We pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know him better. We pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Prayer adapted from Ephesians 1:17-19)
Lifting Up Thanksgiving & Praise
1) Central Passage(s):
- Hebrews 13:15-16
- Exodus 33:22
- Psalm 23:4
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
2) My Daily Praise:
"Count your blessings, see what God has done" - take some time to write down every blessing you can think about (good and/or bad). Feel free to share any of them here.
3) My Daily Surrender:
Share your prayer about the things in your life that you're finding it hard to be thankful for.
1. Central Passage
- Living a life of thankfulness, having an attitude of gratitude, being thankful in all circumstances - that sounds easy, but when you're in the middle of it, it's probably one of the hardest things to do. I liked reading how we are to "continually" offer sacrifices of praise to God. It ties right in to what we've been learning about living a life of worship. How reassuring to be reminded that God is on the throne, and that nothing ever happens to us that He doesn't permit. The challenge is to see those things that come along as opportunities to grow, and to continue to be thankful to God for all that He has done and is doing for us, even as we're going through those situations.
2. My Daily Praise
- Lord, I am so thankful for: my family, my parents, my siblings, my children, my wife, a home to live in, food to eat, the opportunity to serve you in the worship ministry, good health, Your grace, the struggles we're having with our son (I'm still working on that one...), the gifts You've given me, everything!
3. My Daily Surrender
- Lord you know that I'm finding it hard to be thankful for the situation with our son and school. But, as we learned this week - we don't need to be thankful for that, just continue to be thankful as we're in that situation. Lord, please keep my heart from becoming cold and losing that spirit of thankfulness for everything else that's good in our life! Help me to understand how you're using this to shape us and him. Help me to continue to be thankful, even as we're going through this struggle. I'm sorry for the times that I've lost that attitude and taken the focus off of You, and onto the problem. Change my heart so that I can see this as something that You've allowed for a reason, and show us what that reason might be.
I'm very thankful for this study group. I'm proud and honored to "pull up a seat" in the circle. I love reading your posts each day and hearing your hearts. It's like for a few minutes I get a glimpse of your life in Christ and that enriches mine! Thanks for sharing everyone!
1) Central Passage:
I love the imagery of "lifting (offering) a sacrifice of praise" in worship, specifically through giving thanks by the WORDS that we use. One of the trademarks of our generation is an intense cynicims and sarcasm. We find humor in sacrcasm unlike previous generations. Rarely do we find people who are genuinely sincere and thankful for the things that we encounter in life, large and small.
The word we translate into "praise" in the Old Testament is Towdah. It is a sign of thanksgiving (usually accompanied or signified by extended hands. It also carries with it the shade of meaning of SINGING songs of thankfulness. Lifting "THANK OFFERINGS" or sacrifices of thanksgiving.
It means to come into agreement with what God has promised. Sometimes it means being thankful for things in advance. This is a very open-hearted, faith praise. It means being thankful in the good times, the bad times, and even the ugly times! (check out Psalm 50:23)
2) My Daily Praise:
I am thankful for:
- My relationship with God in and through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- My beautiful, loving, and caring best friend wife
- My family
- My home
- My friends
- My health
- My job
- My music
- My church
- so much more!
3) My Daily Surrender:
God, I find it hard to be thankful for the little things sometimes. Thank you for daily sunsets and sunrises. Thank you for air. Thank you for food and water. I'm in a good place right now, not facing many struggles, and I appreciate that, Lord. Though it's not hard to be thankful for, sometimes it's EASY to forget to thank you for this peaceful season of refreshing and rebuilding that you've led us to. Thank you so much, Lord! Amen.
I often forget to thank him in the midst of ALL circumstances. I thank him in prayer for the usual things...family, health, our jobs, our home, but how often do I thank him for being stuck in traffic (teaches me patience and gives me a chance to worship.) Going to the dentist (keeps me healthy and thankful I have a dentist to go to!) Or illness (actually, when I'm sick I do remember to thank and praise him for the times I'm well.) ALL circumstances.
I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior and what He has done for me. For God in all His glory. For family, friends, and for my church home. For times of financial security but also for struggles...helps me remember his providence and his promises. Thank you for my (many) flaws...keeps me struggling and working for your glory. Finally, thank you for the difficult circumstances in life..."refine me Lord, through the flame."
Lord, help me to be thankful for, in my eyes, financial uncertainty. Financial circumstances help me remember that YOU are in control. However much you give us, it is always enough. Help me to remember the times you got us through when times were tough. You are always mindful of what we need, not what we WANT. May I always look to you and thank you and praise you for whatever comes our way.
All that hath life and breath, praise ye the Lord!
