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

Prayer, Praise, and Worship

We often hear the phrase, prayer, praise, and worship but do we really consider what that means? Do we interpret what God is saying when we are instructed to pray, praise and worship Him?

Let’s break this phrase down because it is the foundation to building a healthy relationship with our God.

PRAYER  

We are instructed to ‘pray,’ or ‘enter into prayer.’ Prayer is the way we submit our praise and petitions to God. It is carried out through the same way Christ used to communicate with God. To pray, we must have faith that the Word of God is real and applies to us.

According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Prayer is to be offered in the Name of the Lord, Jesus, John 14:13, that is, the prayer must accord with His character, and must be presented in the same spirit of dependence and submission that marked Him, Matt 11:26; Luke 22;42. (pp. 481)

Faith is essential to prayer, Matt 21:22; Mark 11:24; Jas 1:5-8, for faith, is the recognition of, and the committal of ourselves and our matters to the faithfulness of God. (pp. 481)

PRAISE   

We are instructed to ‘praise.’ Throughout the Bible, we are told that God loves music, Paul loved to sing praise to our Lord, we are instructed to sing our praise to God as well. There are many ways to accomplish this, but in this context, it is by using scriptures in the same way as hymns and gospel music. We are to sing back God’s scriptures to Him. It is singing God’s heritage to us, as told in scripture. (pp. 479) Many expand the method by creating their own songs through the use of scriptures.

 

     WORSHIP

Worship in context of ‘Prayer, Praise, and Worship,’ denotes that we recognize God’s authority over our lives through our praise, actions, and deeds. When we worship, we are acknowledging our dependence upon God and are being obedient to His Word.

According to Vines, worship is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment of God, of His nature, attributes, ways, and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment. (pp. 686,687)

My last Post – Divine Influence, further explains our relationship with God. To quote, “we were made for God. God loves us and wants to spend time with us. He is a loving Father and loves to hear the human voice in worship and prayer”, in short we spend time with God each time we pray, praise and worship Him. It pleases him and builds us up.

Through Prayer, Praise, and Worship, we are acknowledging His divine influence over our lives, not as doctrine but as applied action. When we use the scriptures as our guide we learn how we are to act as Christians in our daily lives, we are learning to walk in the Word.

Walking in the Word is a lifelong learning process. The earlier we begin, the more effectively we demonstrate our walk in our daily interactions.

When we understand the commitment we are making, we are better able to train our children how to live their lives as Christians. Our children will emulate the characteristics of Christ, taking them on as their own. As young, deliberate Christians grow in number and become prevalent in our society, they will advance the Kingdom of God. Their actions will change the atmosphere.

My earlier posts give direction on how to inspire our children to build a life living the Word of God. Through training our young people we will be preparing them to become Young Christian Warriors.

September

  • Children Armor Up
  • Helping Children Put on the Armor of God Through Prayer
  • Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children
  • Children – Fruit of the Spirit
  • Core Values Early in Life
  • Children – How Do You Define a Friend

October

  • Children Model After Christ
  • Prayer for Peace
  • Children – Protected by Angels
  • Children Navigate Difficult Times
  • Children – New Mercies Everyday
  • Children Expect God’s Blessings and Favor
  • God Urges the ‘Why’ in Children
  • Children Model After Christ

November

  • Learn to Thank God as Part of Prayer

January

    • Protection, Freedom, The Word
    • Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91
    • God’s Divine Influence

I Invite You to Join Our Community and advance the Kingdom of God.

Definitions from: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. W.E. Vine, et al. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996

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.

Learn To Thank God As Part Of Prayer


ClipArt of Children Praying

Thanking God for everything every night and morning is the most important thing children can do. Daily recognition fortifies their relationship with Him. It is our divine obligation to teach our children to surrender their lives to God and recognize his grace in our lives. This practice not only fortifies our relationship but reminds us that our entire life rests on Gods grace and goodness. It is difficult to end the day or begin the day on a sour note when we have given praise to the Lord before we go to sleep and when we awake. Girl Praying at her bed

Lord, teach me to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily experiences of life. Teach me to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all my circumstances. I accept them as Your will for my life. (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19, (Thanksgiving Prayer – 7, Crosswalk.com)

Giving thanks also requires that we begin to see our normal daily activities through a different lens. It is important that we teach our children to see God’s glorious work in everything. This is also a reminder that we have to do the same. Often as adults, we lose the ability to see through the lens of God. It seems that the world gets in our way and we focus on the demands of the day instead of seeing God’s grace in our lives.girl praying by bed2

Every morning I ask my granddaughter what she is it going to thank God for this morning. At first, it was difficult for her, it is difficult for me as well. Early on, we were redundant in our thanks, always reflecting on the same things, but when we decided that we had to look outside of our normal world view, it gave us the opportunity to objectivity view the world differently. We began seeking new discoveries that all tied back to the wonderful life God has provided if we would just look with a new perspective.

