“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).
Parents understand the power of gratitude. Most parents wouldn’t appreciate their children always making requests without saying “thank you” for what they’ve already received. God sees it the same way. He wants us to ask him for what we need and want. More than 20 times in the New Testament, we’re told to “ask” him. But he wants us to ask with gratefulness.
The Bible urges us to be specific in our requests—and our praises. Instead of a simple “thank you for everything,” he wants us to tell him what we’re grateful for. When I say to my wife, “I’m so grateful for you,” she tells me to be specific. She likes to hear what I appreciate about her and what I’m grateful for about her.
God wants to hear the same things. So when you pray, tell God what you’re thankful for. Prayer is one of the most important ways we tell God “thank you.”
Thanking God in advance is a big step of faith. The Bible says that when we have the faith to thank God ahead of time for an answer to our prayers, miracles happen. The more thankful we are, the more God works in our lives. The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of his people. He empowers and uses our thanksgiving as an instrument of power in our lives.
WORSHIP ME in the beauty of holiness. All true beauty reflects some of who I AM. I am working My ways in you: the divine Artist creating loveliness within your being. My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this
effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that—abundantly!
Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in My Presence. This entails being satisfied with much or with little, accepting either as My will for the moment. Instead of grasping and controlling, you are
learning to release and receive. Cultivate this receptive stance by trusting Me in every situation.
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
PSALM 29 : 2 (NKJV)
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
PSALM 27 : 4
Maturity is a Process
Christlikeness is your eventual destination, but your journey will last a lifetime. This journey involves believing (through worship), belonging (through fellowship), and becoming (through discipleship). Every day Jesus wants you to become a little more like him: “You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you.” (Colossians 3:10a NCV)
Today we’re obsessed with speed, but God is more interested in strength and stability than swiftness. We want the quick fix, the shortcut, the on-the-spot solution. We want a sermon, a seminar, or an experience that will instantly resolve all problems, remove all temptation, and release us from all growing pains.
But real maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving. Growth is gradual. The Bible says, “Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Corinthians 3:18b Msg)