Prayer of Thanksgiving – Sacrifice
“In order to find God in ourselves, we must stop looking at ourselves in the mirror of our own futility, and be content to be in Him and to do whatever He wills, according to our limitations, judging our acts not in the light of our own illusions, but in the light of His reality which is all around us in the things and people we live with.”
-Thomas Merton, The Pocket Thomas Merton, Pg. 137 (NM 120)
The prayer of thanksgiving has the power to displace all manner of wretched attitude and perception of our reality. If we position ourselves in the pattern of life of the prayer of thanksgiving as laid out in the scriptures, we will discover transformation. Of course, the prayer of thanksgiving is not a means to an end alone by itself. It is a part of the flow of God and His spirit in us. Thankfulness is a manifestation of keeping our focus on the Lord from glory to glory.
When thanksgiving ebbs and flows from out of our hearts to the Lord celebrating his goodness the potential to release the resources of heaven rise exponentially. To move the Father’s heart and even the angelic hosts to cause. It disarms and makes it impossible for anything of hell to steal, kill, or destroy the Word that is given to you. This act of giving thanks is part of the holy discipline of guarding our hearts with all diligence for out if flow the issues of life.
The offering of thanksgiving from ourselves to the Father is of course celebrated during peaceful times, calm times, when life seems to be going well. The real power of thanksgiving and what the Lord is looking for is when life is not well, everything around us is difficult, and there is the pain of life in some measure.
It is when we are standing in what seems like all opposition to ourselves in our current circumstances that we release unto Him with our voice of thanksgiving we find true victory. Thus we, “Will offer to You sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 116:17) in which whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Jonah proclaimed in His prayer while in the belly of the great fish, “But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving;” (Jonah 2:9a).
Our lives become a living sacrifice and thanksgiving becomes something more than giving thanks for a safe life, a comfortable life, a life with no difficulties. When we are about doing the Father’s will there will be challenges, difficulties, impossibilities, sufferings, uncomfortable circumstances, persecutions, and all manner of trespasses against us. This is when the prayer of thanksgiving opens up something new to us in our relationship with the Lord.
The revelation of His goodness becomes more of reality amid the conflict in or around our lives. We look to the reality of His light all around us and we start to see what impossibilities become possible. We start to live in the flow of His goodness continually giving thanks because we are discovering the pattern of life in Christ. Giving thanks. Cultivating our hearts with Holy Spirit until so fertile of thanksgiving that it is a lifestyle, a part of our being in body, mind, soul, and spirit.
Thanksgiving to Abound to the Glory of God
Paul has many stunning statements about the same faith we share in the bonds of Christ Jesus and the Spirit. One of them is found in 2 Corinthians 4:15 in which context he is speaking to the Corinthians of the Ministry of Righteousness. How it will exceed the Ministry of Condemnation all the more which itself had Glory. Here is what Paul said,
“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”
As saints of the ministry of Righteousness (which is only found in Christ), all things are worked together for good for us. All things work for our enrichment. This is so that more of God’s grace like a wildfire spreads to more people. Thus resulting in an even greater increase of praise to God (which is a high form of thanksgiving unto the Lord)… Bringing Him more Glory!
What is the purpose of God supplying our every need to do His will? So that thanksgiving will superabound to the Glory of God in and through the people. That the ministry of reconciliation become one of great Joy in which we,
“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God.” (Psalm 147:7).
We walk in Christ Jesus as we have received Him, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:7). The prayer of thanksgiving cultivates openness in ourselves to receive from the Lord. It opens the door to receiving and expanding the capacity for grace and blessing. The good speech of the Lord over us. It attracts Him in intimacy and closeness. It exposes what may be hindering us from walking in Christ Jesus. The prayer of thanksgiving works in us the overcome that which hinders us and abounds us all the more to our Lord.
It is a privilege to give the sacrifices of thanksgiving to our Lord and see His glory fill all the earth. We must understand we have to be active participants. It is more than a short few minutes of prayer thanking Him for the clothes we wear and the food we eat and the shelter we have.
We must dig deep and expose ourselves to him in all vulnerability of what we are truly thankful for but scared to admit, or perhaps was simply blocked off by anger and the like. To till our soil until the fumes of thanksgiving rise to the Father until there is nothing left but for Him to pour out more of His Spirit upon us.
Thanksgiving is a radical way of living and participating in this world we live in. It opens the doors and gives us the keys to revelation and victory from heaven as we make our business about His. The prayer of thanksgiving can transform a life in mere moments when His grace meets us, and over a lifetime transforms us into the stature and likeness of Christ Jesus.
Keefer is thoughtful and reserved, withdrawn and observant. Upon those strengths he carry’s a measure of authority, and has a voice. He feels passionately about America and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. His goals are to align his life for long term missionary work abroad in some of the darkest and dangerous places. He owes his life to Jesus and his hope rest only in Christ.