“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
Help for the Hero
Wouldn’t it be cool if our homeschool hero outfit were a reversible prayer warrior getup? With some of you mommas having sweet sewing skills, I scarcely doubt it could be done. However, I wish it was that easy, to just make an outfit and thereby fit the bill of an awesome prayer warrior. So many times in the past, my prayers have been frantic or momentary worry reports, where I half-heartedly said something to the Lord, didn’t wait for a response, and allowed worry or despair to sink in. Thank God for verses like this week’s passage to keep me in line, and moreover, remind me of the best part, too, thankfulness, during the Thanksgiving season.
This short but powerful Colossians passage is a refreshing reminder from the Lord to make sure our prayer lists are sprinkled with attitudes of thanksgiving throughout! Best of all, as Christians we know that if we obediently follow God’s directives for prayer, it is unfathomable as to how many wonderful prayers will be answered. Just imagine how may disasters have been averted, how many simple blessings and miraculous wonders alike have been lavished on us as God’s children because of our own or someone else’s prayers for our family. In contrast, when we forget to include these reminders of thanksgiving into our prayer life with our Father, we really miss out on the blessings, and the relationship building aspect of our walk with God.
Consider the story of the ten lepers, when only one came back to say thank you in Luke 17:17-18. Jesus was truly disappointed. This is because God wants the real relationship and also the glory for His doings. He wants to hear both the good and the bad, not just the laundry lists, day in, day out. Try this week to build the practice of inserting one praise for every prayer request you offer. One of my favorite ways to pray personally is to end with praises, after I have spilled my guts to the Lord at the beginning. I feel way better afterwards, and I believe God likes it best, too. If I am too stressed to concentrate on my prayer life, sometimes I take a few deep breaths and write down or mentally list out ten things I am thankful for. Even if we’ve been waiting for a very long time to see a prayer answered, never give up hope, fellow beloved of God! God loves our persistence (see Luke 18) as well as our thankfulness when it comes to prayer.
Kids Can Too!!
When you pray with your children this week, help them to focus in on some of their praises also, by asking them to end with thanking God for prayers answered. If you often do simple and spontaneous art projects with whatever supplies you have on hand, have the kids create an Answered Prayer List on a decorative piece of paper, and have them (or help them) write down prayers that have been answered in their lives. Have them write “Thank You Lord” at the top, and place colorful drawings or stickers on the art project to show enthusiasm for the ways these answered prayers have made them feel.
This week, make it a point to pray aloud with your husband. Praise God for the wonderful things about your husband as you pray with him. If he is not interested in praying together, ask if he will allow you to pray over him aloud. If neither option is available for you, don’t forget to praise God on your own for what you have in your husband. Then let your husband know a few specific things you praise God for about him. What husband, believing or not, doesn’t want to hear about why we are thankful for him. I have learned over time that my prayer time aloud with my husband is not the time or place to give a litany of gripes about the dear man with whom I am one flesh, but when we both praise God and consider one another as better than ourselves (Phil 2:3) in our prayers, everyone feels so loved.
I admit that many times, I have not brought my needs before Your throne but have tried to solve problems on my own. Please help me to give You my stresses and trust You with the results when I cannot seem to get everything done. I ask that You would remind me to thank You for every answered prayer. I spend time now, in thankfulness for the many blessings I have. Words fail to convey the thankfulness I have for the amazing gifts in my life. Thank you Jesus, my Hero and Lord! Amen.