“Don’t forget to say thank you!” This was the regular reminder from my mother before I left the house to go and visit with a friend. On the rare occasion that either my brother or I forgot to say thank you, we would receive “the look” and the reminder “What do you need to say?” There is great importance in instilling thankfulness in children as they grow up. It’s always a blessing to have one of the kids come up to me to say thank you for a birthday card. Anyone doing any job needs the appreciation and the blessing of being thought of and thanked for their service.
When we stop to appreciate the amazing gift of God’s salvation and grace which we receive through Jesus Christ, we recognize that we did nothing to deserve his love, but in contrast, we do everything to deserve his anger, judgement and wrath. Yet because of his great love for us, Jesus stepped into the middle of our mess to bring redemption, the forgiveness of our sin through God’s mercy. But he also opened up for us reconciliation with the Father and through the Spirit, adoption to sonship. When we see all of what God has done for us, the question comes “What do you need to say?”
The Heidelberg Catechism asks the question. “Why do Christians need to pray?” The beginning of the answer to that question is “Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us.” (Q&A 116) Prayer is our response to the ongoing work of God in our lives, it’s our way of saying thank you for everything God has, and is continuing to do in our lives. Pray is our vocabulary of thanks. The Apostle Paul reminds us: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Prayer is the relational response which connects us with God who has given us so much through the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. It’s our expression of thanksgiving for his work in our lives, but it’s also the channel through which deeper and greater intimacy with the Father, our Abba – Daddy God, can be achieved. It becomes the doorway to a relationship which is out of this world. It gives us access to the vast love, grace and power of God, which He with joy longs to share with his children. Prayer becomes this never-ending adventure with the Father who never stops revealing the depths of his amazing grace to us, and his invitation to join him in the work he is doing in this world.
Prayer is the most important part, but also the most exciting and rewarding part, of this relationship with our Father in heaven.
Have you said thank you today?