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know Thanksgiving is over. Most of us have already unpacked Christmas decorations, and begun preparations for the biggest holiday of the year. But I would like to suggest that we hold on to the Thanksgiving holiday a little longer. In fact, I think we should continue to celebrate it 365 days a year.

Let me draw your attention to a Scripture passage that is so rich that all of you are familiar with it. Philippians 4:6 reads,

"Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving,

let your requests be made known unto God."

This verse clearly teaches that we are to give thanks as we let our requests be known. You might well ask why would we not wait until we see God's answer before we start saying thank you. The Scripture offers such thanksgiving as a statement of faith. But I have had prayers answered with, "no." Haven't you. In fact, some of those I have in time thanked God that He didn't answer them the way I wanted when I prayed. John 15:7-8 gives us this promise of prayer.

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples."

I strive to discern His words and will for my prayers. I know that is the only way I can bear spiritual fruit. I also find a wonderful freedom in this promise. I can pray in confidence trusting God to keep me from praying mountains on top of your house or my own.

I also find a great joy giving thanks to God as I pray that He is at work in the most difficult or fearful situation that I pray for, even if I am unsure or mistaken about how He should answer.

So join me in continuing our Thanksgiving all year long. It is a wonderful celebration with or without the turkey.

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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on November 27, 2016 at 7:45pm

"Thanks", David!! 

I think it's interesting that the thanksgiving in the passage occurs WITH the prayer, not after waiting for God to answer, etc.  All our prayers, intercessions, petitions, etc., are to be made with an attitude of thanksgiving - an attitude that trusts in God's answer before actually having seen it.

I also think that the thanksgiving aspect is key to experiencing the peace that Paul talks about in the next verse.  I know many people whose persevering in prayer over some crisis situation brings them no peace; prayer for them can amount to nothing more than another form of worry.  But the trust that's required for thanksgiving is the same trust that leads to peace - the ability to leave a situation in God's hands, without fretting over whether/when/how God will answer.  If we can pray with thanksgiving, then we can trust God to answer in the way that is best - according to his wisdom, not ours.

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