A good friend recently reminded me to check out Philippians 4:6. Those of us who have lived a lifetime of faith-walking sometimes forget the most elemental principles. We need to be reminded—and often—of how to continue growing as disciples, even if we are now at the point of discipling others.
The section I focused on was a quote from the Apostle Paul, “. . . With Thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (TNIV).
God knows, of course, what the requests and desires of our hearts involve. He knows even those most mundane requests or the entreaties we beg answers for. You know, the ones we hide when people ask us, “How are you?”
“Fine, thanks.” Interpretation: I’m hiding Feelings I’m Not Expressing.
So when we soften our deepest requests with thanksgiving, it feels more plausible to express them without fear of judgment. For me, journaling with Thanksgiving helps to avoid those hidden lies that might turn inward and rust my soul.
Here’s how it works:
“Thanks, God, that you already know my secret desires. I’m going out on the limb of vulnerability to express them here in my journal. Trusting that you will keep them safe and do something about them.
“Thank you for being so merciful to all of us. Although I would like to see more of your justice in a particular situation, I also want your mercy for my own offenses and shortcomings. I guess I need your mercy today for this situation, because I am so angry about it.
“Thank you for giving me patience for the above request.
“Thank you for the provision of new clients that you are already working to make happen. I would appreciate knowing about them soon, because you know—I’m a planner and that’s not my fault. You made me one.
“Thank you for protecting my back later today when I need to pull more dandelions out of my parsley bed.
“And thank you in advance for sending a gentle rain shower to water said parsley. Your water is better than what comes out of my spigot. No hail or damaging storms, please.”
By preceding the request with thanksgiving, we build up faith muscles. We’re already believing God will answer our requests—before we even express the need.
And by giving thanks first, we avoid the pit of worry. We already believe the deed is done. The request is answered by our proactive God, so we can release it into his timetable.
By following the order of Philippians 4:6 — Thanksgiving first — then the request, we bathe our needs in hope. And when the answer comes, it’s a kick in the gut to satan or to our propensity for doubt.
We can tell ourselves, “See? God already did this. He’s ahead of the game.”
©2023 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Mother’s Day is coming, and many mothers like books. Check out Day by Day: Hope for Senior Wisdom. And tell your Mom “Happy Mother’s Day” for me.