BY PETER MIGNER
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, it becomes a good time to reflect on what you can be thankful for. Giving thanks to God is much easier if we practice giving thanks every day.
As a new Christian back in 1981, one of the first disciplines I was taught was to pause before every meal and thank God for the food I was about to eat. I know it is simple, but considering how many people do not have a meal every day, it’s a great discipline that creates a grateful heart.
Recently, I was in a training about how to pray an hour a day. Now 60 minutes might seem like an eternity to some, but when it was broken down into four 15-minute segments, it was more doable.
A verse in Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
So, for the first 15 minutes, write down the thoughts that keep cluttering your mind and prevent you from being thankful. For the second 15-minute segment, start listing and thanking God for everything you are thankful for. The list can grow long if you think about the simple things that we often take for granted.
The third 15-minute segment can be used to make requests known to God, and the last 15 minutes, listen for what God is saying to you.
Praying is not just talking, but also listening. Before you know it, you spent one hour with God, and much of it is in giving thanks for the blessings of life.
So, what are you thankful for? If you can read this article, you can thank God your eyes work, and you can read.
Giving thanks to God creates a positive outlook on life. I thank God for this newspaper, which is a great resource to connect people to each other in the community. Most newspapers write about all the problems and bad things going on.
Start today by making a list of what you are thankful for. Then, when you get to Thanksgiving Day, as you gather with family and friends, you might have more to be thankful for than you could ever imagine.
History reveals that the first Thanksgiving was to celebrate coming through a rough year and many deaths, and to give thanks for those who had survived settling in during New England winters.
Maybe we should take a lesson from the past and look around at who we still have in our lives and the many blessings we can still count. Truly, God is good and worthy of giving thanks again and again.
— Migner is pastor at DeLand Church of the Nazarene.