Thanksgiving For Everyone
This is the time of year we often talk about being thankful. Anytime we focus on the attitude of our heart, intentionally aware of our daily response and reactions, it brings opportunity for increased growth in our character. So, let’s embrace this season of counting our blessings by taking our gratitude to a new level, and increasing our state of thankfulness. Let’s not get stuck in the mindset that says, “It’s just that time of year again, and we’re supposed to say what we’re thankful for”. Let’s take on thankfulness as a cloak, as we wake up every morning to a new day of following where Jesus leads. I want to share a story from a time in my life, where God led me to a new way of thanksgiving.
I haven’t always felt comfortable or successful praying for others. It was always assumed that I was confident to pray, since my Dad was a Pastor. It may sound like an oxymoron, but the truth is I got so frustrated one day, I prayed and asked God to teach me to pray. I prayed this prayer after growing up a Pastor’s Kid, going through Bible college, and leading a youth group with my husband as a young married couple. But then, on an average day, the Lord told me He wanted to teach me how to pray.
As I asked Him what He wanted to teach me, I came across 1 Timothy 2:1, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”
The phrase thanksgiving be made for everyone, stuck with me. I couldn’t get it out of my head; I knew God was speaking to me. So, I looked up the word thanksgiving, and discovered giving thanks in the original Greek is literally translated: to confess.
I had studied the word confess earlier that year, from Hebrews 13:15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
Confess in Vine’s Dictionary, is “to speak the same thing, to assent, agree with; to confess, declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts; to confess by way of celebrating with praise."
This study impacted my life! I was experiencing physical and emotional breakthrough as I applied celebrating with praise to my confession. Now, I realized thanksgiving, in 1 Timothy 2:1, is talking about my confession. Everything became clear! I had learned the power of thanksgiving and confession in my own life, and now I was to apply this same principle as I prayed for others.
The “thanksgiving for all men”, in 1 Timothy 2:1, is about more than an emotion of being thankful; it involves our confession. We are to joyfully speak forth the same thing God says in His word, placing us in agreement with God where other people are concerned. Through intercession, we call out to God for His word, not our ideas, to happen in their lives. This releases us from unbelief, and with boldness we are able to pray the prayer of faith. This transformed my prayer life! I now have a confidence as I pray for others, because I know I am coming into agreement with God on their behalf. His compassion for us is overwhelming, and getting a glimpse of it floods my heart with gratitude and praise once again.
With thanksgiving, I will confess The Way, The Truth & The Life over myself and others!
Will you join me?