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!

God’s Blessings

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest things in life are free. A man may sell his soul, but he cannot buy eternal life, peace, joy, true inner happiness, or love. These are all gifts of God! We can stand in total awe of these gifts, and thoroughly enjoy them, for they far surpass any monetary value; as Philippians 4:19 reads “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The richest people on earth are those who have their needs supplied by God, day to day from the riches of His glory. Conversely, the people with large wallets may not be experiencing all the gifts and blessings of God in their lives. The Scripture in I Peter 1:8 informs us that we can “rejoice with joy unspeakable”; or joy beyond explanation, and this joy is an inner quality of life which is a spiritual manifestation of having God in Christ in our hearts while we are receiving and enjoying heavenly, God-given blessings.

II Corinthians 9:15:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Although we cannot fully explain our inner joy and the unspeakable gift of God, we certainly can enjoy realizing unmistakable revelations of having these divine gifts. As we begin experiencing the true treasures of life, recognizing from whence they come and Who gave them, then we will be totally unfettered to give freely from our heartfelt inner joy and thankfulness to God.

God desires that we receive and grasp the realities of our heavenly blessings and treasures which He alone freely gives to men and women who are meek and humble to His healing Word and will.

Acts 20:35b-36:
-35b: . . . {The Apostle Paul said that we are} to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
-36:  And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

The word blessed means to be happy or to have happiness. These words that Jesus spoke were remembered and talked about by the believers and are not recorded in the Gospels, only here in the Book of Acts. The commentaries have always assumed that verse 36 was narrated back to the Apostle Paul who knelt down and prayed with those he was teaching. However, from the Greek Text verse 36 is a continuation of the words and action of Jesus: “it is more blessed to give than to receive, and when he {Jesus} had thus spoken, he {Jesus} kneeled down, and prayed with them all.” This completes and fulfills the true understanding that Jesus was explaining in the Gospels, and because of the prayer they were experiencing happiness, and thus, they were expressing inner thankfulness to God. We can find nothing to suggest that the Apostle Paul did not also follow through with Christ’s example and prayed with those whom he was teaching in Acts 20. “More blessed {happy} to give than to receive” does NOT negate the blessings of receiving, rather it is in reference to the more we give thanks to God, the more we then can receive to then have to give again out from what He gives.

God always wants His children to be happy, and as we learn to discover His true blessings upon our lives, then happiness follows, and the first, the very first thing that we do is to return thankfulness to God. “. . . a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12b).” The threefold cord as it concerns “giving and receiving” is that God first gives divine spiritual treasures to man, secondly man in return gives thankfulness, honor, and respect back to God, then thirdly God again returns to man the spiritual blessings in physical abundant realities. This is a threefold cord that God will honor and continue to reward. This is what Jesus and Paul were explaining by teaching and by example. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 16:17). See how the blessing came first before any giving is even mentioned? This gives us a spiritual mindset on giving based on receiving blessings.

Psalms 146:5:
Happy {there is that word again} is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Let us look at Jacob in Genesis who sought God for his help and who spoke to Him in a way that at first blush would seem to be a little rude if not downright blasphemous (in the way some think, believe, and teach on tithing these days). Nevertheless, what he said to God was in fact following the theme of what we just read about from Acts and Deuteronomy, above, and the theme of God’s Blessings that we are looking at in this study and the reason for Jacob’s happiness that could be ours as well. “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If {IF, IF} God will be with me, and {IF You} will keep me in this way that I go, and {IF You} will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then {THEN} shall the LORD be my God” (Genesis 28:20-21). Wow, really? Yes ― really, IF God would, then he would ― and God did, and he did.

Jacob went to the source of abundance, “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof” (Psalms 24:1), he went directly to the LORD God, Who “giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18) and said IF YOU SUPPLY ― THEN I WILL GIVE. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22); note, the only thing given here is a prayer, and a prayer is simply believing with thankfulness to God. It is from this request and understanding that Jacob not only lived an abundant life, but he concluded “of all that thou {God} shalt give me {of all things, whatsoever he asked in prayer and received} I will surely give the tenth {of what You give me} unto thee” (Genesis 28:22). See a Bible Byte study titled: Prayer with Thankfulness, which sheds light on this very subject of receiving from God in light of verses such as Matthew 21:22.

Psalms 46:7:
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Jacob would contribute only after his receiving, and his life was indeed blessed; he was praying and being honest with God and being true to himself for the prospects of his inner happiness. Since the God of Jacob is still our refuge in today’s world, should we not want to learn from him and follow his example and belief system? Jacob indeed was a principled man and wanted to know why it is more blessed to give than it is to receive, and as he received from God first, he then realized it is also blessed to give in return from out the blessings he received (because they were not his in the first place making his giving much easier, it is like playing with house money). This is the reasoning behind cheerful giving (II Corinthians 9:6-9) because one will manifest happiness! “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help.”

