Prayers & News:
Prayers of Supplication
Prayers of Thanksgiving
In our series looking at the various aspects of Christian life, we've studied what God has to say about having an Abundant Life and a Peaceful Life. Now, let's look at the Thankful Life. And for giving thanks, there's nothing like the book of Psalms.
Psalm 118:1 "Oh Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; for his steadfast love endures forever."
Have you ever read Psalm 118? If not, you gotta do it. It's the account of the history of Israel for the liturgical community to sing responsively. The leader will recount a portion of the history of Israel and the congregation will respond "For his steadfast love endures forever." And it continues this way throughout the whole history of God's works of deliverance: from darkness to light in Creation to bondage to freedom in the Exodus and beyond. But behind the whole story, the Psalmist teaches us, is God's unending love, and therefore our thankfulness towards him.
Maybe you've been told before that you should thank God no matter what and that it's impious to ask why you should thank Him. Maybe you've been told that you shouldn't look for a reason but just do it because He says so. These are simply wrong, non-biblical, pseudo-pious dreams. We thank God, we love God, we pray to Him, for a reason. And where we don't have a reason, we're just doing lip service and our hearts aren't really in it.
So then why should you "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess. 5:18)? It's because of what God has done FOR YOU. The Psalmist says, "Because His steadfast love endures forever;" that is, because He is continually working His mighty acts of love and mercy in this world to benefit you and others. And we are called to continually call these mighty works to mind, to remember, to recount, to proclaim, and by so doing we are constantly reminded of God's steadfast, immovable, eternal, unbounded love for us and the world (John 3:16). Which, by the way, doing this is called Faith. And when we recall the wonders God has worked for us, most especially we cling to and remember the work of Jesus Christ in our place on that cross and in that tomb, we are constantly called to give Him thanks – because He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.
So don't just thank God to thank Him. Don't just praise Him to praise Him. Thank and praise Him for what He's done for you – by sending His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, die, and rise in victory for you, so that believing in Jesus as your Savior from sin, you shall not perish but you shall have everlasting life. So give thanks.