“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
Were you taught like I was that we should say please when we want something and thank you when we’re given it? I studied the Bible and prayed to the Lord for years before I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to take a closer and deeper look at God’s Word when it comes to being thankful – including specifically when it comes to prayer.
When you read the scriptures above, what do you see? In both scriptures, God makes clear we should be thankful. That goes without saying, doesn’t it? We should always be thankful to the Lord. But what about when it comes to prayer? We should be thankful to God after He answers our prayers the way that we want and in the time frame we desire, right? Most assuredly we should thank God when He answers our prayers the way and in the time frame we desire, but this is not all!
Both scriptures make clear we should thank the Lord even before our prayers are answered. And nowhere in these verses does the Lord say our thankfulness to God should be contingent on the outcome of our prayers.
What if God answers our prayers the way we want? We should be thankful! What if God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want? We should be thankful! We should be thankful that He is Lord, that He is almighty, sovereign, Lord, Savior, Creator, Father, redeemer, healer, deliverer, provider, teacher, friend, for His fellowship through Christ, for sending Christ to the cross, for His love, mercy, grace, tenderness, patience, for conforming us to Himself, for His mercy and help, for His Spirit and Word, and on and on, including for HOWEVER and WHENEVER He chooses to answer our prayers because He ALWAYS knows what’s best, His will and timing are ALWAYS perfect, and we for all of this and for countless other reasons should be thankful to the Lord!
When we pray to the Lord, we should trust Him to respond however He wants and to love and obey Him and praise and worship and adore and revere and honor and humble ourselves before Him and tell others about Him and serve Him and offer our thanksgiving to Him unconditionally. Oh, how we should be thankful to the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord! Answer my prayers however you desire, oh Lord, thank you! Thank you for being Lord! I love you Lord! All glory to you oh Lord! Oh, let us be thankful to the Lord! All the time!