A Prayer to Keep a Grateful Heart – Your Daily Prayer – April 8


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A Prayer to Keep a Grateful Heart
By Lynette Kittle

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” – Colossians 3:15

Having a grateful heart seems to be rare these days and at a premium to find. Social media is full and overflowing with discontented hearts–hearts that are angry, disappointed, hurt, grieving, and more. Still, God calls us to be thankful. So where and how do we gain gratefulness in such an ungrateful world?

Many individuals are living with an outlook of lack, seeing all the things they don’t have because it’s much easier to look at our glasses half-empty than half-full. Seeing our lives as lacking leads us to believe that if we only have more—more of the things we believe we need to be happy— our lives and our attitudes would be different. But it’s not true. Grateful hearts don’t come from owning things, holding positions, or having everyone love us. In an ever-changing world, there is no guarantee of hanging onto earthly possessions, especially in the shadow of natural disasters, wars, and more. 

It’s Up to Us to Choose
Whether we believe it or not, especially as Christians, it’s up to us to choose to focus on what God has so graciously given us rather than what the world gives and takes away on a daily basis. Godly gratefulness is not dependent on what we own; yet, God has given us so much to be thankful for in life.

Colossians 3:17 encourages, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Even if we have nothing to our names, we have incredibly valid reasons to thank Him daily. Things, positions, locations, and more don’t bring happiness; rather, true gratitude comes from deep within us.

Gratefulness as a Sacrifice
Sadly, life sometimes brings tragic losses of loved ones, homes, jobs, and more, but still God calls us to be thankful. He knows our weaknesses and understands how it can be difficult for us to do so when we’re disappointed, discouraged, suffering, or grieving. Although 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” it doesn’t mean we thank God for the sad situations, but thank Him in the midst of them.

Some believers are confused by this verse, thinking God expects us to thank Him for the sad and tragic situations and losses that bring us disappointment, discouragement, suffering, and grief. But He’s not. God’s given us so many spiritual blessings, not dependent on our circumstances, that we can praise Him and give Him thanks no matter our situation. He is compassionate and recognizes this kind of gratitude as a sweet sacrifice to Him. Psalm 116:17 encourages our sacrificial thankfulness. “I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord.” 

When we do, God responds, as recorded in Psalm 50:23. “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor Me, and to the blameless I will show My salvation.” In uncertain times, God calls us to focus on Him and His faithfulness instead of our situations, to remind ourselves of His promise to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and to trust Him to help us through everything we face in life.

Let’s pray: 

Dear Father,
Thank you for all Your spiritual blessings You so lovingly and graciously bestow upon me. As Ephesians 1:3 states, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Strengthen and encourage me, Lord, to be thankful each and every day of my life for all You have given to me. Help me to focus on all Your benefits. Lead me to live a life of sincere gratitude to You. Keep my heart softened and set on seeking You. Teach me through Your Holy Spirit to walk and live each and every day of the year, with a grateful heart, not dependent on my situation and circumstances but based on who You are and what You’ve given Me through Jesus Christ, my Savior.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/ksenija18kz

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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