The Power of a Thankful Heart

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

 An Attitude of Gratitude, the Basis of Prayer  


  The real basis of prayer is not a religious duty, but an attitude of gratitude inspired by the love for God. We may go to God asking Him to meet our needs, but without a grateful or appreciative heart, prayer actually becomes a heartless business — like going to our local authorities to present our demands. If we love God, we will appreciate His love for us and be grateful for the ways He expresses it — including His loving responses to our prayers. Thus, we can ask Him for what we want without fear, but without an attitude of gratitude, we are like the Prodigal Son, who demanded, “Father, give my share of the estate!” (Luke 15:12, NIV). 


That is the story of many-a-life: “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” So many lives relate to those around them from a self-absorbed sense of entitlement and are just a constant demand for “my rights” — however “wrong” they are! Is God a sugar daddy, just there to gratify our whims and fancies? Coming to God only for what we can get out of Him is self-centered, thankless cupboard love. That is love for the gifts, not the Giver. In prayer we make our petitions known, and indeed we are encouraged to do so, as we find in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (NIV). But the relationship goes far deeper than that, notice “prayer and petition” reflect what we do, but “with thanksgiving” reflects who and what we are before the Lord. God bless you.