What am I being thankful for?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My recent reading and studying of Romans 4 and 6 does not seem to be as fruitful as I wanted it to be lately and so I decided to take a break. The break turns out to be DA Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation, a book I wanted to reread for awhile now.

According to Carson, there are 5 lessons we need to learn from the School of Prayer:

(1) Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray
(2) Adopt practical ways to impede mental drift
(3) At various periods in your life, develop, if possible, a prayer-partner relationship
(4) Choose models – but choose them well
(5) Develop a system for your prayer lists

Then for a start, he uses 2 Thess 1:3-12 to present a Framework of Prayer. Paul lays foundations for his prayers in the letters he writes. In this letter, his prayer to the Thessalonians is found in v.11-12 with v.3-10 as his framework that controls what he prays for and why.

Basically, the one fundamental component as the mental framework that we need to emulate is thanksgiving. Here, it is his thankfulness for the signs of grace that he sees in the Thessalonians:

(1) Paul give thanks that his readers’ faith is growing
(2) Paul give thanks that their love is increasing
(3) Paul give thanks that they are persevering under trial

It all prompts me to ask if I am thankful for the right reasons. Carson commented that most of the things that we are thankful for are materialistic, which I think is quite true, if we think about it.

Is my thankfulness materialistic as well? I do have many financial commitments, which I am thankful that by his grace they are under control. I am thankful for how he has provided for us, never missing a single time that we are in need. I am so thankful for that.

Yes, these are materialistic alright. What else am I thankful for? The love and joy shared within the family; even though friction does happen, we forgive and forget. The camaraderie and goodwill of friends, sharing time and just being together. The trials that I go through from where I grow and mature – this is not easy but having gone through what I have gone through, I am so thankful that from I am able to experience His grace and mercy and love.

These are the things I am thankful for myself. What about thankfulness for others and especially people that I pray for, especially for those I have been praying for currently. The love and joy that my Wycliffe friend shares with people around her. The love and care shown by my church friend to his cousin just diagnosed with cancer. The patience and trust that Milly has for the Lord to care for her brood. The versatility of my colleague who grew to accept things as God has given her. The deep love for God and his word shown by my Romans classmates and my fellow bloggers.

I have much to learn about praying but I am thankful I have started on my way.

Picture by Adrian Yee

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5 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    Thanks for the mental-meat here. I must really think more about this.

    A couple of things that I do. I believe that God puts people on our heart to pray for. So when someone pops into my mind, I just say a quick prayer to myself for that person: nothing very elaborate, just a brief prayer lifting them up for protection. I started doing this when I realized that most of Peter's prayers were short and too the port. Remember in Acts, when the lame man came up to Peter begging for money? Peter replied:

    "Money I have not, but In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk."

    This is not a real high-tech prayer, but it is a prayer and its results were amazingly glorious.

    This sounds silly, but I believe that God puts them there on my mind for a specific reason. I have been blown away by a couple of the stories that my friends have shared with me, and the fact that they were put on my heart the very minutes that miracles happen.

    I also wrote a post a while back on this subject and how I address God in my prayer life. I think you might enjoy it.

    Forver Friends

    God Bless

  2. I have much to learn about praying but I am thankful I have started on my way.


    I wrote about praying on my blog.

    Some nights my prayers feel like I’m listening to a Ken Nordin radio show.

    I'm working on my prayers.

  3. Hi Doug,
    Yes, I did enjoy that post :)
    Friends are a complicated lot, I couldn't even begin to explain them! But yet we are blessed by each other.

    I believe that God puts people on our heart to pray for.
    Yes, I believe that ... I try to do that every morning, thinking who should I pray for, and my prayers are not elaborate as well but based on what I thought their needs are I commit them to the Lord.

  4. Milly,
    yeah, prayer does not come easy to some, me included. My prayers sometimes become like talking to a good friend (which I am) who knows what I feel and what I think that I become quite reticent at times. So much so that when I asked to pray in public, I tend to panic! Again, I have so much to learn. I have someone I use as a model, but I have not been attending the bible study session for the past 2 years that I miss listening to his prayers.

  5. maeghan,
    I'm not the best at public prayers. I've learned from praying with the youth. I think that God has given some that gift and some have to give it to God to lead.