(Phil 4:6 NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
This morning we continue our series entitled, “Re-Energizing Your Prayer Life,” by continuing with our 10 Steps to Preparedness in Prayer. In our last message I gave you Step 6: Wash Yourself in the Word. Today we will discuss Step 7: Give Thanks.
In Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica he taught the believers there about living a life that is pleasing to God. In his closing remarks he said, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thes 5:16-18). I believe Paul was teaching that the secret to living a life that is pleasing to God is to maintain your joy, to keep an active prayer life, and to GIVE THANKS to God IN all circumstances. Notice that he said “IN” all circumstances and not “FOR” all circumstances. If we are honest we must acknowledge the fact that everything that happens to us is NOT good and we DON’T always like everything we face. But Paul’s point is that we should trust God enough to believe that at the-end-of-the-day we will still come out on top. We may not always be able to Thank Him FOR IT, but we can still thank Him IN IT. This attitude of gratitude will go a long way in preparing us to pray with the right disposition.
When we approach God with praise on our lips and thanksgiving in our heart we often find ourselves enjoying the worship and just praising God for who He is, long before we every ask Him for anything in prayer. But make no mistake; this worship helps establish an atmosphere for God to move. David taught us that God literally inhabits the praises of His people (Ps 22:3). While God is already present within us (as Born-Again believers), there is another level of presence that manifests itself in the atmosphere of praise. And it is in this environment – of praise and divine presence – that many prayers are made and answered.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi he said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Notice that Paul taught us to include thanksgiving in and with our prayers.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Worship prepares the place and the person for prayer.
2. Praying with thanksgiving helps you maintain the proper attitude during prayer.
3. Thanking God for the answer, even while you are praying (making the petition), tells God that You trust He will bring it to pass.
4. Praising God in advance, by faith, will ignite God to move and help you maintain your peace while you wait on the manifestation of your prayers.
Closing Confession: Father, this is the day that You have made, I choose to rejoice and to be glad in it. I give You praise today and always. I enter into Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise. I call upon You Father and I magnify Your name. I enter every day of my life with praise on my lips, worship in my heart, a spring in my step, and expectation in my spirit. Worship is a part of my daily routine. I don’t pray without worshipping You. Before I ask for anything, I praise and worship You for who You are and for what You have done for me. You have blessed me beyond measure and I will never cease to praise You for it. My praise prepares me and the place where I am praying for the prayer session itself. When I praise You come in and inhabit the place with me and once You are there, with Your manifest presence, You hear and respond to my prayers of faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!