Prayers of Thanksgiving
Don't put off prayers of thanksgiving for only the Thanksgiving holiday. That would be a mistake. 10 lepers in Jesus time were cured, 9 of them waited too long to show their appreciation, and by putting it off, probably lived to regret it.
Learn about an exclusive club of those who come to thank God, the true source of all our blessings. Learn how to receive more blessings in your life.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - The Story of 10 Lepers
In the Holy Bible, Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verses 11-19, there is a story of ten lepers who called to Jesus from a distance.
Because they were lepers, they had been kicked out of cities and towns, and weren't allowed in for any reason. They weren't even allowed to come near people.
It was basically a living death, a living hell on earth, ostracized from family and friends, no doctors and nurses, and your own body is decaying and rotting all over you, and the stink is horrible.
And your only "friends" are other lepers like you.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - A Cry out for Help
So these 10 men call out to Jesus for help, and Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests. On the way they were cured.
Showing themselves to a priest was a law they had to fulfill. The priest would decided they were really permanently cured, write it down in a book, and then they were allowed to go back into society, and live in a city or town.
What happened is, they all were cured.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - A Prayer of Thanks
But only one of them, instead of going to finish his journey to the priest, didn't want to miss Jesus.
So he came back and thanked Jesus first. He was actually a stranger.
Jesus was actually hurt that the other nine did not show up.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Why so Few?
Why only one? Why only 10%?
Because only one of these 10 lepers who were cured had the wisdom to know that the priest didn't cure him, but Jesus did.
Oh, of course, going to show yourself to the priest was exciting – it was the show off thing to do!
Think of the glamour and glitz of it, how you would become the center of attention, how the news would spread. Family and friends who thought you long lost, dead, and gone, would now welcome you with open arms.
But none of them cured you, none of them healed your leprosy.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - We, Also, Have Been Richly Blessed
Every single moment we're alive is a gift from God.
Not from a man, not from the woman, not from the child, not the most wealthiest or the most famous man or woman living on earth, and certainly not from yourself.
But from the way some people live and talk and think, you wouldn't have a clue. They are "self-made" men or women.
Sure, a politician can have a thank you speech for all the people who helped him get into office. But if he doesn't genuinely, deeply, and from the heart – from the core of his being – thank God, he's missed the boat, he's hurt God, and God does not forget.
It's like throwing God's gift back in his face.
And someday, God will be all too happy to take all his gifts back from such an ungrateful person.
He usually gives them someone else, to people more deserving – we really can't deserve his gifts – but at least, people who are truly grateful.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - A Powerful Minority
So how many people properly give thanks to the source of their blessings?
Not enough, that's for sure.
If we take the story of the 10 lepers as an indicator of the real picture of how things really are, since only one returned to give thanks, that's 10%.
That's one powerful minority I want to belong to, and I hope you do too, because then we can receive special blessings that so other people are missing.
And by the way, I wonder what happened to the other nine lepers? Lots of scholars have debated this for centuries. What I do know, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
You know why? They probably went on to live their whole life without ever having a single clue how much they had taken for granted the goodness of Jesus.
They probably never found out how much Jesus had been hurt, and how he had asked where they were how he expected them to at least show up and give him thanks.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Don't Put it Off, Don't Delay, Don't Wait!
Or maybe, something worse happened to those 9 lepers. Some scholars say so. In any case, God is good, and let's the sun to shine on both the just and unjust in this life.
Here's some food for thought, maybe a little light on our human situation.
Maybe, just maybe, some of them did think about thanking Jesus, but didn't. They probably saw the one go back, and maybe they even knew why.
But after all the glitz and glamour of going to the priests in the big temple, after all the big celebration, the happy reunion with family and friends,
... Maybe they lived with a whole lot of regret, thinking how they had missed the opportunity to right away go back and find Jesus and personally thank him.
And maybe they thought of going, but now it was so far, and where would he be, because Jesus was a traveling preacher, and it's so long ago, he's probably forgotten.
And then all too soon, it was too late, because Jesus died, rose from the dead 3 days later, and 40 days later went to heaven.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Better Late than Never
If only those lepers knew that Jesus was truly God! They could still thank God after Jesus went to heaven. It's just that they would have to wait till heaven to save their thanks face-to-face.
And it's a reminder to us all, never to put off our thanks.
It's our first duty when receiving any gift. Not second not third, not last, number one on the top of your list, or you have got all of your priorities wrong.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Top Priority
Is thanking God on the top of your list today?
Is it the first thing you do every morning?
Is it the last thing you do before falling asleep?
Do you have a problem falling asleep? Instead of counting sheep, count your blessings, and make it a prayer of thanks as you go.
Even the worst day of your life, you can find a lot of big and little things to be grateful for.
Do this every day, and I guarantee you, your viewpoint, your attitude, your life will never be the same again.
It will be the start of many good things.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Everything is a Gift from God
When we give gifts, we are really taking materials God made.
Even when people improve a tree into paper and make it into a thank you card, his ability to do so is all by the providence of God.
In the politician's case, every moment of his life, all his talents, his gifting and ability to become a leader, and the people deciding to vote from him - all these come from the providence of God.
If you don't think so, all God has to do is stop his heart, and someone else will be the star of the show for a short while.
