#5 in the Prayer Series by Barbara Epp
The Joy of Prayer
(The mystery of thanksgiving)
I mentioned earlier my “moment of truth” wherein my eyes were opened to the mysteries of prayer. I want to highlight now one of those mysteries that was revealed to me at that time – the important act of thanks-giving.
As I received the revelations that God initiates and inspires prayer, as I recognized that I was actually praying what originated in God’s heart, as I realized that the implication that God desired more than I the answers to those prayers, the immediate result was an exclamation from my mouth: “Thank You, Father, for what You are going to do!!”
Giving thanks to God became of singular significance to me in my prayer life. Whenever I would face a situation that seemed discouraging, difficult or even devastating the Spirit would remind me of the power of thanksgiving. I would then change my prayer from, “Please, God…” to “Thank You, Father, for what You are going to do!” Instantly my outlook was changed to see the problem as a possibility for God to act! Initially I saw this as a mystery because of its power to transform my perspective and would identify it to others as putting on my “rosy set of glasses”. It was almost magical!
Later, while studying the first chapter of Romans I was struck by how important thanksgiving is to God. When I saw that lack of thanksgiving results in futile thinking and darkened hearts I realized that thanksgiving isn’t just a thoughtful thing we do when we feel like it. It is an attitude God has designed us for and intends for us to choose! It is vital to a healthy relationship with our Father! It is living in reality! It is choosing to believe that God’s promises and faithfulness are more real than our circumstances.
“For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18
It is a reasonable act!
Besides being the reasonable thing to express, thanksgiving is an expression of pure joy! Burdensome and burdened prayers become out-pourings of faith, hope and love for our Father as we give thanks for what He is doing in our circumstances. Prayer is a joyful act!
“I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with joy!!”
I am so grateful for this revelation! The joy of prayer (prayer with thanks) is my privilege – and my responsibility. It has become one of my disciplines of prayer – I will share more of these with you next time…………..