VB099 Thanksgiving

Maybe, thanksgiving and perseverance are the two missing elements in a proper theology of prayer. God knows what we need before we ask, but He desires the fellowship and faith involved in prayer. …VB099

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is spoken gratitude or gratefulness toward God for what He has done. Thankfulness and praise are power twins (1Chr 16:4; 29:13). And Psalm 35:18 says, “I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.” We do not worry or fret over things. When we pray, we thank the Lord for all creation, for re-creating and saving us. His peace replaces worry and tension.

Phil 4:6 (ESV) –do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

In” (i.e. any given time) everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” This is a key answer to anxiety – prayer, for others and ourselves, mixed with thanksgiving. It is interesting how often Paul uses the term “thanksgiving” in combination with prayer (cf. Eph 5:20; Col 4:2; 1Thes 5:17-18; 1Tim 2:1).

Let your requests be made known to God” There are several places in the New Testament which emphasize that believers should persist in prayer (cf. Mt 7:7-11; Lk 18:2-8). Maybe, thanksgiving and perseverance are the two missing elements in a proper theology of prayer. God knows what we need before we ask, but He desires the fellowship and faith involved in prayer.

Eph 5:20 (NASB) –always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;

Giving thanks” means to be grateful, to express gratitude, like saying grace at a meal. From a word that translates well favored, or grateful. The opposite is thankless, or ungrateful, which is associated with “evil,” or “unh0ly,” (cf. Lk 6:35; 2Tim 3:2.)

For,” huper[G5228] (hï-per’) prep. This means; over, above, or beyond a place or thing. Not because of, but above all things. Paul used is a different Greek word here, than translated “in” at Philippians 4:6, but he didn’t contradict his theology.

Bad things don’t come from God, so we don’t thank Him for them. We do, however, thank Him during bad things. Thankfulness is a powerful “amen” to our faith-filled prayers, it is our faith saying we already have our petition. Giving thanks will get us out of bad things. Our praise is a powerful weapon!

So the word “For” in this verse, should have been translated, “beyond or above.” Making it read, “Always giving thanks beyond or above all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father.”

I remember a time setting at the thanksgiving dinner table at a distant relatives’ house. This extended part of our family had a tradition of going around the table and each person would tell some things for which they were thankful to God. When it came to my turn, I could barely speak. My brain shut down, and after a pregnant pause, I finally said that I was thankful for such a great family, repeating what the last person had said.

But why, you ask? I was young, and lost as a ball in tall weeds! I was taught to thank people when they gave me something, I wasn’t stupid, but I didn’t know God! People who don’t know God, don’t think much about thanking Him. And they get uneasy when around others who do.

For my first 19 years, I was lumped in with “evil,” and “unholy,” I was ungrateful.

Let me paraphrase a couple of verses:, (See, Lk 6:35; 2Tim 3:2).

Luke says to love your enemies, since God is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. (Praise God for His kindness and grace!) Paul told Timothy, in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy.

By His kindness and grace, I came from being lumped in with the unthankful, evil, and unholy – to having a Holy Spirit-filled life! I am saved and thankful for it!

Giving thanks is an evidence of the Spirit-filled life (cf. Eph 5:18-20; Phil 4:6-8; 1Thess 5:16-18). Spirit-filled believers know that God is for them, and that circumstances are not the source of joy and peace.

Eph 5:18-20 (ESV) – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, [19] addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, [20] giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Phil 4:6-7 (ESV) – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1Thess 5:18-20 (ESV) – give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. [19] Do not quench the Spirit. [20] Do not despise prophecies,

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You! Instead of stewing over circumstances that trouble me, Lord, I receive your peace which keeps my soul. Lord, I thank You for all creation. Thank You for your mighty saving grace. Father, I celebrate the kindness and strength You give me while I’m in trouble. Instead of stress alienating and distracting me from You, I am strengthened and drawn close to You by my praise and thanksgiving. Lord Jesus, I celebrate You! Amen.

God bless you my friend,

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