Every evening before I go to sleep, I pray. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I pray throughout the day too, but my evening prayer time is a time of reflection and looking forward. It’s the time I talk to God about my day and I bring to Him my list of daily prayer requests – the big ticket items.
However, before I get started on my prayer requests, I work periodically through the day and say thank you. Some days these ‘thank you’s come flowing, other days, I have to scramble for the little things. However, no matter how bad a day has been, there are ALWAYS multiple things to be thankful for.
Sometimes it takes the bad days to make you realise the little things we have to be thankful for every day – a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, a friend to go to, a church I call home.
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the goodness in that day alone, so I just need to express my gratitude. Other days, it can feel like I’m starting my conversation with God like this to not be cheeky – I don’t want to ask for big things without first saying thank you for what He’s already done. I don’t want Him to think I’m just asking for more. (Clearly on these days I forget He is God and knows my intention, no matter what words come out of my mouth.)
On occasion, ordering my prayer like this can quickly shift my sole focus from prayers that have been answered and blessings I have received, to the things not yet done. It’s like saying thank you, with a big ‘but’; “thanks for doing this, but you haven’t done the other thing I’ve been asking for.”Appreciation quickly depreciates and want takes over. On bad days, I can even start to question whether the things on my prayer list will even happen, particularly the things that have been on that same daily prayer list for years.
Reflecting on those bad days, it amazes me how quickly I can go from gratitude to doubt. How can I be thanking the same God who has provided for me in the day, then question whether He will provide in the future?
It takes a fight to counteract those thoughts. It takes effort to remind yourself of the promises of God. It takes conscious competition to not let the enemy infiltrate your prayers – seems ironic that that’s the time the doubt can creep in. It makes me realise that on those days, they’ve become empty prayers. Prayers without faith are just words.
On those days I pick up my bible. I read the words God is speaking to me. I have there in front of me, in black and white, undisputable communication that God is for me(Romans 8:31), that He will work everything out for my good (Romans 8:28).
God knows our struggle; but our struggle is so diminished when we truly trust Him.
Honour Him with genuine gratitude, daily.
Whole-heartedly trust Him with faith-filled prayers and speak the outcome with conviction.
There is proof of His goodness in every day and He works everything out for good.
Psalm 34:8 (MSG): Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good GOD is. Blessed are you who run to him.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.