December 16, 2017

Thank You, Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I come before You today
And there’s just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve given to me
For all the blessings I cannot see
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve done in my life
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

Yes we thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord
Yes we thank You, oh we thank You

Don Moen
Songwriters Patrick Henderson and Louis E Brown III

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The Bible tells us to “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” In the Kings James Version, this specific command is given at least six times: 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1 and 29, and Psalm 136:1.  Of course, there are many other references to giving thanks to the Lord throughout His Word.  Many of them give thanks to Him for something or someone.  I like the focus of this verse because it is all about our Lord.  In fact, these six verses speak solely of His goodness and His mercy.

As this song mentions, we have so much to thank God for:

  • blessings we can’t see
  • taking us out of darkness and giving us His light
  • taking our sin, shame, sickness, and pain
  • for all He’s done in our lives

And for all those things we give God our thanksgiving. But today, mostly I just want to come to Him and give Him thanks and praise. He is worthy. He is our God, who is good and full of mercy and grace. Over and over, “I just wanna thank You, Lord.”

Thus will I bless Thee while I live:
I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
Psalm 63:4

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2

Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. 1 Timothy 2:8 NLT

During this season of Thanksgiving, when we are reminded to take time to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with, I don’t want to forget to simply be thankful for God, Himself.  (What about you?)  With a grateful heart, with a song of praise, I want to “Bless the Lord, O, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).  Please join me with outstretched arms, with hands and hearts lifted to our Lord, and give Him thanks. He is worthy.

All glory to Him who alone is God,
our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 1:25

And then I heard every creature in heaven
and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.
They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the One sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:13

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Dear Lord, we can easily come to You with a long list of things and people that we are thankful for; You have blessed us with so much.  But first and foremost, Lord, we come to give You thanks for being You.  You are God above all gods, Lord above all lords.  You deserve all praise and worship. There is no one like You.  You are love, You are mercy, You are grace, and so much more.  Thank You, Lord!  In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name we give our praise and thanksgiving.  Amen, It Is So!

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

In my closet
A spot is worn from hours and hours upon my knees
I step inside
The quiet’s like a doorway to a world of peace

One thing I don’t worry ’bout
I can’t wear my welcome out

I keep knock, knock
Knockin’ on heaven’s door
I keep talk, talk
Talkin’ cause your answer, Lord

Won’t be stop, stop
Stoppin’ so be listening for me
I’m knock, knock
Knockin’ on heaven’s door

I’m not a poet
No, it’s not like me to speak in flowery words
Not a prophet
Not at least in these parts
That would be unheard of

But my heart speaks loud and clear
And since my prayers are answered here

Whisper what you’re feeling
Shout it at the ceiling
Nothing’s gonna fall on deaf ears
Ask Him for His mercy
Pray away your worries
What do you want heaven to hear
Bless the world around you
Pray His peace surrounds you
Thank Him for His favor
Simply praise the Savior

Avalon
Written by Grant Cunningham & Matt Huesmann

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT

This verse is one of my life verses.  It was one of my grandmother’s favorites. It saw our youngest daughter through times of trouble in high school and she often included it in her email signature.  It is multiple life lessons wrapped up in one concise verse—applicable anytime, anywhere.  Prayer is a power tool in our toolbox of life.

I hold conversations with God throughout the day.  But, after seeing the movie “War Room”, I wondered if my prayers could be more—if I could be a prayer warrior like Miss Clara.  This song reminds us of three things we can do to make our prayers more fervent and earnest.  As I started searching for Scriptures on prayer I found the same 3 lessons.

Prayer requires Persistence, Participation, Privacy

Persistence
In Luke 11:9 (AMP) Jesus calls us to be persistent.

“So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you;
seek and keep on seeking and you shall find;
knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.”

Sometimes prayer isn’t a “one and done” kind of thing.  If we don’t get an answer, Jesus reminds us to keep asking until we do.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP reiterates this – “be unceasing and persistent in prayer”.  Effective prayers require persistence.  So “keep knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door…“.

Active Participation
Matthew 26:41 AMP tells us,

Keep actively watching and praying
that you may not come into temptation;
the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

We need to be aware when we pray, blocking out distractions. Have you ever been talking to someone and realized they were not giving you their full attention? Annoying, isn’t it? Imagine how God feels when we pray like that. 1 Timothy 2:8 AMP gives us instructions on how to be actively involved in our prayers.

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger and disputing
or quarreling or doubt [in their mind].

(As I read that verse an image of hands lifted in surrender, palms outstretched to God came to mind).  Exodus 9:29 NLT gives us an example of Moses doing this: ““As soon as I leave the city, I will lift(stretch out, spread out) my hands and pray to the Lord.”  Prayer requires active participation, mentally as well as physically.  So “keep knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door...”

Privacy
Matthew 6:6 HCSB is a well known verse instructing us to pray in private:

But when you pray, go into your private room,
shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Continuing in verses 5 and 7 are additional reasons why we are to pray privately.

Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites,
because they love to pray standing in the synagogues
and on the street corners to be seen by people.
I assure you: They’ve got their reward!
When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters,
since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.

Prayer isn’t for show or about maintaining a reputation.  Prayer is about communicating with God.  Job 16:17 NLT reminds us our prayers are to be pure. Exodus 8:29 and 9:29 say that Moses “went out” from the Pharaoh before praying. Numerous times Jesus prayed in private: “…He went off to the mountain to pray,” (Luke 6:12 NASB) and “… as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him,” (Luke 9:18 NKJV).

Praying privately keeps us focused on Who we are talking to and what we are praying about.  I want to have “…in my closet a spot is worn from hours and hours upon my knees“.  I want to be that kind of prayer warrior, don’t you?

Praying in private also gives us the opportunity to “hear” God’s reply.  And I don’t want to miss that.  So “keep talk, talk, talkin’ cause Your answer, Lord…

Our prayers can bring us peace, intercede on the behalf of others, provide comfort, make our requests known and give us the chance to express our gratefulness to God.  I want my earnest, fervent prayers to “availeth much” (James 5:16 KJV).  To paraphrase Philippians 4:6…

Ask Him for His mercy
Pray away your worries
Bless the world around you
Pray His peace surrounds you
Thank Him for His favor
Simply praise the Savior

Because that is what prayer is really all about, isn’t it?