Are you like me? It’s easy to pray about the things that I want or even need. It’s easy to rattle off the supplications to God as a check list of the desires I have. Even if they are spiritual and justifiable needs and wants. But I think God wants me to include more than that in my prayers. I think we should include giving thanks in prayer.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he provides some helpful tips on making the best of our prayers. Verse 9 of chapter 3 he says,
For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account,
Paul asks the Thessalonians how they can thank God enough for them. It’s obvious Paul often gave thanks. Why was he so thankful? Because of the great enjoyment it gave him, in God’s presence, to know and understand how others were committing themselves to Christ and how they were living their lives following Him. He finds it difficult to see how he can be as thankful as he ought to be when compared to the joy they have given.
At the beginning of the letter, he wrote how he always thanked God for them in his prayers. It is a tune he sang in many of his letters. It is usually a wonderful place to start when praying for others.
Let me encourage you to put it into practice in your prayers. Say things like…
Father, thank you for ________ and for _______ and for their dedication to you. Help them to continue to be faithful and bring more and more encouragement to me.
Let’s be honest. The Christian life would be lonely if we had to do it alone. We should be thankful we have each other.
Are you giving thanks to God for other Christians? Are you enjoying the fellowship we have together in Christ? Then be thankful for it and communicate it to God in your prayers.
I love you,