November 19, 2017

How Giving Thanks Leads to Powerful Prayer


“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”--Psalms 50:23

Please know that I choose my blog topics because of my life experience. In some cases, I write what I’ve learned through research and formal education.  I write my opinions only to uplift myself and others; I don’t claim expertise in any given field.

I’ve been thinking about prayer lately. It’s beyond difficult when we pray quite often and don’t come up with immediate solutions to our problems. We may even have to wait for years. That has been true in my life.

I could tell you story after story of how my victories have been delayed or seriously downsized. (Yes, I meant to use that word—with all its meanings.)

Lately, I’ve realized I’m getting my prayers answered more than I realize, but in unexpected ways.  For instance, I might not be given Opportunity A, but I’m led to the new and improved Opportunity B.

Also, in many cases, I haven’t been praying with the right mindset. I prayed with impatience and a lack of faith. It’s no surprise I wasn’t always receiving what I “demanded” through my prayers.

Let’s discuss attitude. I’ve learned one important truth about powerful prayer:



Show Gratitude First

I used to really be a whiner—in life, and in my prayers. I would complain about the same problem over and over to God. I would vent in (usually) appropriate amounts to close friends, too.

Think about it: Don’t individuals start tuning out those who only criticize? Such negativity implies they don’t respect and appreciate the help people are trying to give them.  

Pessimism doesn’t create solidarity; mutual understanding and compassion do.

Parents
Do earthly parents want to give more to their kids when they complain about what they’ve already been given—or say they don’t have enough of something? I know I don’t. See if these thoughts sound familiar:
 “You probably won’t like what I buy/cook/make next time, either, so do I really want to bother?”
“Why don’t you recognize the numerous kindnesses I do for you, instead of selfishly nitpicking at a few miscalculations or delays?”
God
Are we sending God the message, “You aren’t doing a good enough job,” as some of our children, friends, and co-workers will? Really? Is that truly the message we want to send to the Creator of the Universe who has the big picture, unlike us? (See my last post here.)
Most of us don’t want to reward a bad attitude.  As a mother and a substitute teacher, I can tell you that. Why would God be any different?
My Conclusion

Every prayer does not get answered exactly as predicted. I don’t know if there’s one simple answer to explain that much-debated issue. Still, thankfulness for what is right in our lives is likely to catch God’s attention and win him to our side. That’s certainly the case with parents on Earth, isn’t it?

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Are you empowering yourself through gratitude?