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Gratitude is the Heart of Prayer

    

Published 2018-02-16


 

I wrote this yesterday before I was aware of the terrible shootings in Florida. I ask you to join me in prayers for these families and that community and school who are grieving another senseless mass shooting. And it seems all the more important that we learn how to be aware and grateful of even the smallest blessings.

Someone has said that gratitude is the heart of prayer. To trust that something beyond you has given you more than you deserve is what faith is all about.

And yet gratitude is not our default mode. Our minds naturally seek out problems to solve. Even in quiet moments it seems my own mind is forever coming up with projects for my self-improvement and constant internal advice about how others can improve themselves. It is tempting to believe that my life is a Do It Myself (DIM) project. But to see life as a DIM project is to miss the point that life is all gift. The breath in my lungs right now, which will sustain every tissue in my body for this moment, is absolutely free.  God who is the maker of every breath expects no payment. Free air! Not to mention the smoothie I had for breakfast, the Valentine’s Day lunch I had with my wife, and on and on. Just calling them to mind makes me grateful.

This year I hope that you might give up two minutes each day until Easter (April 1st) to write down three to five things for which you are grateful that have happened in the last 24 hours. Click here for a fillable pdf version.  First create a Master List to note things like family members, homes, jobs, church, for which you are always grateful. The Master List is there for you to use on bad days when you can’t think of anything in particular you are grateful for, as well as days you are too busy or too tired. When you forget a day, begin again with “forgiveness.”  When you have an especially bad day, begin with “God is love” which is unending, and realize God is grateful for you.

 

 

Peace+,

Jim

 




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