I’ve been working through a new prayer journal I was given for my birthday in December, and one of the things I most appreciate about it is that it reminds me daily that we are to come to Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” This is how we should come before God. He blesses us constantly. When we come to Him in prayer, we should first bless Him: Thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do, and praise Him for Who He is.
Putting thanksgiving and praise first changes our whole attitude toward prayer. It reminds us that He is not a server at a fast-food window, but a loving father who wants to sit down with us and give us the very best. It builds our faith as we remember all of the wonderful – even wonderfully small – things He’s already done for us; and if we plan to ask Him for anything, we need faith to believe He will answer!
I tried keeping a thanksgiving journal once before, and it was reasonably successful, but I found myself thanking Him only for what I saw as…well, not necessarily “big” things, but readily noticeable things. Now, though, beginning my days in thanks as I do, I find myself coming more like a child who thanks her daddy for every small thing – and in doing so I am reminded over and over again that a lot of those “small things” aren’t really that small after all.
At the very least, they are a continual reminder that He is interested in every area of my life – every minor incident, every dark corner… and I am truly thankful for this, because there have been quite a few of both. Honestly, some days I get so caught up in thanking God in my morning prayers that I don’t make it much further through the journal, and you know what? I find the requests I was going to make still get answered anyway…thanks to Him.