“I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.”
(Psalm 138:1-2 ESV)
As believers we are often very, very good at praying and asking God for what it is that we see our need for. I’m not criticizing that desire or those prayers. If those prayers are lifted up from the proper mindset and from a place of humility and gratitude, then God desires and loves those prayers. However, what we often forget is to be thankful for answered prayer, or especially, when God answers those prayers a different way.
How many times have your prayed for success at a weightlifting meet or a CrossFit event and God granted it to you? How many times did you pray for success and failure is what you found? Were not both sanctifying?
How many times have we as gym owners prayed for help with our business or as coaches prayed for help in our leading and guiding athletes? Did God not answer those prayers? (even if they weren’t how we wanted them answered)
I often have to remember that as a 26 year old male, my perspective in comparison to God’s is extremely limited. In comparison to His oversight and viewpoint, I’m a lot like a 2 year old playing on the playground. God is guiding and preventing me from doing things that might hurt or be a detriment to me. For instance, if I wanted to jump off the top of the monkey bars, God, as a good Father, would most likely stop me. Would I be happy about it? Probably not, because I had my mind and heart set on jumping. But God knows that me jumping would end in a hospital visit and I just don’t have the maturity, oversight, and ability to see where my decision would take me.
When we pray we have to remember that truth. What we pray for isn’t always in our best interest and often can lead us to worse circumstances rather than better. However, what we can always do is give thanks for an answer.
I was reading Psalm 138 and 139 this morning and in doing so I noticed David’s posture toward God. ALWAYS THANKFUL. Always thankful for who God is, what He is capable of, and of how intimately He leads us. Since recently becoming a father, I’ve had to face up to this truth. A posture of thankfulness should always be our position toward God. I have to remember that Megan and I begged God for little Emma. Even at 3AM.
The truth is that Megan and I prayed and prayed for EK for over a year. (I asked for a boy, God decided a girl is what I needed) When we got pregnant we prayed and prayed for a healthy delivery. Now that she is here we are praying constantly for her development spiritually, mentally, and physically. What I think we fail at sometimes is remembering how long we have prayed for her and how faithful God has been to answer those prayer and then give thanks for that.
Our consumer-driven culture often leads us to pray often asking for the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) And that is a good thing. However, it is important to remember to be thankful for the Lord’s answer when He gives it. Regardless of how He answer. We are good at asking. Are we good at thanking?