How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. But it goes by too fast, doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great day full of celebration. But how can you really fit the Thanksgiving of a year into one day?
The truth is a close walk with God has an overflowing effect of practicing thanksgiving throughout the year. By God’s grace, we respond to Him with thanksgiving and gratitude – it becomes as natural as breathing! Yet, all to often we can fall back into old habits and old patterns that do not honor God. The story of the ten lepers in Luke 17 is a telling example man’s tendencies. These lepers cried out to Jesus for help and mercy. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. That was a step of faith, because they were not healed yet. The Bible says they were healed on the way. They asked in faith, and they even stepped out in obedience. But once they were healed and approved by the priests, only one came back to thank the Lord and give Him glory.
Throughout Scripture we see five types of prayer: praise and adoration, confession and repentance, thanksgiving, supplication, and intercession. (Supplication means to ask God for our needs and for His help in our daily affairs). We see two of them in the story of the lepers: supplication and thanksgiving. But nine of the lepers stopped at supplication.
There is nothing wrong with supplication. But it is only one form of prayer. And I would like to gently exhort you that if your prayer life is made up entirely of supplication, then you have an unbalanced prayer life. Make time for praise and adoration. Make time to confess and repent your sin and receive God’s forgiveness. Make time to thank Him for all the good things in your life. And make time to intercede for those around you. Really, this is an overflow of a life lived in the Spirit.
As we continue to advance into the holiday season, I know the tendency is to get busy. But let’s be intentional in seeking Him this holiday season. Let’s pray for our world, which desperately needs the light of Jesus. Let’s pray for our nation and its leaders as our country transitions. Let’s pray for this church. Let’s pray for our children and their schools. And let’s remember the reason for the season: that from the beginning of time God had a plan for our redemption, and at His chosen moment in history He sent His only begotten Son as a humble baby to make the way for our salvation. What a great God! Let’s give Him the praise and glory that He is due.