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"Giving Thanks...For a Change!" by Daniel Henderson

 

Recently my son, an avid hunter, sat in his deer stand with his scope set and muzzleloader locked on a large eight-point buck.  As his heart raced with excitement, he pulled the trigger.  Nothing.  The buck was startled and escaped with his life.  As it turns out, my son had all the vital elements for an effective shot except for one essential ingredient.  He had the gun, the black gunpowder, and the bullet.  Unfortunately, he had forgotten to load the primer, which allows the hammer to ignite the powder and propel the bullet.  One missing ingredient led to a lost opportunity.

 

Including all the essential ingredients is vital when creating a desired product.  When baking a cake, if you omit the flour you have a soupy mess.  Leave out the eggs and the cake crumbles.  Omit the sugar and it is bland.  Forget the “leavening agents” of yeast, baking powder, or baking soda and you will have a flat and lifeless result.

 

An Essential – But Often Forgotten – Ingredient in Life and Prayer

 

Thanksgiving is an essential ingredient for real prayer.  Thanksgiving infuses all of our praying, thinking, and living with a vital experience of the goodness, care, and providence of God.

 

When we face difficult circumstances without gratitude, we feel worry and fear.  When we grow weary with overload and work, without gratitude, we complain and become stressed.  When we are coping with a strained relationship, without gratitude, we become critical and accusatory.  When we encounter failure and disappointment, without gratitude, we become hopeless and negative.

 

In 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Paul reminds us that thankful prayer is powerful in changing us and enabling us to change the world. This is a primary point of a grateful heart.

 

Five Key Insights:

 

Our thankful prayer is rooted in the character of God, not our circumstances.  In 1 Timothy 1:14-17, Paul opens his letter with deep gratitude for the saving grace and calling of Christ in his life.  His thankfulness crescendos with these words: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”   Regardless of our circumstances (and Paul’s were often very difficult, marked by suffering and uncertainty), we can root our gratitude in the truth of our King.  He is in charge of everything and is our eternal God whose purposes transcend time, our immortal Lord whose life is greater than any challenge, our invisible Master who works in ways that we do not always see or understand, and our wise God who does all things well.  We can be thankful indeed.

 

Our thankful prayer is a priority in community, not just individually.  As we read Paul’s admonition to pray “first of all,” we must remember that he gave these instructions to Timothy for the gathered church, not just individuals.  As I often state, corporate prayer and private prayer are as essential as walking on both the right leg and the left leg.  Gratitude must shape the community and culture of a church.

 

Our thankful prayer should embrace balanced, biblical prayer, not just “requests” for an easy life.  Paul encourages “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks.”  Rather than certain specified components of prayer, Paul is describing a fully-orbed expression of drawing near, seeking God’s presence, trusting Him for our needs, and doing it all with gratitude.

 

Paul also calls us to pray for ALL people with whom we are in relationship and give special focus to prayers for those in leadership, including political leaders.   If Paul could pray for the ruthless, godless Nero, we can pray with similar gratitude for those who lead our organizations, churches, and political systems.

 

Our thankful prayer changes us, not necessarily our situation.  Note the results of this kind of prayer: “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”   Thankful prayer changes our lifestyle, our attitudes, and our response to the leaders and society around us. 

 

Our thankful prayer accomplishes the Gospel mission through people, not programs.  Read Paul’s words carefully:

 

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle  I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying  a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

 

To summarize, when we pray as we should we will live as we should and the Gospel will be communicated to the lost as it should – through our lives.

 

Thankful Prayer – For a Change, Starts with Us 

 

Paul writes to the men, who represent the leadership of the church and home, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” Real, biblical prayer leads to the lifting of hands, indicating a surrendered and holy life.  The change God desires in our world starts in our hearts  void of wrath toward others and free of doubt toward God. 

 

So this year, let us pray and focus on celebrating Thanksgiving – for a change – starting with who we are and how we live, for the good of the society around us that is in desperate need of the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.

 

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Thanksgiving Day of Prayer

Contact: Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks, Manager, OurPrayer, Guideposts, 203-749-0413
DANBURY, Conn., Nov. 11, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- May We Pray for You?  The Guideposts OurPrayer Ministry announces its 22nd annual Thanksgiving Day of Prayer, scheduled for Monday, November 25.
The public is invited to submit prayer requests online at www.ourprayer.org where each prayer request will be prayed for by name and need by OurPrayer staff and volunteers.
At OurPrayer we are blessed with over 3,000 volunteers who faithfully bring thousands of prayer needs before God's throne of grace and mercy. We trust that God listens with all of His heart as we pray for those struggling with natural disaster, illness, and trauma of every kind. God's heart is warmed as our volunteers pray believing and trusting for His divine intervention in every circumstance and situation.

May the Lord help each of us be always thankful to Him--Jesus for our blessings--and to bless others through praying for them.

Thanksgiving Ideas for the Family

Thanksgiving is a good time to encourage our grandchildren to be thankful for the many good things theyexperience.Help them make a list of their home, food, clothing, school, friends, church, toys and the opportunities they enjoy for which they can be thankful. Gratitude always improves ones attitude. Send your grandchildren a Thanksgiving card, email or call them to let them know you thank God for them, you are thankful they are your grandchildren and you are praying for them. ¹   

Another Thanksgiving Idea

Before dinner, ask your guests to write down something they are grateful for on a piece of paper and place it in a bowl in the middle of the table. Later, pass the bowl around and have each guest read one note aloud while everyone guesses who wrote it. “Some may be obvious, but others will surprise you-that is the fun of it.” ²

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;

make known among the nations what he has done." I Chronicles 16:8 (NIV)

¹  This is an excerpt from the book Grandparenting with a Purpose, Seasonal Suggestions for Connecting to your Grandchildren, page 95. The book is available on a special Christmas offer at http://www.gdptpr.com.

