“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 ) Why is it when we try to give control over to God as this verse instructs, we still find ourselves worrying? The problem is that we are often still clinging to our ideas about how things ought to go. In doing so we are secretly continuing our attempts at control and essentially saying to God we know a better way. Getting rid of our anxiety when we pray begins by giving up our ideas and desires about things in deference to God.
When confronted with situations that seem so overwhelming and hopeless we know not how to pray, we can take a cue from the prayer book of Jesus, standing before the tomb of Lazarus.
When it comes to counting our blessings, this is one of several heartfelt declarations of thanksgiving to God in Psalm 16 that make it an appropriate Thanksgiving Holiday Psalm.
When answers to our prayers tarry, while the temptation to give up increases, it’s a great encouragement to read these words of the Apostle Paul reiterating the teaching of Jesus to “always pray and never give up!”
“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Forty five seconds – that is how long most award shows, including the Oscars, give recipients to say “Thanks!” Conveying thanks to the people in our lives who have blessed us and contributed to our success is of paramount importance. We dare not leave anyone out, especially mom, dad, our spouse and God.
I think the 45 second rule is a good one to incorporate in our everyday lives. Giving immediate and heartfelt thanks to those who bless us with some kindness, however great or small, has a multiplied benefit. It is not only an expression of common decency to our fellow human beings, but it is also an acknowledgement of the presence in each of us of the divine. As those who believe in God, we know that “every good and perfect gift is from above” originating from our Heavenly Father (James 1:17 NIV). When others are kind to us, it is a tangible indication of God Himself showering us with His goodness. What better use of the next forty-five seconds is there than to say “thanks,” to both our human and divine benefactors?