God speaks: Thanksgiving, 2020.
If God sent you an email this week, perhaps it would say something like this:
“My child, of course you know I do not watch television news, but I have heard what some of your health officials, some of your government workers have said about cancelling Thanksgiving this year . . . really? If ever you needed a time set aside to give thanks, it is now.
Perhaps you didn’t know that the first Thanksgiving meal in the autumn of 1620 in Plymouth was after a most difficult year - a year in fact where there was much hardship, disease and even death. By percentages, those deaths far exceeded what has been experienced this year, and yet, they set aside time to give thanks to Me. A devoted bunch they were.
The ragtag crew who had sailed across the Atlantic risked all to serve Me freely in a new land, but they had lost much - still their hearts swelled with gratitude for Me.
One day you will share a thanks-giving meal with my son, Paul, who knew quite a lot about suffering and yet thanked Me through it. In a dank prison when he wrote, his words carry even greater weight, I think, as he cautioned: do not worry, pray; and make sure you pepper it with giving thanks. Then, you will have peace. Take a look:”
Friend, I first memorized these verses Paul penned from the King James Version,
~>“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4.6-7
These words were inspirational for me.
However, the words became life to me when I claimed them for my blonde curly-haired little girl of seven, Amy, who asked me the meaning of life as I said her evening prayers with her one night. ‘Ah Lord,’ I prayed as I put my own head down on the pillow, ‘what can I give her little troubled mind, so old for one so young?’ God gave me these verses to pray for her, over her and with her. Indeed they became the verses I prayed for Amy as she went through grammar school, high school, away to U.C. Berkeley . . .
~>“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.” (NIV)
But why the 'with thanksgiving' piece?
When praying, it is good and it is right to thank God for how he has carried you in the past, for how he has answered prayer, and to remember his faithfulness.
It is just to thank God because he will hear and answer prayer now…
And it is right to thank God because he is with you in your situation, in your circumstances. And even when there is suffering, he is still there with you and can turn it for good.
So, even in praying, my child, giving thanks is vital. It keeps you present, ever mindful, of my attention and intention in your life.
Perhaps listening to this song will get you started . . . Never forget how much
I love you." Your Father
5/Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, All I want to say is 'thank you, Lord.' Thank you, Lord, for loving me, for giving me your Word, for giving us Jesus and new life! Thank you for the promise of forever with You, Lord. Thank you for knowing the requests in my mind and caring about every single one of them. Just thank you, Lord. I love you.