Wednesday, May 16, 2012

21 Day Experiment-Thanks

21 Days! Some of you may be thinking, “What is the significance of that time period?” I’d have to answer by saying, “I’m not quite sure.” I noticed that most habits are set within the 21 or 28 days, and 21 fit my schedule better than 28.
For the past three weeks, I’ve practiced what I addressed in my last blog entry. I encourage you to check it out, “A Key to Faith in Your Prayers,” where I suggested to the readers to mix thanksgiving with all your prayers. It should boost one’s faith. Well, that’s  what I’ve been doing purposefully.

Now before I give you the results, you must understand, I’ve been transitioning a ton in the last 21 days. Three weeks ago, our daughter Quinn was born. I’ve had sleepless nights, days when I was too tired to pray, days where I felt as though I were on top of the world, and days when I was looking up from the bottom. They have been days of experiencing many of the emotions one normally feels through the ups and downs of life. Here are the results of making sure to mix thanksgiving into my prayers:
It affects my perspective. I am positive. I’m tending to fixate on gratitude rather than whining prayers for my desires to be fulfilled. The worn path from the thought patterns in my brain lead to faith and hope rather than despair and negativity. Correct thinking patterns are crucial in achieving amidst the challenges all of us face in the uphill climb toward impact for good.

It grounds me in God’s Word. It is challenging to offer back to God promises from His Word that He has made concerning me, others, and any circumstance for which I am praying. I am reminded of Scriptures that I’ve memorized in the past, and challenged to memorize more, just to have the truth available in my arsenal, as I tell God of what He already said. When I can repeat God’s Word back to Him, it gives my thanks potent content.
It helps me to surrender to God’s sovereignty. No, I can’t control a situation just because I pray the right words. Certainly prayers can affect the outcome, or they would be an exercise in futility. But, when I begin to thank God that He is in control, no matter the outcome, I find my soul resting in HIS sovereign plan for me, realizing He is good in all HIS ways.

It helps me to adopt the posture, “Thy kingdom come.” It’s not about me getting the answer that will help me build any kingdom for myself. It’s not about dreams for me, my family, my friends, and circumstances. It’s all about HIM. When I thank the Lord amidst any circumstance, surrender is my posture. It keeps me focused on His purposes and His glory through the drama we all experience in life.

You’ll notice that all the results are in the present tense, and I plan to keep it that way. In other words, I’m planning to make this a practice of “thanksgiving” as an integral ingredient in prayers I offer to God. I trust you’ll be challenged to do the same. Thanksgiving in prayer is a key to faith, and praying that way makes a difference!

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