Verse of the Day

Sunday, January 4, 2015

ABC's of Gratitude

For the last few weeks I have been reading Max Lucado's book, Before Amen. The book has been a great study on how to pray and Max gives a very simple 'pocket prayer' to use as a guide to have more meaningful prayers.  Max even describes himself as a prayer wimp.  I now if I am honest with myself, I tend to be a prayer wimp as well.  I have some good friends who are able to articulate the most beautiful, heartfelt prayers that are very detailed and honest.  Unfortunately, I tend to be brief and very general in my prayers - until this study! Throughout this study I have learned (or am learning) to be more specific and intentional about my prayers.

The pocket prayer that Max uses in this book is as follows:

Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Each chapter of the book has covered a different phrase of the pocket prayer and how to use that phrase as a guide to dig deep into our heart and to be honest and specific with God about that area of life!

Well today I finished Chapter 8 which was the chapter on the "Thank You" phrase. Here are a few facts / quotes about the importance of being thankful:

  • We are commanded over 100 times in Scripture to give thanks
  • Adam & Eve's lack of thankfulness led to discontentment & ingratitude (so basically not being thankful led to the first sin)
  • The Israelites wondered around for 40 years because of their lack of thankfulness (not being thankful leads to grumbling & complaining)
  • To say thanks is to celebrate a gift
  • Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems

Also included in this chapter was Max's personal ABCs of Gratitude list in which he identified different things in life he is thankful for from A to Z.  What I noticed on his list was simple things and even some silly things (like bald spots, chocolate, naps, running water, walks, etc.) --- things I would normally never even think about thanking God for.  As part of the study, we were encouraged to make our own ABCs of Gratitude list and let me tell you - it was hard! I don't have a problem being thankful for my salvation, my family, my friends, my health, my church -- you know all the things we are all thankful for.  But when I started focusing on the small - the mundane - the things I normally take for granted ---  well let's just say it looked a lot easier than it was to do.  But oh what joy I got from it! Here is a picture of my list:

Ok, so maybe some of these are not so mundane & 'small" but for the most part I found things to be thankful for that I have never taken the time to even recognize much less give thanks for!

If you are struggling with a sense of gloom or you haven't had any joy in a while, I encourage you to take the time to do your own ABCs of Gratitude list. I promise you, you will be thankful you did! Leave me a comment and let me know some of the things you are thankful for!!!!


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