The Power of Thanksgiving and Prayer

The last post focused on Prayer, Praise, and Worship. We learned that giving thanks is part of prayer. This Post is an elaboration on the Power of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:6 to let us know that our requests are made known to God. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Paul also shared

If praying was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is important to understand that the war between God and the evil one often takes place in our minds. When I was younger, I thought the battle was in the physical realm, and often it is, but the center of anything that happens in this world originates in the mind of world leaders, governmental officials, family members, friends, associates, bosses, villains, and you. We find ourselves at war in our minds. As believer’s we initially stand fast in pray, unwavering in the Word when our lives are going well, and at odds with ourselves when the prayer is not answered as quickly as we wanted. We begin to question God, we entered the war where the voice of doubt speaks out. This doubt, this darkness, is the stronghold of the evil one. His weapons are the attitudes of wrong thinking, of pride, and carnal thinking in general. They are designed to strip us of our blessings and throw us into sin.

So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! When we pray in faith, we stay in faith. God sends down blessings when we pray. If we pray and doubt, they cancel each other out.  Have you ever prayed and believed, and saw your blessing only to see it deferred? Think back, when did you begin doubting that God has control and started questioning yourself saying (self-talk) maybe God is not going to answer, maybe He did not give me direction, maybe it was just me. It was not you, it was the evil one that is speaking doubt to rob you of your blessings. The key is distinguishing between the Lord’s voice and that of the evil one. One of my favorite scriptures reads –

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. We must learn His voice, and His voice is the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and part of the Armor of God to protect us against the evil one.

Yesterday we learned that praising the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all He has and will do for us. It is how we petition in praise and acknowledge that He is our Father and will answer us. Giving praise or thanks is how we express acknowledgment and appreciation of Him, His grace, blessings and sovereign work in our lives, and the world. But it is not easy, in fact, it is a battle. 

Most of us have experienced difficulty when praying and giving thanks, especially in times of anxiety. But, as we pray through, we become less anxious because we are letting our requests be made known to God so that He is glorified when answering them.  After our blessing, we should give Him more praise and thanksgiving for answering our prayer.

Now back to our children. We often read Bible Stories with young children and share the Word with older ones, but how often do we dissect the scripture to explain how to apply it in their lives? Young people are smart. If we explain to our youth that praise and thanksgiving are a way to acknowledge our Lord, and through praise and thanksgiving a relationship and bond is established between the Lord and them, most would become avid practitioners of praise and thanksgiving. They would begin to understand the formula we have been given to pray and receive God’s blessings. 

In general, people do not understand their relationship with God in real-time. They feel that the Bible was about people during its time of writing and does not pertain to us today. How wrong can we be? Our children deserve training to become Young Christian Warriors. His Words are our sword, part of the Armor of God.  Praying back His Word to Him and thanking Him for all He has done provides a sense of calm, diminishes anxiety, and protects from the world.

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I just listened to John Hagee, Scriptures on Healing at https://youtu.be/9qxfyyYDF58.

Take a listen, he is one of the worlds most dynamic healers. John is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas. Website – www.jhm.org

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Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91

In Bible Study, we are taught to pray back God’s Word to Him. He wants us to personalize His Word. He wants us to own His promises.Personalize God's Word

As parents, we are the head of our family and we have the authority to pray for our children for protection under the feathers of God’s wings. (See 2 Samuel 12:16)

When we pray, it is important to personalize God’s Word. Our Father appreciates us praying back His promises to Him. Personalizing prayer means we have faith in what He has promised. We own what He is telling us, there is no doubt in what He is saying. It is unequivocal.

Personalize God's Word

When you pray Psalm 91, personalize God’s Word. This prayer is known as the prayer of PROTECTION: THE SAFETY OF ABIDING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

As you pray this prayer, know that God is your family’s protector, and you can feel confident that your family is covered throughout their day wherever they go.

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is OUR refuge and OUR fortress,
OUR God, in whom WE trust.”

3 Surely you will save US
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 You will cover US with your feathers,
and under your wings WE will find refuge;
your faithfulness will be OUR shield and rampart.

5 WE will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at OUR side,
ten thousand at OUR right hand,
but it will not come near US.

8 WE will only observe with OUR eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 I say, “The Lord is OUR refuge,”
and WE  make the Most High OUR dwelling,

10 no harm will overtake US,
no disaster will come near OUR tent.

11 For you will command your angels concerning US
to guard US in all OUR ways;

12 they (ANGELS) will lift US up in their hands,
so that WE will not strike OUR foot against a stone.

13 WE will tread on the lion and the cobra;
WE will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue THEM;
I will protect THEM, for he (the parent) acknowledges my name.

15 He (the parent) will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with THEM in trouble,
I will deliver THEM and honor THEM.

16 With long life, I will satisfy THEM
and show THEM my salvation.”

Psalm 91:1-19, NIV, Biblegateway.com. This prayer has been personalized.

Children – New Mercies Everyday

Well, it’s a new day. I wake up every morning thanking God for new mercies. Children need to know that God is not revengeful, He gives them new mercies every day despite the activities and thoughts of the day earlier. God’s compassion does not fail.  Great is His faithfulness to us. It is un-called for mercy. Daily mercies is another way God shows us that he cares and loves us despite our mistakes.

Lamentations 3:22, New Day, New Start

Children often think that what they did or said alienated them from God. The power of this scripture is the basis for understanding that God loves them and is a father of second chances. During this lesson, you can also share the knowledge about repentance.