"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7 NIV
The other day I was praying while some worship music played on my Zune and God spoke to me and said, "turn that off and go play for me." So I did. And He gave me a beautiful (original) song based on this scripture above. This verse is one of my favorites and it's in my heart all the time and just came naturally flowing out as I was at the piano.
I tend to focus on the "do not be anxious" part of this verse and the "present your requests to God" part, and the "peace of God transcending understanding" part but this week as I read it once more I noticed the word "thanksgiving" there. I've always known it was there but it didn't really "pop out" to me until this week. All of this is to be done with thanksgiving. He's saying, "even while you are going through trials and asking me for peace, maintain gratefulness."
God knows it's easy in the midst of trials and tribulations (as we are dealing with anxiety and needing to present our requests and receive His peace) it's easy to become ungrateful - even to complain a lot about the situation we are dealing with, instead of realizing all the blessings we have.
I used to really complain about cleaning my bathrooms...until I went to Africa and developed friendships with people who live in the Mathare Valley slum and have never had the privilege of taking a bath or a shower.
We go through things at our job...it's easy to lose a grateful heart that we actually have a job.
Stuff happens with our kids...it's easy to lose a grateful heart that we have our precious children. I've met A LOT of people who asked me to pray that they could have kids in the first place and once they had them, they did nothing but complain about them! (Pet peeve of mine...)
Things happen in our marriage...it's easy to lose a grateful heart that we have a partner. (Again, I've prayed for a lot of ladies who wanted to be married -- prayed that man into their life. Now all they do it talk about how sucky their husband is.)
Please tell me why I waste my prayers on this?
As we go through things in our lives we have to be so careful to preserve an attitude of Thanksgiving. The very thing we went before God about yesterday and begged him for we can become ungrateful about today. Lord help us not to do that.
I want to live a life of Thanksgiving.
Today among many other things I'm thankful that:
- Larry and the kids had a great time at the convention. Stuff happened for eternity!
- I'm thankful for amazingly faithful leaders in our church.
- I'm thankful for Paul Fryfogle (a member of our worship ministries) who emails me every week about how excited he is about the worship set.
- Today is the Celebration Church Thanksgiving dinner. I can't wait! We do a huge traditional Thanksgiving meal followed by praise & worship led by the band, frontline, choir, and then testimonies of what God has done for us in 2010. Powerful stuff.
- Larry just fixed my cruiser bike! It has been broken the past few months. I've been borrowing Savanna's bike. I much prefer my cruiser, it's more comfortable, less strain on my back. So thankful!
- It's Thanksgiving week! I have full days of work leading up to it, real full -- but hey, I'm blessed to be employed! So blessed! And Thursday is going to be amazing.
- I'm thankful that I'm having Martha Stewart's recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes this morning for breakfast before church, and Starbucks coffee with pumpkin spice creamer!