This week is Thanksgiving week in the United States. Many of us will gather with families and friends, and we’ll express our thanks to God for relationships, love, food, salvation, etc. When you pray in your own quiet time, think about praying these surprising prayers:
- “Thank you, God, that I can’t hide from You.” Adam and Eve first tried that trick, and most of us have tried it since then. He loves us too much to let it happen.
- “Thank you, Lord, for loss.” The Old Testament character Job lost almost everything, but he realized through it that God was still worthy of worship. We can realize the same thing, too.
- “Thank you, Lord, for my thorns in the flesh.” Whatever the thorn was for the Apostle Paul, he learned to rejoice with it. When our thorns no longer discourage us, the enemy loses some of his power in our lives.
- “Thank you, Lord, for taking your time.” We’re impatient, but God is always on time. He knows how to protect us, and He knows what timing is best for us.
- “Thank you, Lord, for ________________, one of the persons in my life I just don’t like.” If it were not for enemies in our life, we would miss some opportunities to show what Christian love really is. Plus, Jesus told us to pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27-28).
- “Thank you, God, for ‘no’ answers to prayer.” While we wrestle with God when He answers “no,” we often learn later that God knew exactly what He was doing with that response. Even when we don’t realize that truth, we can still trust that His answer is the best one.
- “Thank you, Lord, for discipline.” We may not like discipline, but God chastens us only because He loves us.
- “Thank you, Lord, for sleepless nights when I sin.” Jonah was able to sleep in a ship when he was fleeing from God – and that’s a dangerous place to be. Sleeplessness that develops out of conviction and guilt is a good thing.
- “Thank you, God, for valleys.” God sometimes makes Himself most known to us when we find ourselves trying to crawl through the deepest valleys. We cannot descend so deeply into trial that God isn’t there.
- “Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me when I don’t say ‘thanks’ enough.” One day a year for thanksgiving is not enough. Nor are perfunctory grace prayers at a meal enough. Still, we get caught in those patterns – and God forgives us anyway.
Thank you, Lord, for everything – and thank you, readers, for helping to make this blog a success this year!