God… ‘Thank You’
“We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey. Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings of one day. We might begin; we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world.” -George A. Buttrick
It has been said that the most powerful prayer in the world is just two words long: “Thank You”.
When the worries and fears of life suddenly show up at our doorstep, we pray — we ask God for help. Most of us quote the Apostle Paul — “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication…”(Philippians 4:6).
What’s interesting is that the verse continues with these words — “…with thanksgiving”. But, when life is not the way it is supposed to be — when nothing makes sense — when the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming your way — how do you pray “thank you”? I have found reflecting on these scriptures to be a wonderful help:
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17 ESV)
“…come into His presence with thanksgiving…” (Psalm 95:2 ESV)
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3 ESV)
“Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving…” (Psalm 147:7 ESV)
Praying when you are burdened, and adding “thank you” is a conscious choice. It’s about choosing to put “life” in perspective, especially when I am troubled and anxious.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), writer of the well-known commentary Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, was robbed one night. On that very night, after the robbery, he penned this prayer,
“I thank thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was not I who robbed.”
When you pray, add a “P.S.” — an “attitude of gratitude”. While you may not understand everything right now, tell God “Thank you” for being there… “Thank you” for your steadfast love… “Thank you” that I can trust your heart even though I don’t understand… “Thank you” for your grace… “Thank you” for____________[you fill in the blank].
An old hymn reminds you to “Count your blessings — name them one by one.”
Pray? Of course.
Ask God for help? Yes.
But be sure to add “Thank You”.
It just might turn your prayers — and your life — around.