We teach our children to say “please” and “thank you” when they ask for or receive something. We expect other adults to do the same. How often do we stop and say “thank you” to God? I’m beginning to think I don’t say it enough.
Courtesy: Being thankful is a courtesy. We may say it sarcastically to others. We may say it without meaning it…just a rote reaction. Being thankful to God should never be either of those.
Truly Thankful: This is a gift to the giver. It shows that we appreciate that something significant has happened. You may be having a bad day while you are reading this. Stop for a moment and search your mind for something you are truly grateful for.
Counting Blessings: Science has shown that this can actually improve our moods. There is a “100 day challenge” involving thankfulness. Several people are doing it on Facebook. The challenge is to find at least one thing every day for 100 days that you are thankful for.
Some of the things on those lists have been significant. Events attended, help in doing a difficult task and so on. Some aren’t all that big, but they are still blessings. A ride home from work in the rain, getting to sleep in, finding a lost item or chatting with a neighbor.
Outline: Going back to prayer and being thankful to God, we can use the outline Jesus gave us. The Lord’s Prayer isn’t just a prayer. It shows us how to talk to God in way that pleases Him. In it we acknowledge God’s will, His power and His glory. When we get to that part, we can add in all of the things we are grateful for.
I have a challenge for you. Start today and go with the 100 days of blessings. Add those blessings to your prayer life. Mean them when you pray and see what happens. The people I’ve spoken with who have done this challenge are finding blessings great and small. They are seeing the world in a better light.
I’ll start. Today I am thankful for my laptop, the air conditioner and the fact that I don’t have to go anywhere. I’m grateful for my health, my family and the fact that I woke up this morning. Thank you, Lord for these blessings.