Prayer is the amazing privilege of entering into God’s throne room. The Creator and Ruler of the universe actually invites us to communicate with Him. Typically, our prayers consist of petitions, intercession, confession, praise, and thanksgiving.
Which of these five aspects of prayer consumes most of the time you spend talking with the Father? If you’re like many believers, you’d have to admit that thanksgiving isn’t at the top of the list. And there are several reasons why this could be true.
Whatever fills our minds is also what dominates our prayers. If we feel overwhelmed with problems, petitions naturally become more urgent. When concerns for loved ones are foremost in our mind, then intercession will be our focus. A sense of conviction and regret over sin leads us to concentrate on confession. All these are important and necessary, but we can’t let the cares of this earthly life and our own needs prevent us from taking time to center our attention on the Lord.
Now, it’s true that after we’ve seen God work in our life or answer a prayer request, we’re filled with gratitude and thank Him repeatedly. But after a while we tend to forget and drift back into our regular thought patterns. Here’s the key to keeping gratitude and praise foremost in our prayers: learning to know the Lord more deeply. As we read the Scriptures and discover His glorious nature and mighty works, He’ll become our focus, and our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks, not just for what He’s done for us but in appreciation of who He is—our good, loving, faithful, and glorious God.