For April 2017
Praise and Thanksgiving
by Myrtle Fitzpatrick.
It is sometimes difficult to realise that praise and thanksgiving are a form of prayer. We tend to think of them as a consequence of prayer, offered up after our prayer has been answered. But both the Old Testament and the New Testament tell us differently. We remember that Jesus gave thanks before the raising of Lazarus. He also gave thanks before increasing the loaves and the fishes. We have the account of Paul and Silas singing praises to God before their deliverance from prison. Yes, praise and thanksgiving open the mental door so that God’s bounty, goodness and complete deliverance may flow in and be our salvation.
Often in the Old Testament, we are instructed to sing praises unto the Lord. The reason is twofold. First, it is natural when praising God for a song to rise to our lips. Second, singing impresses the subconscious mind and reaches the heart and feeling nature.
A thankful heart is a loving heart. One is never thankful except for that which is praiseworthy. We do not change God by this activity of praise. We merely open our own heart and mind so that we are completely receptive to God’s good. The following two incidents illustrate this point.
A dear friend had been ill. Thanksgiving Day arrived and her family attended church services, leaving her in bed. She was a Truth student and affirmative prayers were being said for her continuously. However this morning she felt downcast. Thanksgiving Day – and she could not attend church or even sit at the table with her loved ones! She had been trying to know the Truth of her wholeness but without result. As she lay there in the quiet house, she suddenly looked around the room and then pictured the house, room by room. What a lovely home she had and how kind and loving her family were to her! Gratitude to God for His manifest goodness welled up in her heart. She told me that she spent that hour thanking God for blessings already received and taken for granted. She said that her heart felt so full of love and gratitude to God that it was almost more than she could express. When her family returned it was to see her whole and perfect, able to join in the festivities of the day. She had finally opened the mental door with praise and thanks for God’s omnipresent goodness, and her immediate recovery was the result.
The other instance happened one day as I was thanking God for His healing, fulfilling presence ever with me. It was early in the morning and suddenly I became so conscious of the presence of God that there was nothing but God in all and through all. This knowing lasted all the day. I have heard such an experience called the Sabbath of the soul. All the work I had to do was done effortlessly; everyone I met was radiant with the light of God. God’s love impregnated the trees, the grass, the birds, the animals. Truly I had come before the face of God, as the Psalmist says.
There is not anyone who does not have something for which to thank God. It may seem a mechanical thing when you start praising God, it may seem that there is little for which to be thankful, but as you persist, your heart begins to glow within you and more and more is revealed to you for which you can spontaneously praise and thank Him. We should do more than give thanks for a minute or two, but persist until the heart catches fire. Then praise is effortless and it will bring fulfilment of every good in its wake.
Reprinted from DAILY WORD #514
A Thankful Heart is
a Loving Heart.
This Silent Unity Affirmation & Reflection is one of many we send out to help people with their prayer work when they approach us for prayer. If you want to contact Silent Unity for prayer support, click the box at the top of this page – or phone the prayerline on 01628-628916.