I’ve been reflecting on thankfulness this week. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, however, it has been hard to ignore with all the messages on social media.
I wish we did celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s very powerful to stop, be still for a few moments, at least, and reflect on what we are thankful for. In doing this we cease thinking about ourselves as we put our mind to God, to other people, or to simply to something else, depending on what we believe.
Praying with a thankful heart
One key lesson I’ve learnt this year is the power of thanking God as I go through my day. Earlier in the year I read a marvellous book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, that opened my eyes to the extraordinary power that a thankful and grateful heart brings to our life.
Ann’s book is a beautiful story of her walk with the Lord in overcoming her “stuff” and allowing the Lord’s Presence to transform her. Ann journaled her thanksgiving by documenting the gifts she acknowledged as she went about her day. The majority of these were the everyday things we so often take for granted whether a beautiful sunrise or the gorgeous aroma that fills a kitchen after baking something scrumptious.
It’s a beautiful book and I recommend it highly. Ann studies Jesus and how He was continually giving thanks to the Father.
“Eucharisteo – thanksgiving – always precedes the miracle.”1
This idea blew my mind. Let’s look at Jesus feeding the 5,000.
“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” (John 6:11)
Jesus started with five loaves and two small fish, but once he “gave thanks”, there was plenty for everyone plus 12 baskets of leftovers.
“Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts.”2
I love that above quote. Since reading Ann’s book I’ve made a point of commencing my pray time by giving thanks. And it is amazing; when I am feeling flat and dry not really wanting to pray that as soon as I begin giving thanks, my heart opens, the dryness disappears and I sense the Father’s presence.
So today, I am thankful to God that He has given us a direct line to His Presence. Through prayer and thanksgiving we can know His thoughts.
What are you thankful for today?
Notes: 1. “One Thousand Gifts”, Ann Voskamp, Zondervan 2011, p35; 2. “Jesus Calling”, Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson 2004, p.343