“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”
“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.”
“Just as a fresh breeze cleans smoke from the air, so does a grateful spirit remove the cloud of despair.”
“It does twice as much good to think about God as it does to think about anyone or anything else. The more we focus up there, the more inspired we are down here. The Psalmist said, ‘Oh magnify the Lord with me!’ (Psalm 34:3). When you magnify an object you enlarge it so that you can understand it. When we magnify God, we do the same. We enlarge our awareness of him so that we can understand him more. This is exactly what happens when we worship. We take our minds of off ourselves and set them on God.”
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
My Prayer today is for gratitude. For ourselves, for the significant others in our lives, for the little things, which are really the big things, and for God, most of all. Today, ‘Thanksgiving’ in America, my friend Laurie Klein reminds us in her blog (http://lauriekleinscribe.com/gratitude-break-free-generate-life/) that when things are dull or dreary, or when we are down (especially then) we should sit and write a list from 1-100 of the things for which we are grateful. Laurie says that somewhere around 60 it gets really interesting. “I didn’t know I was grateful for brakes and windows and wishbones, and forgiveness and spices and wide tooth combs…” I wonder what our prayer life would look like if we remembered to say thank you for all the little things strewn as blessings on our path each day.
Perhaps this statement of Laurie’s struck me the most. ‘Researchers tell us… gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Even if its starts small, gratitude by its nature expands, eventually pierces even the roughest terrain.’ Max Lucado reminds us that magnifying an object enlarges it so that we can see more of it, understand it. Today I would pray that we can say with Mary (Luke 1:46), ‘my soul magnifies the Lord”. Yes, I think Laurie is right, the more we focus on our blessings, the larger they become in our perspective, and the more aware we become of God’s goodness and the source of our provision. We give him his rightful position, an over-arching, all encompassing place in our lives. Both giver and gift. Thank you God.
These are drawn from daily prayers and reflections I write for my Chaplaincy colleagues.