"We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."
What fascinates me is how this verse points to Thanksgiving being a (if not the) central aspect of Paul's prayer life. As he began to pray for others, it would overflow with thanksgiving to God for what God was doing in their lives.
This is quite the opposite of my prayer life.
I pray in moments of panic for others (as I should)
I pray when I see the life of a Christian falling apart (as I should)
I pray when I feel the defeat of sin in the lives of those around me (as I should)
I neglect praying when a Christian takes a leap of faith (as I should)
I neglect praying for a Christian who has been faithfully serving for years (as I should)
I neglect any and nearly all prayer that is excited for the good going on in my life or the life of those around me...
My prayer life shows something twisted in my heart: I pray for God to work, but never acknowledge him when he does.
I am a forgetful prayer...
This week I have been trying to watchfully look for God's working in the lives of people, and I have a list of thanksgivings going on this week:
- I thank God for giving Zane the courage to speak casually and friendly with new faces in the youth group.
- I thank God for the prayers prayed by Taylor Obermeyer and Kelly Murphy at Fusion--prayers that show they are listening and wanting to apply the Word of God to their lives!
- I thank God for Samm being willing to step up and ask a question in a new environment--that takes guts, and it shows God is wanting to work on your heart!
- I thank God for my wife for her great moral compass that helps guide me to more maturity in Christ.
- I thank God for my parents, who diligently placed Christ in front of our eyes, and continue to do so to young people in their community.
- I thank God for my brother Nate, whose study of the word makes me strive to do so better myself. (Thanks for making me reread a great passage Nate! I'm am pondering and reading it again!)
- I thank God for other youth ministers like Josh Rutledge and Brandon Foulke, who work with great perseverance to captivate hearts for Christ.
- I thank God for the faith of those who have went before me, people who have written down their words to help me see faith more clearly.
- I thank God for Chuck, our senior minister, who not only works hard at his job, but does the little jobs that nobody notices to serve the body of Christ, the church.
- I thank God for little Ben Harris, and his wonderful joy for life that brings a joy to the office (and occassionaly a mess).
- I thank God Jack White, whose text message this week refreshed my heart.
- I thank God Tyler Munjas, and his willingness to step up and serve--he is developing a heart like Jesus Christ!
Let's keep a list of thanksgiving that we can lift up to God in our prayers--looking for God showing up in the lives of those around us.
That is my list of thanksgiving this week, what are you thankful for?