As I sit at my desk this morning and listening for God, my thought is immediately filled with love, gratitude and humility knowing In order to hear God, those qualities should be in my thoughts. My prayer work begins with love, since the Bible says “God is Love”. The second ingredient is gratitude as I remember “In all things be thankful since everything works together for good for those who love the Lord.” Then I think of the Beatitude “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Poor in spirit means humility! Meek, teachable!
Peace and harmony always follow when my prayer work has love, gratitude and humility at the base. A verse from the Bible will always come to thought. Psalm 40:1-2 reads “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
Read where a gentleman sat down beside a man who seemed to be studying on a subway going in to Boston. When he asked the man what he was studying , the other man replied that his son had failed his math test on fractions and he was trying to learn it so he could help his son. The gentleman told him he was a retired math teacher so maybe he could help. For the duration of the ride, he explained fractions to the man where he could understand, and pass it on to his son. Then I found something written about gratitude by Melody Beattie which reads as follows:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This morning while at my desk studying and praying, the thought occurred to me that my prayer this morning felt almost habitual, with minimal effort and almost no thought! Immediately, I became aware of a need for inspiration and joy. It is not praising God by rote repeating while providing a false sense of security. Mentally on my knees, I apologize to God for taking Him for granted and look for more things for which to be grateful. That is the easy part.
The letter killeth while the Spirit healeth! Both are needed and joy is attained when both are used in our daily life. Just memory work doesn’t do it; only by adding love and inspiration works. Today I give gratitude for this awakening Spirit as I pray with Psalm 16:11 which reads “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Recently my husband did something wonderful for someone and I felt he was not properly thanked. He feels I put too much emphasis on a “Thank you” note or text. As a young girl, my mother taught us how important it is to express gratitude and I may have “overlearned” that. Then, I was gently reminded and questioned myself on how grateful I am for all my blessings. Humbly, I realized I should really stay in a state of gratitude for all God does and maybe I should judge not lest I be judged.
Ephesians 3:20 reads “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Once again, I question where my focus is.
It has been quite a while since we have had rain and the plants and trees look so sad and thirsty. Late yesterday afternoon, I had been pleading to God for rain as I had done recently. Then, it occurred to me that I was praying amiss. All at once I knew in my heart that God knows our every need and surely this was a need. Remembering how Jesus always became thankful before every healing, I, too, began to thank God for always being in control. In about twenty minutes, my husband asked if I heard the rain! It probably rained good for a half hour or more. Needless to say, my heart filled with gratitude and humility as I listened to the answer to my prayer. Psalm 62:8 reads, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
Last year when my husband bought his car for our second vehicle, it only came with one key which was digital. He was to make an appointment and return to the dealership to have the second key made. He never went back. Today after misplacing the only key, I immediately reminded him that he should have had that second key made last year.
Then I went to pray about it but my thought was so filled with “self-righteousness” and was having a difficult time praying with that type of thinking. A light soon came on for me as I knew I couldn’t subtract to find the answer to an addition problem. Neither could I get a positive result coming from a negative. My thought immediately humbled as I thought about his patience with me so we called our service who sent out someone at no charge to open the door. The key had fallen on the floorboard.
Romans 8:26 reads “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I knew immediately that they would be found when I replaced negative thoughts with love and gratitude.
As I was studying the prodigal son in the fifteenth chapter of Luke today and have probably read this no less that a hundred or more times, it really came to me that while it only took eight verses for this young man to come to his senses, we don’t know how much time had elapsed. It could have been a couple of weeks or several decades, but it made no difference to his father, God. To me, that is so reassuring that God is always patiently waiting for us to wake up and come to Him! Sometimes my lessons come so easy while other times there seems to be such a struggle. That is always up to me!
Gratitude and humility are the traits always needed to find the Christ and that still, small voice. Luke 15:24 reads “for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to celebrate.” Setting aside human will and outlining and turning wholeheartedly to God is the answer.