Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tuesday - Problem thanksgiving

Prayer:  Save us O God for the pressures of life have come up to our necks and we are sinking into the miry depths.   In our despair,  we know that You provide for us a foothold and a solace.   In Your great love,  You answer us and hear our cries. We rejoice in Your abiding presence.   Deliver us this day O Lord for whatever we may face,  may we face it together in joy and thanksgiving.  Amen.

Read  Psalm 69  (and especially verse 30)

This Psalm is the cries to God from an individual in deep distress. We do not know what this person’s problem was that caused such deep distress.  And just for your Biblical knowledge,  this Psalm is one of two Psalms that are most frequently quoted in the New Testament.    This Psalm follows a pattern as do most of the psalms that have deep distress: a.  invocation of God and asking for help,   b.  a description of the need,    c.  petition for deliverance,   d.  motivation for granting the request, and                 e.  expression of confidence.

It is in the expression of confidence that we find thanksgiving.  “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving”  (Psalm 69:30  NIV  Zondervan, 1983). 

When we have a problem,  do we immediately go to God in prayer?  Or do we go to our family and friends and tell them our problem first?    And in retelling the problem,  does the distress grow bigger and bigger?   

When we have a problem,  how do we get from sharing the problem with God to a time of thanksgiving?    Why not follow the pattern of the Psalm?  Our prayers should begin with asking God for help and telling God about our problem.  Then we ask God to help us see our way out of our problem OR unload our burden and give the problem to God.  Next step in our prayer is to express our thanks in God.   Notice  we did not include the motivation for granting the request.  Too often  we perceive this part of the prayer as the “bargaining” part… if we do “x” then we ask God to do “y”.     Bargaining has no place in our prayers.    We can not say “God we will attend Church the rest of our lives and read the Bible if You would just do…..”    Bargaining has no place in our prayers.   But thanksgiving certainly does.   Always remember to say thank you to God.  Our gratitude to God means we grow as Christians.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  Today and each day O LORD,  I will praise Your name in song and glorify You with thanksgiving.   Amen.

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