Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more? We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor […]
HABIT #2: Pray with thanksgiving.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. . . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:6,11)
Contentment is an inner peace and happiness that rises above any outside circumstances. Contentment has long been a pursuit of many Eastern religions, especially Buddhism. Philippians 4 claims the secret to contentment, but it’s nothing like what Buddhism teaches. Buddhism teaches that inner contentment comes from within, from letting go of all ideals, all wants and all desires.
The Bible teaches that contentment comes from above, from God. One of the keys to unlocking contentment in your life is to pray with thanksgiving. Lack of contentment shows itself in many ways, including bitterness, jealousy, and greed. When you intentionally build the habit of thanksgiving in your life, it breaks down each of those barriers to contentment.
Praying with thanksgiving removes bitterness, jealousy and greed by focusing your attention on what you do have, not what you don’t have. Praying with thanksgiving takes your focus from outward (what you don’t have) to upward (what you already have). The more you pray with thanksgiving, the more perspective on life you get. The more you pray with thanksgiving, the more you’re reminded just how much God has already blessed you. This is the true path to contentment.
Share in the comments below and answer this question, “What’s something you can be thankful for today that many people would never even think of?”
Jesus, for the big blessings and the little blessings in my life, I thank you. Whether I even recognize them as blessings, I thank you. Open my eyes to see just how incredibly blessed I am today.
See if you can pause at least five times today to pray with thanksgiving. Whenever you have a situation come up that can steal your joy, pause and pray with thanksgiving to stay on the path to contentment.
Use #phil4challenge to spread the word about the Philippians 4 Challenge!