I am in the process of reading A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock.
In the early chapters still but, what intrigued me to read this book was Jared's quest to deepen his prayer life. He was discontent and dissatisfied with throwing up rote prayers and decided to do something about it. He set off on a year long quest to learn how to communicate with God from the masters of an eclectic bag of belief. I am always amazed at the current generation's freedom to follow their dreams--seek answers to their questions--and explore the unknown. What courage to put aside the expectations of the world and instead look at those things of greatest importance. To not be caught up in the ladder to success financially, but instead seek the true answers to happiness and success spiritually.
As one of you readers pointed out last week, "God inhabits our praise."
Yes, God desires for us to praise Him and Who He is. Praise is recognition of our admiration for the Great God we serve. Praise is NOT thankfulness or thanksgiving. Thankfulness is the feeling or showing of gratefulness for what we have been given.
In a long ago Bible Study on prayer, I learned four essential parts of prayer-
Jared consulted with Prayer Strategies Specialist Don Pierson on this subject of prayer. Don identifies three types of prayer-
Crisis Prayer---enough said
Calling Prayer---God directed prayers which trump personal crisis
Kingdom Prayer---prayers which come from The King-for His Kingdom
The goal in deepening your prayers is to move from crisis prayers to calling and kingdom prayers. "Prayer is about us hearing from God. The more time you spend with Him, the less you'll ask the question, 'How do I hear from God'." I especially loved this, "If your heart is consumed with Kingdom and calling, you pray differently." My confession to you is my prayers have become limited to the formula and those thrown up in the midst of crisis-and while I am following the rules---I am not deepening my relationship with God.
SO--all this to say---perhaps the most important way to express our thankfulness to God----is to tell Him. Forget the flowery prose filled words of rote and instead tell Him with your heart---how thankful you are.
Next week---we move on to "Thankful For What"--as we explore exactly what we have to be thankful for.
The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.