Overflowing Gratitude

We have been looking at finishing strong. Last few weeks we talked about the importance of being in the church. That includes serving in the church and not just showing up. Doing something in your local church to help build the people around you and God’s Kingdom.

This week we are going to look at another important aspect of finishing strong and that is prayer. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7 TPT says: “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.”

Be saturated in prayer throughout each day. What does that mean? Do we quit our day jobs, lock ourselves in a room and pray all day? No. Jesus is a good example of a prayerful lifestyle, and He was a busy man. You would think that by Him being the Son of God and being in and of Himself, God, He didn’t need to pray but He did. He modelled to us what a relationship with our heavenly Father ought to look like. It is one of closeness.

John 11:41-42 says, “So they rolled away the heavy stone. Jesus gazed into heaven and said, “Father, thank you that you have heard my prayer, for you listen to every word I speak…” How confident are you that God listens to every word you speak? See, it is not being prayerful when you keep praying over the same thing over and over. That is not what our verse is telling us to do. Praying over the same thing over and over is not prayer, that’s anxiety. Learnt that one from my pastors! Cast your anxieties to Jesus and trust that He has heard you and that He will answer you.

What you do after you have prayed and asked is to begin to thank God for it. Thank You Jesus that You have heard my prayer and that You are with me no matter the outcome. Thank You for Your Presence and Your peace over this situation. Faith filled prayer paired with genuine gratitude gets God’s attention and it gets results.

I say genuine gratitude because your gratitude cannot be overflowing unless its real. Have you ever given someone a gift they didn’t like? They say, “Thanks” but that’s about it. Now give them something they love; they will thank you and hug you and can’t stop talking about what a great gift it is. They may even post it on social media. That is overflowing gratitude. That is genuine from the heart gratitude. That is the type of gratitude we are being asked to attach to our prayer. Why? Because we are confident God has heard us. Why do we celebrate God hearing us? Because we know He will answer.

1 John 5:14-15 says, “Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.” Psalm 34:4 says, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Now, that is a reason to be overflowing with gratitude right there! God hears and He answers.

What Philippians 4 is asking us to do is to communicate with God consistently throughout our day. Process your day with God. Involve God in your decision making. Ask God what you should be focusing on in this season of your life. Our verse today is inviting us into a deeper level of intimacy with God. If your loved one is spending the day with you, you don’t ignore them all day then talk to them for 2 minutes before you fall asleep. You talk to them throughout the day.

We don’t have to wait for something to happen. We can just talk to God about anything that is on our mind. When something does happen, John 11 is an example of Jesus inviting God into His situation. John 11:42-43 continues on and says, “Now, so that these who stand here with me will believe that you have sent me to the earth as your messenger, I will use the power you have given me.” Then with a loud voice Jesus shouted with authority: “Lazarus! Come out of the tomb!

If you read the whole chapter, we are actually not told what Jesus prayed or when He prayed. Also, when Jesus gets to the tomb, He doesn’t throw Himself to the ground and cause a scene praying for Lazarus’ resurrection. He was not going to put on a show. He had prayed in private, and He was confident God had heard Him and that was that.

When Jesus got to the tomb, He added gratitude to His prayer, “Father, thank you that you have heard my prayer…”, and everyone got to witness a miracle. Faith filled prayer and overflowing gratitude get God’s attention.

Love and blessings, 
Melissa Tsingano

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