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