

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