I am not very good at pausing to thank God.
Don’t get me wrong – It’s not that I don’t pray. I am practically expert level at asking God for things. Seriously. I’ve got lots of time for that. But, when it comes to stopping what I’m doing to offer God a sincere, focused thank you (equal in quality to my expert level asky prayers), I’ve got some major room for improvement.
Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t even realize how much my thankful-prayer-life was lacking until I read about Abram this past week. In Genesis chapters 12 and 13 there were a couple things he did that helped me see a skill gap in my own prayer life. God tells Abram about some of the incredible future blessings he’s got in store for him. Each time God shared a promise with Abram in these two chapters, Abram made time to pause and thank God.
- Genesis 12:7 “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”
- Genesis 13:18 “So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the LORD.”
The two big things I noticed about Abram’s thankful worship that made me realize I had room for improvement were these:
- Abram didn’t wait for the promise to be fulfilled before he thanked God. Abram heard God’s promise and then responded by immediately building an altar for worshipping God.
- Abram didn’t rattle off a quick, casual “thanks”; Abram carved out a permanent place for thanksgiving into his life. I don’t know the full process of building an altar but I do know it wasn’t an easy task. He didn’t have a Home Depot right down the road where he could buy a DIY altar kit for $299. He took the time to find the materials and established a place where thanksgiving and worship could happen regularly.
This week I want to be intentional about building in space to pause and thank God for all that he was, is and will continue to be in my life. I’m going to start small with a daily prayer gratitude journal in my “notes app” on my phone, taking time at the end of each day to type up three things I’m thanking God for. If you decide to join me, I’d love to hear how it impacts your week! Email me at Emily@MessyWorship.com to share your story.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for choosing me to be your child. Thank you for wanting me and for sending your son to die for me. Thank you for walking through this life with me and for the promise that nothing I do will ever make you love me less. Thank you for Abram and the lessons I learned from his life in your word. I love you. Amen.