When You Can't Pray, Give Thanks

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
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Listen while you read: "At Calvary"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 95:2a – Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. (NKJV)

I once heard of a little boy who refused to say his evening prayers one night — not out of defiance, but because he couldn't think of anything that he wanted. He didn't see much point in praying when there wasn't anything to ask for.

When his mother heard his dilemma, she suggested that he give thanks instead.

So the little boy got on his knees and thanked the Lord for everything that he could think of — from his favourite toy to the fact that he wasn't blind like the boy down the street. His evening prayers were longer that night, because he was thankful for more than he wanted.

We often have a similar dilemma: we find it hard to pray, not because we don't have anything to ask for but because we're too disheartened to pray. Our prayers seem to hit a stone ceiling. Our prayers go unanswered for years. Or we simply don't receive the peace that we used to enjoy in times of prayer.

But maybe we can't pray because we've forgotten to be thankful. Like this little boy, what if we took time today and turned our prayers into words of only thanks?

Our prayers might be longer than usual, because we find ourselves thankful for more than we want.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your love and goodness that showers upon us more than we deserve. Give us grateful hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Bethany Hayes <bethany828@comcast.net>
Portland, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Bethany – Great.

    Beautiful, Bethany. Thank you!!

    Thanks. Great sharing, short and to the point.

    Thanks Bethany for a great reminder. Happy Thanksgiving.

    May God change all our hearts to an attitude of gratitude!

    You hit the mark today Bethany!

    Dear Lord, Thank you for all the people who write devotionals to help strengthen our faith. Thanks.

    Dear Bethany,
    I really enjoy your devotional “When You Can’t Pray, Give Thanks”.

    Thank you for putting thankful prayers in writing. It’s exactly where I’ve been in my prayer life. Thankful.

    Thanks for your devotional this morning, reminding us that we have so much to be grateful for and so many reasons to pray. Have a blessed Christmas season.

    Dear Bethany:
    Thank you so very much for your wonderful devotional for today. You are so right! Thanks for the reminder.

    Dear Bethany:
    I appreciated your devotional today. Gratitude is so important to our mental health as well as our relationship with God.

    What a wonderful and timely message for all of us! When all news seems to be bad lately, evil all around us, and in my heart I know dispair is an insult to God – I have found difficulty praying, and I stumble. Your words point me in the right direction to a holy conversation with God.

    This devotional was for me. My husband has cancer that is in-operable. Yesterday my daughter-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. It is very disheartening and I felt so down I found I just could not pray. Your idea of giving thanks is great because I do have many things to be grateful for.

    How true Bethany. For instance, I’ll share with you this thanks I send to our Lord in prayer several times a day. Age has caused a numbness in one of my hands that makes small efforts difficult, such as, doing up buttons while dressing. Struggling eventually accomplishes the act but becomes so frustratingly long. However, when the deed is done I simply say, “Thank you God”. With the many other times throughout each day I send those words for even more important things then, I don’t feel too ashamed.
    “Thank you God for Bethany”.

    In our hassled society we all too often not only forget to say Thank You, we even forget to spend time waiting before God to hear His voice. We are too busy for our own good and I think that must sadden God.
    Thanks for the timely reminder, Bethany.

    This is such an effective way to let God lift you when you are weak and discouraged. I speak from experience. Thanks for your devotional.

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