In His Name,
I must confess I struggle with offering thanks in the midst of my struggles. This day reminded me that we’re not expected to give thanks FOR our circumstances; we give thanks because our Savior is with us THROUGH them. What an incredible reminder!!! Just as the Lord was with the men in the fiery furnace, He will be with me in my most desperate of circumstances. I need to daily remind myself of this truth!
Lord, thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You created me unique to your kingdom, and have given me a wonderful husband and two beautiful boys to share in your joy. Thank you for taking interest in my circumstances, my struggles and my success. I’m grateful you are always sovereign, that nothing can happen to me outside of your control. No one can stand against me when you are for me! It’s because of your unfailing love I can become more like you through my trials. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me.
** Other notable “thank yous” – my salvation, my husband, my two sons, my family (immediate and extended), my friends (old and new), my health, my family’s health, the Lord’s protection through our circumstances, the Lord’s provision to put food on our table and paying our mortgage, the Lord’s love and grace in ministering to others, ETC!
Lord, you know I often struggle with my current proficiency in music. I desire to improve, and I often wish I were better than I am now. Although I love hearing others with great abilities, my heart sometimes aches b/c my ability is not yet up to par with what most people call “adequate.” Lord, you always remind me that YOU are the one who deems me adequate. Please help my unbelief in this area. I want to improve, but I do not want “improvement” to motivate me, for you are the one who motivates me. You are my counsel, and I desire to learn mostly from you!
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
I have to agree with Russ here. This is super beneficial to do this with you Guys. I am currently in a church culture that doesn't value the group study like I do. Ths is changing, but its a hard road to convince people that this is worth doing. I thanks God for this study with you guys regularly.
As I was typing this out, I got a text from a friend who was supposed to pick me up for class tonight and she said she had a flat. It's hard for us to worship God and be thankful for the flat, because we tend only to see the negative aspect, but we don't often know what could have happened to us if we were on the raod at that time. I have to keep praising him and thanking him even when, more likely especially when I do not see the good in the situation.
I am thankful for
- This Study
- TWC (especially Fred and Russ who have blessed me more than you can know)
- My current internship which is causing me to grow so much
- My leadership who is working to see me grow, and trained so that I can become the minister God wnats and needs me to be.
- free wifi at mcdonalds (it may seem dumb, but its a blessing when you cannot get internet in your home)
- John Mark McMillan who has been playing on my ipod for the last 2 hours. his worship just blesses me so hard.
God, ts hard to be thankful right now with the mess my finances are in. Its hard to thank you for the fact that every job I have applied for lately has been a no go. Its hard to be thankful when winter is approaching and I do not have a car.
God its hard to be thankful when So many things look like falure in my life. I do not understand your ways. But, I fix my eyes on you as Jehoshaphat did and I trust you. I know your word says in Jeremiah that you think good thoughts of blessing over me. God help me to trust you more. Help me to understand its not about me, and all about you.
I've been away from my computer for 30 hours, thus my post is not in its usual place. lol
1. From the scripture
The idea that praise is sacrifice seems strange to me. It is very easy for me to praise God for who he is, as well as for what he has done. So when I get to the story about the pregnant couple, and the 1 Thessalonians 5:18 scripture, I begin to see how praise can be a sacrifice. It brings to mind another song from Casting Crowns, "I'll Praise You In the Storm." If I can learn to honestly praise God when the tough times come, when my world is caving in, when something I want badly is out of reach, then my praise will become a sacrifice. And it seems to me that sacrificial praise has much more value than praise which costs me nothing.
2. Daily Praise
I praise God for my family (I'm patriarch of 19 in 3 generations), for good health, for a job that I often dislike, but which has provided my material needs for 25 years, and for a good church. I praise God for a difficult decision made this week, that kept a dream at bay, but which could have been financially ruinous. I Praise God for small victories made in my struggle to become a faithful servant. I praise him for the hard lessons I learn when I am not his faithful servant.
3. Daily Surrender
God, just as I had to say "no" today to something I want very badly, give me the strength to say no to everything in my life that is not pleasing to you. And give me the heart to praise you for all the things that are difficult, so that they may become my sacrifice of praise that is pleasing to you.
Last edited by Wannabe a Worshiper; 11-11-2010 at 09:17 PM.
"We can be sure that nothing ever happens to us that our loving God doesn't permit."
That quote really hit me as I read this tonight. So often in the hard times I don't praise God because my tiny human brain has trouble seeing how He could be working in the situation. And yet, the Bible makes it clear that He is working in all things. I think that leads not only to the notion of sacrificial praise, but also to the idea that we sometimes have to surrender our own perceptions about God's worthiness. The truth is, He is always worthy of whatever I can bring and so much more. My prayer today is that I'll do better to remember that going forward.