When we were teaching Cali how to pray, we started with these simple words, “Dear Jesus, thank you for today.” The words were simple enough for her to say and gave her a good foundation to begin her prayers, by thanking God for a good day.
But now, when I listen to her pray, the words “thank you” have become more than simple. They represent a relationship with the Father, who one day, I pray, she may come to know. I am certain that she does not fully know right now the true meaning that I have come to understand. One day she will. But today, for me, I continue to learn what a true child-like faith looks like through her prayers.
When Cali prays, every sentence begins with thank you. At first it made me giggle, to hear her thank God for her boo boo’s and for papa’s sickness or mommy’s headaches and a bad day. I’m not sure that Papa was really thankful for being sick, and I KNOW that I am not thankful for my migraines. But why not?
How often do I really thank God for what He has given me? If I truly think about that, my honest answer has to be “not enough”.
I am very quick to ask Him for my needs, especially in sickness and for healing or in times when I feel like I need Him to fix my circumstances. I am quick to pray for others who are hurting or needing help. I even pray for those qualities that I feel my husband needs to culminate. (Like I don’t need them too. HA!) But I honestly don’t thank God enough for the things I have or don’t have, nor do I thank Him for my circumstances, especially the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
Philippians 4:6 says, “do not be anxious in anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God.”
Wow! I am to be thankful in all things first and foremost, before presenting my requests to Him. When it comes down to it, that can be a really hard thing to do.
How can one be thankful when you are sick and feeling so crummy that you can’t even get out of bed? Or when your spouse loses their job and you have no steady income to support your family? How can one be thankful when a loved one just passed away? Or when your house floods, or burns down and you’ve lost everything?
The answer is through faith. Faith in God that He will work through our circumstances, no matter how good or bad they are. Faith that He will give us all that we need, no matter how little or how much we want. Faith that God is MY God, MY Creator, MY Comforter, MY Healer, MY Provider. Faith that He is YOUR God, YOUR Creator, YOUR Comforter, YOUR Healer, YOUR Provider. He knows our circumstances and needs even before we do. So how could we NOT be thankful for them?
7 years ago God knew that the flood waters would rise to my home and He knew that my 4 month old baby boy would have to ride in a raft down our street along with the rest of us, leaving all we had behind. Before getting in that raft, I stood with my husband at our window looking out at the rising water and as Greg prayed for God to be glorified in our circumstance I was at peace with what may come.
The next morning as we drove home, not knowing if our home had been the one that exploded on our block, we came to the realization that we may have lost everything. A calm, sweet little voice from the back seat said, “mom, we are going to be alright.” She was right. We were going to be ok.
I thanked God that everything I loved and needed was in the car with me and prayed that He would take care of us and protect us. And you know what? He did.
Philippians 4:6 says, “In everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God.” But it goes on to say in verse 7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If we don’t thank God for everything, how can we find the peace that He so longs to give us?
Who knows if Cali truly is thankful for everything she says in her prayers, or if she is just saying that because it is how she learned to pray? All I know is that maybe I need to follow her example and even if I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day my prayer at the end of that day should begin, “Dear Jesus, thank you for today.”
Our guest blogger today is a California girl turned Tennessean who has a heart for Jesus the size of Texas! Jen Moore was one of the first people I met when I moved to Tennessee and we quickly became close friends. I am happy to have Jen as one of our guest contributors. She is a humble and willing vessel the Lord uses to share God’s love with others.