When we choose to be thankful, it changes us.
On the other hand, when we do not even think about being thankful, or expressing it, it shows we need change. See, unexpressed thanks or gratitude is not worth very much.
I love to read the prayers and writings of believers of years gone by--I pray that these renderings will fill your heart and mind with thankfulness toward our great God. This prayer by Susanna Wesley is beautiful—it is her affirmation that God is in control, no matter what is going on in this world. For God’s sovereignty, she is filled with thanksgiving and praise.
I thank you, O God, for the relief and satisfaction of mind that come with the firm assurance that you govern the world; for the patience and resignation to your providence that are afforded as I reflect that even the tumultuous and irregular actions of the sinful are, nevertheless, under your direction, who are wise, good, and omnipotent, and have promised to make all things work together for good to those who love you. Susanna Wesley, 1669-1742, Mother of 19 children, including John Wesley
And now, a brief thought from her son: Eternal God, my sovereign Lord, I acknowledge all I am, all I have is yours. Give me such a sense of your infinite goodness that I may return to you all possible love and obedience. John Wesley, 1703-179, founder of the Methodist Church
Join your heart with mine, and let’s thank God together:
“Now thank we all our God, maker of Heaven and earth . . .while much is uncertain on a daily basis, we know who holds the future, and we know who holds our hand.
We look to You, O God, and lift our hearts in thankfulness to our great God.
Daily, we underestimate your power; often, we fail to note how you are working around us...
We thank you, Lord, that you would choose to involve us in your work; we thank you that indeed you cause all to work together for good to those who love you. That is a promise issued forth from the hand of Paul1, an inspiration breathed into him by your Spirit.
It is good and right to thank you and praise you, God—no matter our circumstances… maybe especially in times of pain and difficulties. I think of Paul and Silas, who in great physical pain, would not be silenced; no instead, they prayed and sang praises to you, Lord … you miraculously worked out their situation. I think of Paul who later wrote to the Philippians, while again in prison—this time in Rome—saying, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’2
Thank you for life and breath and strength--we offer ourselves to you this day." Amen and Amen
Friend, are you in anguish over a personal matter? I am sure you are praying, but do what Paul did—thank God, praise God … watch him come and work, notice that your faith is strengthened by speaking out the truth of the God who loves, hears and answers prayer.
Here's another idea: put a pad of paper and a pen on your bedside table; before you turn off your light tonight, write down five things for which you are thankful. Then, go to sleep with thanksgiving on your lips. Awaken to see it, and smile as you start your day. Ah, it is good to be alive! Do it again next night. Sow a habit, foster an attitude of thankfulness.
See, you might be grateful, you might be thankful even in your heart and mind, but unless you express it—to God … unless you express it to your mate, your friend, your child … well, Friend, whether you mean to or not, you are deemed ungrateful. Grateful? Thankful? Express it. To God. To others.
In Jesus' Name ...
5/Worship: Psalm 34, Brooklyn Tabernacle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfW2mkkMTAg
1 – Romans 8.28
2 – Philippians 4.6