As we become more familiar with His daily activity in their lives, we shifted our accepted point of view from a worldly one to a Godly one. This is part of the metamorphosis of becoming a Young Christian Warrior.

Examples

Yesterday my Granddaughter called me into the living room. She was showing me her shadow on the wall. The amazing part was that her shadow was upside down. It astounded us. Then we recognized that the sun was shining into the room, landed on a picture sitting on an end table and then projected across the room to the wall. The transference occurred when the sun rays came through the window, landed on a glass picture frame across the room,  and the light was then projected on to the wall. It was miraculous. It was a lesson of how awesome God is and a science lesson. She thanked God that evening before she went to bed.  Flipped reflect of a child in nature

 

Recently we were driving down the street, the sun and a few white clouds covered the sky. All of a sudden it began to rain. It was raining in the direction we were traveling, but not where we were coming from. This gave way to a discussion about Gods greatness. How He provides weather events to feed plant life, clean the air, and give new beginnings. The new beginnings gave way to a discussion about the rainbow that appeared shortly after the rain stopped. Rainbow after the rain

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  (Gen. 9: 12-16)

Miracles happen throughout the day, large and small, significant and seemingly insignificant, it all depends upon perspective. Young Christian Warriors view the world out of a different lens than their peers.

For parents: Thanking God keeps everything He has done for you in your working memory. It will help you keep focus on all He has done rather than the challenges you may encounter. If our children learn during their youth to identify what God has accomplished in their lives, it will be easier to live their lives stress free. Join me in reading, Remembering All God Has Done: http://bible.com/r/2c, it will help you teach your children to identify the many gifts we take for granted as well as the times He helped us in times of need.

God Urges the ‘Why’ in Children

It seems children continuously ask ‘why’ and are always questioning life. Asking questions like, why should I do it, why shouldn’t I do that, why is the earth round, why is this the only way to solve the problem and on and on and on. Have you ever asked why them they always ask, why? I believe children were not born believing that there are limitations to what they can do. God gives children the ‘why.’ Gods inspiration is designed to ask for the impossible. I recently saw a poster which read, God’s Power Takes Us BEYOND our impossibilities.Picture of girl holding a sign that says why?

Imagine, ‘beyond’ our impossibilities. Ephesian 3:20 (NET) translate the scripture as, “Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…” The NLT translation reads, Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Our children may not know the scripture, but they intrinsically are aware that we place limitations on our lives. They see the possibility, and we see the impossible. We limit their imagination by confining them to think within the realm of what we feel is reasonable.

This type of thinking worked in the world of 19th-century widgets, but in the 20th -century of virtual worlds, the ‘why’ has become all important. To usher in the brave new world educators have advanced a new national curriculum called the Common Core. The primary purpose of this strategy is to create an environment of questioning, postulating the ‘what if,’ and the ‘why’ of a thing. They want to capture the ‘why’ children pose every day and formulate learning around their adventurous minds.

God is the original adventurous thinker, he is the source; He created the world and introduced the ability to go beyond through the power and might of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. He is the one who is at work in our lives, He is the one who plants ideas in our minds, and He is the one who has given us the ability to ask, ‘why.’ God works beyond what we might ‘ask’ or ‘think’ about new possibilities. It is God who has this ability, not us. He will do ‘above’ what we ask or think. The principle is that God can do more for us than we can conceive. He offers us the ‘power’ to live beyond what we can imagine or believe. Raising our children to become Young Christian Warriors allows the to imagine and expend the impossible.

Boy pondering 'why'He gives us the power to live beyond our perceived limitations. The fact is children do not sublimate the worldview adults adopted. As a principal, I was the head of a school where hundreds of young people spent much of their day learning. I found looking out of their eyes was refreshing and cast an HTML brilliance on the world. Positing ‘why’ is not a sarcastic response but a query. God has given them the gift of questioning, and God himself goes beyond their questioning to formulate an answer and result.

We should not discourage our children, but instead, teach them the scriptures and let them know that the Holy Spirit, who lives in each of us, is speaking and acting through us. He is operating beyond our capacity to question and understand. He is making the impossible available, and through our relationship with him, will speak through them and make them the ‘apple of his eye.’

(Scriptures from the Holy Bible app)

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.