God's word in today's world

Saying thank you protects me

During prayer, it is firstly not about me. Even less is prayer a shopping list where I only tell God what I want. No, God is at the centre of my prayer. Payer is the place where I become less and God more. In prayer, I get off the chair and allow God to take his rightful place as Head in my life.

When I pray to God, I realise that everything comes from Him. Without God in my life I am nothing. I understand my own inability and that I’m actually useless. When I look back at my life and see what God has already done for me, I have to praise Him. I am overcome with gratitude.

Then I’m totally aware of my worthlessness compared to all that God gives me. When I pray, I am aware of my chest going up and down and I thank God that I can breathe. Yes, the things that I take for granted, things like my heart that pumps five litres of fresh blood through my body every single minute. How great is our God who planned and created everything in the finest detail! Again I’m overcome with gratitude.

2 Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.

The King James version puts it as follows: 2Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

The word guard takes me back to my army days when we regularly stood guard at night. Man, for me that was a difficult thing to do, because after a whole day of being chased all over the place you needed your sleep. That made it really difficult to stand guard. Look, when you’re tired, you fall asleep just like that. And then it would land you in big trouble if the lieutenant caught you sleeping while you should’ve been on guard.

In those years we had to stand guard to ensure that the people we were protecting would come to no harm.

In the same way, we have to stand guard in prayer or ensure that we thank God. This is a command that we have to obey at all cost. We mustn’t fall asleep or forget to praise God. It’s for our own protection too, because when we say thank you, God gets his rightful place in our lives and we move to the background.

Now for the part that’s harder to do: When things aren’t going well, we also have to thank God. Often saying thank you brings healing.

This hymn puts it so well:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

And when you see all these blessings, you will be overcome with gratitude towards God.


Colossians 4:2-6


Do you thank God enough?

How can you change this?


Father, please help me to be on my guard and to talk to You all the time. My heart overflows with gratitude that You are always available and that You love it when I talk to You. Amen.

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