²  Taken from “20 simple solutions for Turkey Day headaches." Nov. 2012 dashrecipes.com/thanksgiving

By Lillian Penner 

Heavenly Father,

Every day we have life and breath is a gift from Your hand. Thank You for creating us in Your image with all the wonderful possibilities that brings to each of Your children. Thank You that You did not leave us afloat and adrift after You made us, but You gave us the anchor and steering and maps for a good life found in Your word. Life does have numerous hazards, trials and tribulations but You wisely instruct to consider such plights with a joyful heart because it is through such things that You refine us. Day by day You are working us as if we are on the potter's wheel and each turn makes us take on more of a resemblance to Jesus. Thank You for these mysterious ways of refining us, of bringing good out of what seems so bad. Only You, our I AM GOD, are able to complete such awesome transformations. Thank You for change that is worthy of being recognized as only having come through Your work in us. Thank You that You have given us the hope that never disappoints because it is in Jesus Christ. Please help us to remain faithful to You as You are faithful to us. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Singing... "Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul... Thank You, Lord.... for making me whole"

Father, I praise You for Who You are, the uncreated creator of all things, the unchanging, loving, merciful, and gracious Abba Father who continuously cares for His children even when they don't seem to care about You.  Father, I thank You for giving me the desire to please You in what I think, what I say, and what I do.  I thank You for blessing me with the loving family and friends that You have put in my life.  I thank You for giving me opportunities to share with others what my relationship with You has meant to me, how it has changed me, how it has delivered me from fear, uncertainty, and anxiety about any circumstance, and how it has given me the joy and peace that surpasses human understanding.  Help me to more continuously and completely live according to Philippians 4:6-7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

In the precious name of Jesus I pray - Amen

Thank You, Lord, for Your Love.... for beckoning us to come to the Throne of Grace to receive Mercy and Grace to help in these times of need!  Thank You for my family... for a husband who loves and cares for all of us ... for children who are on the journey to Holiness.... for precious grands who have taught me so much about Your Lavish Love!

Thank You for Life.... Light...

Singing...."Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!!!"


Hundreds Join Nationwide Campaign to 'Leave a Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed'

 Contact: Rev. Patrick Mahoney, 540-538-4741
 
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian Defense Coalition launches Facebook effort inviting Americans to leave an empty place on Thanksgiving to stand in solidarity and pray with Pastor Saeed and the persecuted church around the world. 
 
Here is the Facebook event page for "Leave a Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed."

www.facebook.com/events/462402373870696

Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been in Iranian prison for over a year because of his Christian faith.  He is serving an 8 year sentence in one of the worst prisons in the world.

The group will also set up a Thanksgiving place setting in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. at 10:00 A.M. on Thanksgiving morning.  It will be across from Lafayette Park.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,
"While Americans enjoy the blessings of spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that millions around the world are being brutalized, persecuted and attacked for their Christian faith.  Thousands are in prison.


"Pastor Saeed will not be able to spend this special day with his wife and two young children, but instead will be spending it in a cramped prison facing constant violence and persecution.


"We can never be silent when it comes to issues of human rights justice and religious freedom.  We must always be a loud prophetic voice in the public square calling for an end to the persecution and violence directed toward people because of their faith beliefs.


"'Leave a Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed,' is a powerful way for Americans to stand in solidarity with the persecuted church around the world and teach their families about the important issues of human rights and religious freedom.


"We are asking that people post pictures on the Facebook Event Page so an album can be created for Pastor Saeed when he is released from prison.


"We will also be setting a Thanksgiving place setting in front of the White House  to remind President Obama to be a much stronger voice for religious freedom around the world and the release of Pastor Saeed."
 
For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick Mahoney   540.538.474

You are so right Pastor Mahoney, I feel sad that others dont have a home, are persecuted, in prison for their faith, and will do more to advocate and pray for their rights. God bless. Visit www.aclj.org for more information.

Thanksgiving is a time to thank God for all His blessings and mercies and also to share them with others. Lets give thanks always, and remember the less fortunate, the hungry and homeless. God is with us. Emmanuel.

Thank you Lord,

For everyone who posts strong, biblical content to serve and strengthen our community!
New 'Rhymes and Reasons' column by Greg Asimakoupoulos published.


Thanksgiving's now Thanks-getting.
Once we've gobbled up the bird
we'll head off to department stores
to line up with the herd.

A stampede has replaced the nap.
A family day at home
has given way to shopping sprees
while Grampa's left alone.

Gone are the holidays we knew
of table games and fun.
"Let's take a walk" has now evolved
to "Sorry, gotta run!"

It used to be that Macy's
was content with a parade.
But now it seems it won't be happy
'til it has our trade.

Thanks-getting's getting to me.
It's a sacrilege. It's wrong.
It's filling up a day with greed
where gratitude belongs.

Let's boycott stores that undermine
the reason for this day.
Let's hang with fam'ly, eat some pie
and take some time to pray.

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