Monday, October 11, 2010

Praise and Thanks

"In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I Thess. 5:18

"He does not say it as a benediction only: he (Paul) tells us, it 'shall keep your hearts and minds.' Do the one and god will do the other. Ask what you will, be thankful; and not peace only, but peace which passeth all which our poor minds can think, shall keep these poor breaking restless hearts - these ever wearying, worrying minds of ours - in Christ Jesus."
E.B. Pusey

I look at life from the vantage point of sixty-three years and come to understand that for every heart that trusts in God there will come a time when faith is tested. There may be many times when doubts and questions gently shake the foundation of our faith, but I am talking about a time of upheaval - when unimaginable circumstances threaten to destroy all that we have believed.

I found myself in such a place several years ago. I tend to write about it often. It was, for me, earth-shaking. Adding to my distress was the inability to pray. I simply didn't know how, and so the prayer became, "Lord - please show me what to pray."

Gently, quietly, the answer came: "Praise." And so I did, filling my heart with the Psalms and offering them back to Him; thanking Him for His faithfulness, love and grace.

At first it was just an exercise in faith, a faith I could barely hold on to. Then, imperceptibly, a sense of peace began to make its way into my heart. It was the only change in my situation, but it made all the difference. It was a peace that shouldn't have been there. It came as a gift, a promised gift, from a Father who loved me more than I could fully understand.

Praise and thanks - we offer them to Him, and He pours out blessings we haven't room to contain.

Thank You Father:

- for promises that never fail
- for love that sustains me
- for grace without measure
- for joy that has its source in You
- for protection
- for orchestrating everyday miracles
- for the gift of meeting a dear, dear friend for the very first time
- for grandchildren who have grown in stature and wisdom
- for caring so gently for my aging parents
- for hope

joining Ann's gratitude community