Only one prayer? Give thanks!

Early one fall, I had a few moments in between errands, so I decided to follow the "garage sale" signs into a neighborhood off the main road I was traveling on. It was at the end of the day...and the house I stopped at looked a bit bare and disheveled.  But I got out of my car anyway.  And by the time I got back in my car, I was so glad I had stopped.

No, I didn't buy any fact, I didn't spend a cent.  But I did leave with the treasure of a truth etched in my mind.  It was from a somewhat banged up looking plaque:

If you only have one prayer...give thanks!

I wrote the words down in my little notebook, and I've been mulling them over ever since:  Just one prayer...thank you!

I've thought of the words that we love to hear from our, da-da, wuv oo...  Wouldn't tah-too {thank you} be in that early list?  How lovely as a mom or dad to be appreciated!  And when those kind words just tumble forth from a toddlers mouth...oh, sweetness and delight!

So then it makes sense that the primary characteristic of a child of God would be gratitude.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 ESV

In fact, the first words of affection coming from a baby believer may very well be "Thank you, Father God!"

Our modern culture has lost the art of "thank you" more "thank you notes"...more about entitlement, I guess.  But I suppose that it's not just our modern culture.  In the epistle to the Romans, Paul points out that one of the main characteristics of the pagan was not giving God thanks, despite knowing and seeing Him in creation.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened... Romans 1:20-21 NIV

{If you want a real eye-opener, read the surrounding verses in Romans.  It sounds more like modern day America than we might like to think!}

I wonder if that's why our own minds, though believing, may at times be plagued by dark and depressing thoughts.

Give thanks, O child of God!  Abba, our Creator, is worthy!

So as we approach our very American holiday of Thanksgiving, start your list...and never stop!  Thank God and others every day.  What a great way to prepare for the language of heaven...where we will thank our Savior face to face...and perhaps thank those He used in our earthly lives to draw us to our great God!

...since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God... Hebrews 12:28 NIV


Are you overflowing with gratitude?  For some fun, as well as profound, thoughts about Thanksgiving, click here.