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THANKSGIVING WITH PRAYER
Jesus says, "You're welcome."
The ten walked together, painfully aware of their condition, which kept others away from them. Skin lesions identified them as lepers, outcasts, excluded from society, left to suffer a debilitating disease, alone and separated from other human contact. There was no cure, no medicine available. Nothing could be done. The priests would pronounce them "unclean" and send them away.
"Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" They called out to Jesus as He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. He saw them and commanded, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." "And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed." (Luke 17:14)
"Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan." (Luke 17:15, 16)
"So Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"
Jesus obviously expected to receive thanks. He expects us today to thank Him, to thank our Heavenly Father for all blessings we receive, that God may be glorified.
The bible is full of thanksgiving prayers. We are told to "give thanks to the LORD", "Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!" "Oh give thanks to the Lord of lords!" begin the first three verses of Psalm 136. And each verse in just that one psalm is the promise, "For His mercy endures forever," and is repeated twenty six times!
How often do we need to be reminded about God's mercies? How often do we respond with thanks?
My friend, Ruth's prayers, new each day, are wonderful examples of ways to thank the Lord:
"Father, my heart is filled with gratitude this morning. Thank you for watching over us through the night. Thank you for rest and renewal that you provide without our even asking. You are the One True Living God, filled with majesty, might, power, love and compassion. You have made provision for us, through Your Son, Jesus, to come to you with our petitions, and requests, and even just to sit down and have a chat with you. You love us enough that you desire us as Your friend."
"Father, I want to thank You for continually watching over each of Your children. Your presence is always near, always comforting, always at peace even in the midst of turmoil. It is a wonderful gift. Thank You is inadequate to express the fullness of heart that goes with the understanding of Your continuing presence."
"Father, thank you for today. You are always with those whom You have chosen. You provide breath, life, health, a sound mind and the comfort of knowing you are always close for me to reach out and touch."
"Father, my mind is swirling with thoughts of You, Your greatness, the amazing sacrifice of Your Son Jesus and how the world treats Him, even today. You have presented us with this amazing gift, the Gift of eternal life with You, purchased with the shed blood of the Lamb: A gift to cleanse us, and purify us. Help us, each of us, to accept that gift. Now teach us how to honor that gift and how to use it to glorify Your Name and the Name of Jesus our Lord and Redeemer."
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© Constance Vanides