Prayer with Thankfulness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Prayer is believing with thankfulness and believing is HOW we receive from God. Prayer with thankfulness is what builds and strengthens our relationship with God wherein we come to understand the freedom we have to believe and know that God is present, willing, and able to answer our deepest and most desired prayers.

Prayer is the key that helps release us from our doubts, worries, and fears as we daily give our concerns over to God (Philippians 4:6-7). God in turn will manifest Himself to us, becoming our true sufficiency in life — this is the joy of personal prayer.

In the Gospel of John, we have a short prayer that Jesus offered and spoke deliberately to teach others around him how to pray and believe with thankfulness in their hearts.

John 11:41b-42:
-41b: . . . And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
-42: And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

First, let us notice that Jesus spoke intimately with God, calling Him Father, as we also can. “Giving thanks {i.e., prayer} unto the Father, which hath made us meet {worthy} to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12),” and as Jesus taught in John 15:16, “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Secondly, observe that the very first thing Jesus said to the Father was I thank thee. Being thankful to the Father is one of the greatest keys in receiving answers to our prayers. Yes, being humbly thankful, even before receiving, is absolutely the most important principle to utilize in order to receive answers from our heavenly Father when praying. This is the message Jesus taught us from the Gospels, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24), thus being thankful in advance is a wonderful and very powerful key to receiving from the Father.

Thirdly, it is a valuable lesson to see Jesus acknowledge that God, his Father, always heard his prayers. This is a great message to us so we may always know with believing that God, our heavenly Father, indeed hears the prayers of our hearts. “For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Asking your Father does not negate the truth that even though He already knows your every need that you should not bother to ask Him in prayer for His assistance because prayer is a relationship builder — between you and your heavenly Father.

Prayer builds your one-on-One counsel with “the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

Prayer is your spirit-to-Spirit connection between you and “the Father of glory” (Ephesians 1:17).

Prayer is your opportunity to build a heart-to-Heart relationship with your heavenly Father (Philippians 2:13, I Peter 5:7).

Prayer allows the individual believer to have a one-on-One conversation with his or her heavenly Father and a thankful prayer life builds trust and confidence while maintaining a lasting relationship with heaven’s Holiest as Jesus demonstrated (John 11:41, Ephesians 4:21).

Prayer gives comfort from the Comforter that you are never alone, but are with “the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6).

From prayer offered to prayer answered, you also can receive the heart-touching confirmation that your heavenly Father knows the things you have need of, because prayer assures you of being in contact with heaven’s throne, and with His never-ending supply line from above to you!

I John 5:14-15:
-14: And this is the confidence that we {can} have in him {in God our heavenly Father}, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we {already} have the petitions that we desired of him.

Fourthly, Jesus believed that his prayer would inspire others to believe as well. Believing in our prayers with thankfulness, believing that we will be receiving from God, is a biblical requirement in our receiving from Him, and this will always be inspirational to others as they see our believing manifested by the end result of our enjoying the answer to our prayers.

Matthew 21:22:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

“And when he {Jesus} thus had spoken {his prayer above}, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). This verse is the pinnacle of Jesus’ prayer, and Lazarus was raised from the dead because Jesus was thankful and he knew that the Father heard him, and Jesus believed this in his heart. Blessed results follow those who pray with a believing and thankful heart.

In Jesus’ prayer, he was thankful in advance, thankful in simply knowing that his prayer would be completely answered, and this would also be an inspiration to others in their prayer life. Jesus was teaching us (by his own example) how to believe the Father for the answers to our prayers.

Many a prayer has drifted off to the island of unanswered prayers when the spiritual connection becomes interrupted between the sender and the Receiver of prayer simply because of the absence of advanced thankfulness. (Thankfulness is how to properly address a sent prayer.) The unintended consequence of not being thankful has always been and will always be the cause of shipwrecked prayers. However, thankfulness guiding one’s prayer will see it to its intended destination at the safe harbor of heaven’s throne with the return address intact. So it would behoove us to get in the habit of always starting our prayers with — “God, my heavenly Father, I thank You in the name of Jesus Christ for . . . (your prayer request).”

With thankfulness to the Receiver and Giver of your prayer-request, you the sender and recipient of your request may enjoy the intended result by the thankfulness originally sent and maintained.

Advanced thankfulness always has been the true key for genuine receiving from the Father. The Apostle Paul taught us that “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks {GIVING THANKS} to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Hebrews 11:1:
Now faith {believing faith} is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I Peter 1:8:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

The healing Word of God encourages that we first believe that our prayers are heard (see Mark 11:24 above), and from the lessons of Jesus we can learn that being thankful is how he believed to receive, and is equally how we can receive.

Thanking our Father in advance and believing that we have received will bring great things into our lives, to our families, and our surroundings. The Apostle Paul wrote, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8), because the first thing in prayer is thankfulness, and thankfulness builds positive believing, and all believing equals receiving. Paul thanked God in the name of Jesus Christ, demonstrating that our prayers offered in the name of Jesus Christ will afford us the answers we seek. “Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:16).” As thankfulness applies to properly addressing a prayer request, applying the name of Jesus Christ is the postage paid‑in‑full stamp on the envelope of your believing faith that will be personally delivered up to the Father!

Jesus said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The reason we are blessed is that we know how to first believe before we receive the gifts or answers that we desire from the Father. Giving prayers and receiving results is a Christian lifestyle that is not only desirable but also obtainable as our union with the Father continues to blossom into an exciting, daily adventure; this is the result of your Prayer with Thankfulness.

Colossians 4:2 (The Amplified Bible):*
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.

Ephesians 5:20 (The Amplified Bible):*
At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Amplified Bible):*
-16: Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);
-17: Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];
-18: Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Amplified Bible):*
-6: As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
-7: Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.” ~Mohandas Gandhi~

“Daily prayer offered in the name of our risen Lord and Savior places one in the receiving line, and initiates the ebb and flow of spirituality.” ~LMJ~

Thank you for your prayers and support.

God Bless You!