“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” ~ Psalm 136:1
As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it would be good to pause and follow Scriptures commands to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Here’s a prayer that I’ll be offering to God this Thanksgiving and perhaps it will help you and your family to give thanks as well.
As I read Psalm 136 today, it’s obvious why the psalmist can begin his prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord – because your “steadfast love endures forever.” Elsewhere, the psalmist writes, “your steadfast love is better than life.” Today, this day I am so thankful for your steadfast love. It’s a love that sought me and bought me when I was a stranger. It’s a love that enables me to cry “Abba, Father.” It’s a steadfast love given to adopted children who now possess not only the blessings of the kingdom, but the King himself, Jesus…for I am yours and you are mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ. And it’s a love that lasts – you never tire or weary in directing your love toward me and to all who call upon you.
Father, I confess that I don’t excel in thanksgiving. I’m selfish. I’m stingy. I’d rather have my cake and eat it too. Father, because you have filled my cup to overflowing and broken the levies of your steadfast love so that streams of living water of unmerited grace now flow in my direction, may I, unreservedly and unashamedly give abundantly as you have given to me. May I be free with my praise to those I love as well as those who cross me. May I keep no record of sins as you have remembered mine no more. May I generously and sacrificially serve the least of these, for you have served me when I least deserved it. May the gospel grow in me, my family, my street, my church and may the fruit of your Spirit serve as the “horn of plenty” not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day after. Will you make Thanksgiving last in my heart today, tomorrow, and for as long as I have breath.
Father, would you also graciously dispense your steadfast love upon my church family and amongst my friends. Many of them right now are dealing with surgeries or illnesses. Some dealing with despondency and despair. Some are just tired and weary. The demands of life have and are sucking the life out of them. May the knowledge and acceptance of your steadfast love re-energize and re-kindle their hearts that in the midst of their circumstances your love is as fierce and steadfast, maybe even more so, than it’s ever been. May Christ, his life, death, resurrection, and even now his intercession before the throne of God above supply my dear friends with the fruit of His prayers and meet their every need. Father, you are good. You are faithful. Your steadfast love endures forever. We give thanks today. Make it last, we pray. Amen.