A Tool of “Thanksgiving” #1

The other day I had an earth-shattering moment … an awakening. Have you ever been to a prayer meeting? I’m not talking about some mamsey-pamsey time where the squeaky pastor stands behind his podium looking up to the ceiling calling upon the powers of “The Almighty God-da.” Nah, I’m talking about the kind grandma used to go to and how you were afraid for her to come home because you knew God spoke to her about your last grievous whoa you had been keeping a secret. Well, that’s the kind of prayer meeting I’m referring to. Our mid-week service, if you will, is similar to that. We have an hour and a half or so of personal/private prayer time and for the last one to two hours, we come together in joint prayer together. It is a time of humble power as we reveal our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to bear His to ours. Last week, at prayer, I realized that I am not a “thankful” person. Now, I don’t mean that I don’t tell people thanks for things or even that I don’t genuinely mean it … I do. In fact, I think I do a pretty good job of that. Nevertheless, what I mean is I struggle to put a list of things together to thank God for in my times of thanksgiving to Him. Do you know that verse that says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”? Well, that’s what I’m talking about. This is where the “tool” aspect comes from … just like a key is needed to gain access to a locked door or a door knob is needed just for gaining access through a closed door, those “tools” are requisite of entrance. Thanksgiving is the needed tool for entrance into God’s presence. Now, I don’t think God is just waiting for us to say, “God, thank you for this” or “Thank you for that” but rather He responds to our humility, our acknowledgement of our need of Him, our sovereign provider and sustainer.

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

Therefore, with this realization I came to God and with the feeling of gut-wrenching-penetrative-knife-in-the-chest kind of vulnerability I asked the Lord to make me, change me, into a man with a more thankful perspective. Keep in mind, I’m one of those guys who drive through a streak of green traffic lights and I’m thanking God or I pull into a crowded parking lot only to find an immediate opening … but in my own way, in my own soul searching way I personally felt I could be a more thankful man, a more grateful person. This, I prayed in the quietness of my own time with God, just He and I. After this personal reflective time and after the corporate gathering I overheard the Pastor sharing with someone else in the group the title for his upcoming few sermons, “Uncommon Thankfulness.” Therefore, this series will be both a reflection upon what he unfolds as well as a confession of what God peels back to reveal in my own life.

Question: The next post will be a further dissection of what this topic involves in my own heart and life, but tell me, how do you communicate your thankfulness to your spouse, children, co-workers, peers … God?

Until later . . .       

Jonathan Watson

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