“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We are now in the Easter season when we celebrate and thank God for the resurrection. This week’s prayer practice is gratitude. Practicing gratitude in our prayer life helps us to be aware of the abundance God is giving to us. Often we get stuck complaining about scarcity, or we fall into a habit of criticism and negativity. But, we see life differently when we intentionally thank God for what we have and for what is good. When we don’t practice gratitude, it’s like going to a 3-D movie without the 3-D glasses: you can’t see clearly what is right in front of you. But when we practice gratitude, it’s like putting on 3-D glasses: we see the abundance God is providing crisply and clearly, right in front of us.
One way to practice gratitude in your prayer life is to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, you think of things that you are grateful for and write them in your journal. You can also write to God about what each thing means to you. You can even use art to express your thanks by adding photos or pictures to each entry. The very act of making an entry in a gratitude journal is a prayer in and of itself, but you can also use your entries to inspire you to thank God with prayers and songs of praise.
Over time, you can look back and remind yourself of the abundance God provides in your life, through good times and bad. There are Psalms that do this, too, reminding us of God’s steadfast love and all that God has done (Psalm 106, 107). Keeping a gratitude journal and looking back on it helps us to thank God in all circumstances. It reminds us of God’s steadfast love, God’s generous abundance in all the times of life. This transforms us into people of thankfulness and praise. May God bless the time you spend in prayer.
Grace and peace,