Sure, he might get a nice fancy funeral, but all too soon he will be long forgotten.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - So Why Prayer in the First Place?
When we take time to pray, and in our prayers we take time to stop asking for stuff for ourselves, and we stopped long enough to thank God for his blessings, to appreciate his goodness to us, and to list a few of the many things he has given us, we are finally going back to the source of our blessings.
We are finally thanking the right person. This is, sadly, where so many people miss the boat entirely.
And they wonder why they have so many problems and things get worse and worse in their lives.
Which is the purpose of my starting this website - totally from the inspiration of heaven, for which I'm so grateful – to remind people of the power of gratitude.
It becomes a great danger to misuse gratitude, or not use it at all.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - The Power of Gratitude, the Power of Prayer
Gratitude can literally change your economy overnight – the way you think, live, speak, and act. It can empower you, your relationship, your business, your success, on the road to fulfilling your purpose in reaching your destiny. It is food for the soul, for the mind, for the heart, and for your emotions. When they say "food for thought" you can take it almost literally.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Ingratitude Works Too.
Ingratitude can also literally change your economy overnight. In my lifetime, I have seen businesses and fortunes and whole economies topple because of greed and arrogance.
You can't be greedy and arrogant, and be truly grateful at the same time.
No way. No way. No way.
In fact, many places in the bible show that God does not hear everyone's prayers, such as those who are proud, break his laws, and oppress the poor and his people.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Incredible Leverage
Do you and me, do we need improvement in this area?
Let's not start by thinking of all the people we haven't thanked. That comes later, and we probably have a lot of makeup in this area to begin with.
Let's start right by going to the source of all our gifts, the maker of heaven and earth.
If thanking people is powerful leverage, thanking God is the most powerful leverage.
Use the ultimate leverage, the ultimate power of prayer. Go to the source, your maker.
The most powerful being in the universe, God is ready to give more of his gifts to those who appreciate them and wisely use them, or at least, are in the process of learning how to wisely use them.
Because as a wise father, he knows we make mistakes, even a lot of them, even a lot of them every day, but he rejoices to see our efforts to improve.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - And the Real Gentleman is ...
God is powerful, this is true.
But as powerful as he is, he's a real gentleman. So if you drive him out of your life, or worse yet, act as if he doesn't even exist in your life, he will politely leave you.
Yes, he will politely leave you with all the messes that you create. And then when you really get yourself into a lot of trouble, don't expect him to come running to help you at the drop of a hat.
You're going to have to prove yourself first, by showing your appreciation, by restoring your relationship with him first, and acknowledging that he truly is the source of all your blessings and all your gifts and all your talents and all your time and all your energy.
Pretty strong stuff, huh?
But that's simply the way it works.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Can't Continue
In my case, I simply can't do business with people who keep taking and taking and taking up my time and my energy and my resources and my gifts, and give nothing in return, at least don't show in some way their appreciation for all my time and energy and valuable information.
I wouldn't expect you to either, especially if you have to run a profitable and successful business. Else you simply can't make a living, you can't put food on the table.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Student Report Card
If you're a teacher, at some point you'd do something about a student who never appreciates what you're teaching by not wanting to learn and never doing his homework. The student shouldn't be surprised to receive the grade he deserves.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - Your Children
If you're a parent, I think you would get pretty tired of
- giving and giving and giving of your time and energy and talent and sleepless nights and years and years of your life to raise children,
- for them to then turn around with the entitlement mentality of "I want more, give me more, you owe it to me"
- and then for them to show no appreciation to you all.
My thinking is that if you're a good parent, you won't tolerate this very long.... Because if you do, you're making a pretty miserable life for yourself trying to be the go-for servant running around at your child's every whim.
And it can really, really, hurt when you do a big favor for them, but they're too busy to remember to thank you. Of course you love them anyways, but it's precisely because you love them, that it really, really, hurts.
And yes, you know they are human and they forget. And we're human, and we forget.
But if there's one thing we should never forget, it's that we should never forget to be grateful to the giver.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - It's Time to Grow up.
This is probably why even the worst of parents eventually have enough of it and kick their older teenage children out of the nest, forcing them to face the real world, to go to work making their own living. Maybe then they'll realize just how hard you've had to slave and work for them for the best years of your life.
And let me tell you, they will be much better equipped to face the real world if you've taught them how to be thankful. Thankful to you for what you've done. But more importantly, thankful to God for what he's done for all of us.
Prayers of Thanksgiving - It must be taught.
This doesn't happen by chance, this has to be taught, not just by words, but by our own example.
We all have to be reminded of it over and over again, or we truly miss thanking the true source of our blessings, and we will miss out on many blessings.
Besides, they might come back home and tell you some day how much they really appreciated what you did for them. Hopefully, they would remember to do so on Mother's Day or Father's Day, wouldn't that be nice!
Prayers of Thanksgiving - A Distinct Advantage
One of the benefits of prayer is that it keeps our minds sharpened, and our thoughts sorted and organized.
We begin to see things as they really are, what is valuable, what is not.
If you ever want to become a good writer, speaker, thinker, architect, designer, planner, leader, in fact, good at just about anything or everything, become good at prayer, especially prayers of thanksgiving.
Or you could just go get entertained by the TV all day and waste your life and turn your brain to mush.
Thank your stars, I don't think you want to do that.
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