Thanksgiving is not just a holiday; it is a way of life for prayer warriors, prophets, pastors, and all who are members of God's family. This week, I am especially grateful that God Himself reminds us to be thankful to Him! The Bible says a grateful heart is an open door to seeing the manifest Presence of God.
Despite all the difficulties this year has brought us, God's mercy and lovingkindness remain His banners over us. We can be thankful there is no end to God's goodness! We are assured of His faithfulness to our children and grandchildren for many years to come.
I believe the Lord wants us to sharpen our focus on the power of thanksgiving today. Gratefulness is a gateway into God's Presence, and thanksgiving unlocks so much more!
*Thanksgiving increases heaven's atmosphere in our churches, homes, and families. 2 Chronicles 5:13 reveals that as musicians gave thanks to God in unified worship, the cloud of God's Presence descended into the house of the Lord. Hearts overflowing with praise are hard for God to resist! God inhabits this kind of praise.
*Thanksgiving unlocks miracles of multiplication. In Mark 8:6-9, Jesus thanked God for a meager amount of food. As a result, He saw an amazing miracle of multiplication. Suddenly, there was enough food to feed over 5,000 people!
*Thanksgiving can change a nation. Many of us have prayed and warred for our government and nation this election year. We have interceded and made petitions to the Lord according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Yet this same scripture also tells us to thank God for the leaders who are governing and watching over us. It's an important step. When we turn petty complaining into wholehearted thanksgiving, prayers for our leaders become much more powerful!
*Thanksgiving is an essential component of prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us to combine all our various types of prayers with thanksgiving. Giving thanks is an essential component of prayer - a "power tool" which leads us into peace. Colossians 4:2 adds: "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."
*Thanksgiving is the will of God for your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 reads: "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Even when we're not sure what's next on God's agenda for our lives, a thankful, contented heart demonstrates our trust in God's sovereignty, keeping us in the center of His will.
*Thanksgiving is prophetic. In the 24 divisions of worshipers appointed by King David for the tabernacle, the sons of Asaph and Jeduthun are said to have "prophesied with the harp, giving thanks and praise to the Lord." There is great power in praise and worship to increase an anointing for the prophetic - and every other ministry of the Holy Spirit.
*Thanksgiving is the hallmark of throne-centric worship. Revelation 4:9, 7:12, and 11:17 all depict scenes of worship around heaven's throne. In every scene, those gathered to honor the King of kings are joining in songs of thanksgiving! Psalm 69 tells us that thanksgiving honors and magnifies God, celebrating all that He is and the wonderful things He does.
*Thanksgiving is a sacrifice on the altars of our hearts. At times, we won't feel thankful, but it is in those moments that grateful hearts will become the most pleasing sacrifices to the Lord.
We know that a lack of thanksgiving leads to a darkened heart (Romans 1:21). So how do we cultivate thankfulness when we don't feel very thankful? Colossians 2:7 contains a key: "Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." Thankful hearts are rooted in faith.
Thanksgiving was so important to master worshiper King David, and to the commanders of his army, that they assigned people to give thanks to God perpetually - 288 of them, to be exact! These men knew that not only would their thanksgiving maintain an atmosphere of Presence, but it would also turn battles around in their favor.
Notice that it is a descendant of Asaph - one of David's appointed worshipers - who prophesies to King Jehoshaphat that Ammon and Moab will be defeated if Israel will stand still to see God's deliverance. It is while thanksgiving is being offered at the head of Israel's army that ambushes are set and these enemies are defeated! (See 2 Chronicles 20.)
No matter what you're facing this week, take time to celebrate not just a holiday, but God, who gives us many good reasons to be thankful!
Psalm 9:1 says: "I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done." I'd love to hear your testimonies of the power of thanksgiving in your life this year. How has God blessed you? How have you seen His love at work in your life? Let's take time to reflect on the Giver of every good gift, opening the door to welcome more of His Presence in our lives!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.