Day 10 of 21 • This day’s reading

Psalms 100:4-5
James 1:17

Day 10: Growing in the Prayer of Thanksgiving

The prayer of thanksgiving stems from an acknowledgment of God’s blessings. In the Old Testament, the house of God was surrounded by gates and courts prior to entering His presence. Psalms teaches that our approach to God should begin with thanksgiving and praise: this is a spiritual metaphor for entering into the ‘gates’ of His presence using the password of praise. Thanksgiving recognizes that all we have was given by God. As we live in a materialistic culture, we need deliberate reminders that our focus should be upon eternal treasures. Thanksgiving speaks about our identity in Christ as recipients of His goodness and grace.

Unfortunately, materialism is one of the biggest gods against godly spirituality. Yet, we can’t boast about anything because everything we own was given. While we realistically earned and purchased our belongings, our ability to work, gain, and succeed is from God. This means we can give thanks for our natural blessings. Family, jobs, health, community, opportunities, physical provision—the list is endless. We’re acknowledging the ultimate Giver, and His generosity, purpose, and love for our lives. The more we express gratification, the less materialistic we become, despite our abundant possessions.

Appreciating spiritual blessings frames our identity in Christ. We have life and purpose because of all Jesus has given: forgiveness of sin, righteous relationship with the Father, the presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit. These, among many more, are spiritual aspects that illustrate our value as God’s children. We become co-heirs with Christ over our eternal inheritance from the Father. The prayer of thanksgiving then reminds us that our identity isn’t defined by earthly things, but by who God says that we are.

Thanksgiving requires humility. When it’s difficult to give thanks to God, we’ve become self-sufficient. God doesn’t delight in our gratitude because he’s egotistical and needy of affirmation. Nothing we do can make God more perfect. But as God is a Person; it brings Him joy when we acknowledge the things He’s done for us. Thanksgiving then ties beautifully to this season, as fasting itself should come from a humble posture. When we deny ourselves food, we’re declaring our physical dependence upon God for sustenance. We’re saying, “We thank You for what we have, and we need You for what we have not.”

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