This week I’d like for our discussion to be a little more reflective than usual, a little more devotional if you will. What I’d like us to consider is how to thankfully pray. We all know the old aphorism that “life is not about thanksgiving, it’s about thanksliving”. That is we should not be giving thanks at specific times but our entire attitude, our entire way of life should reflect our thankfulness to God for the great gifts he has given us. This was sort of the topic last week, that we should live, out of thankfulness to God, in such a way that others give thanks to God for what we have done.
But there are also times when specific, active thanks are in order. No other time is more fitting to give thanks than when we are at prayer. So the first question that comes to mind is when do we pray? This is another one like the thanksliving thing. Scripture is pretty clear that we are always to be prayerful. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing”. We are to pray in the ordinary moments of our lives as well as the extraordinary. But some times are more focused than others, sometimes our internal dialog with God is more overt, more intentional. What then, how are we to pray with thanksgiving?
Over the next two or three weeks I thought it might be a good time to discuss thanksgiving. You’ll note that is in lower case because we are not talking about the Holiday loaded with Turkey, Tryptophan and Touchdowns, but the act of giving thanks. Today in thinking about thanksgiving we want to ask; what is its purpose and what is our part in it?
Here is a logical chain to consider.
- “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Everything that is or was in the world belongs to God, by right, as the Creator.
- We, no less than any other part of all that is, are part of God’s creation, therefore
- We are God’s possessions, His chattel.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Not only are we God’s by right of creation, to the extent we are Christians we are His “new”creations.
- “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works”. God created and then recreated us to do Good Works.
- “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” So the purpose of good works is to produce thankfulness among people directed toward God.
- Thankfulness brings honor and glory to God which is;
- The entire point of creation in the first place.