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Prayer, Plain and Simple

There are many crazy stories – some actually true – about Rick Henderson, the Hall of Fame baseball player. Here’s one: Months after Henderson was paid his first one million dollar salary, his team’s accounting team couldn’t locate the withdrawal. When they asked Ricky about this, he calmly told them that he’d framed the check and hung it on his wall… Uncashed and undeposited.

Don’t laugh. Sometimes we do no better. As followers of Jesus and sons and daughters of the King, we have been endowed with a great treasure. Yet often we neglect to make use of it. We don’t cash our checks!

This month as we head toward Thanksgiving I’m going to highlight some of the benefits that are already ours. All we need do is pray with thanks for what is ours, then employ our faith the activate the account.

There’s a great song in the Old Testament that relays this message. It’s Psalm 103. It begins: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Not forgetting the benefits that are ours by right is the first step toward true Thanksgiving. In the days ahead I’ll sketch out some of these privileges that we can enjoy simply by recognizing them and deploying our faith.

“God, we acknowledge that you not only own all things; but you are generous with your bounty. You have title to all that we need, not only materially, but also relationally, and emotionally, and spiritually. Teach us first, Lord to understand and rightly assess your own assets, and then too to understand and accept the love that you have for us, giving us access to your benefits. We begin by saying, ‘Praise the Lord.’ We tell our own souls to praise you and to never forget what is rightful ours, what you have died to pay for. We will not forget; help us remember! In Jesus!”

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