It is not wrong to think as Jacob did — it is right to think as Jacob thought, it is not wrong to behave as Jacob did — it is right to behave as Jacob behaved, it is not wrong to believe as Jacob did — it is right to believe as Jacob believed, it is not wrong to say what Jacob did — it is right to say to God what Jacob said, in fact, God said of him “Jacob have I loved” (Romans 9:13). Furthermore, God did not curse Jacob for saying what he said, but blessed him. “Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal” (Ezekiel 18:25), in other words God’s way is right and Jacob proved to himself that God’s way was very equal and abundantly pleasing to him. Man’s way is to give first, God’s way is to receive first; man’s way is unequal, God’s way is equal. Man’s way is unbalanced and although God’s way may at first seem unbalanced and narrow-minded in man’s mind, it is actually perfectly balanced, as Jesus stated “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). I ask, have we found God’s way, His equal way? God’s way turns the tables, so-to-speak, and rights one’s course into true godliness, “godliness is profitable {PROFITABLE} unto all things” (I Timothy 4:6).

Truth (which makes one free,― John 8:32) purposely inspires the joy of giving from within the heart; error drains the joy of giving from the heart to become an uninspired, compulsive and legalistic function.

“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Sacrifice and burnt offerings were based on giving something in the prospect of getting something (i.e., a quid pro quo/tradeoff), while God desires mercy and knowledge which assures more. In fact, Jesus said of Hosea 6:6 “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). Mercy means the withholding back of that which is deserved, like a punishment and condemnation for a past sin, while God gives something so much grander, such as total forgiveness, love, mercy, peace, grace, and an abundant life; “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11). These kinds of treasures we can come to know and experience and receive when we understand that it is He Who gives us not simply a tradeoff but more abundance because He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). A nutshell version: When your giving is a sacrifice, it is not what our God of love intended. “Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:7-8).

Who would not want to walk humbly with God and know for certain that He is blessing them personally simply because He loves them? “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn {called} thee” (Jeremiah 31:3). Who would not want to give from their personal God-given blessings with which He has blessed them? We receive blessings in order that we may enjoy an abundant life that comes directly from the ebb and flow of receiving from God and therein we are enabled to enjoy a heart of giving without having shortage or making sacrifices. From a biblical perspective, Jacob’s spiritual joy and physical happiness opened up to him the flowing simplicity of godly abundance, and is the foundation of discovering why it is more blessed to give than to receive because it is the key to more of what is free from God.

It certainly is easier to give out of what God blesses one with than to give out of what you have to start with and just may need to live on in the first place. When God becomes your God as He became Jacob’s, then the true perspective of life with God in your life will become living and real and life becomes a joy worth singing about. It is more blessed to give and receive Jacob’s way, which just happens to be God’s way! Yes, this is why it is thankworthy to pray with happiness and thank our heavenly Father. Jesus and Paul never taught “with effort you have worked, so freely give,” rather they taught God’s children, “freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

Psalms 81:1:
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

When we, the children of God, live our lives in this perfect harmony of receiving and giving, then the greatest treasures in life become ever more available and real to us. Then God’s Blessings continue coming in and we can experience genuine spiritual happiness living our lives in all the joy God originally intended.

Psalms 35:27-28:
-27: Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
-28: And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

“We are justified, not by giving anything to God . . . but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us.” ~William Gurnall~

For more on this topic, see: The Seeds of Authentic Abundance (What Is Not in the Scriptures Is so Often Just as Important as What Is in the Scriptures!) and The Fullness of God (The First Principle)

As Thou Hast Believed, So Be It Done unto Thee- Matthew 8:13

“You have been given the power of God (II Corinthians 4:7), and His true guidance in His Word to achieve all things, whatsoever ye shall ask- Matthew 21:22. When you ask God, you have access into the exceeding greatness- Ephesians 1:19 of God’s divine power that will work, and as you believe it, it shall be done.” ~LMJ~

The Power in Believing (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There is “power in believing” is a common phrase. We have books that could easily fill a library written on the subject. The power of believing comes from the mind of man’s positive and assertive actions, and it is something that is within the very nature of the human mind to believe. When anyone, saint or sinner believes, they will receive, because believing is a Law that when tapped into will work equally for anyone. Yet, what distinguishes a Christian believer is that he or she has the Word of God to believe in, and our God is the Creator of the power in the Law of believing.

Matthew 8:13 – And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour {immediately}.

This Centurion came to Jesus asking for his help and he was hoping that Jesus would heal his personal servant who became very sick and he was “grievously tormented.” However, Jesus in Matthew 8 explains that all the Centurion himself had to do was believe because when someone believes they receive. We can see by the above verse that the servant was healed as soon as Jesus explained the Law of believing to the Centurion, which means that he believed and tapped into the power in believing.

A great lesson here is that the Centurion came to Jesus for guidance, the same kind of guidance that we can receive when we come to the Word to find the help we may need to increase our own believing, because the Word of God takes the place of the physical Christ and his guidance. Wherever the principles of positive believing are manifested great things begin to happen for anyone who applies them. However, the believing Christian has an edge when he begins to learn the Word, for he can tap into the power of believing in which God Himself is the source of the power.

Matthew 21:22 – And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask {of God} in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Man on his own efforts can tap into believing and ascertain that there is some kind of power behind his believing, but he will never come to know the source of the power without coming to know God. Jesus said in essence that, it will rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45), meaning everyone has the same “chance” in this life to believe, for God’s spiritual Law of believing is equally available to everyone. But when God becomes your Father, you also have the blessed privilege to believe in God’s own power, because you will have direct access into the living room of the Lawgiver: God (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:19)!

You have been given the power of God and His true guidance in His Word to achieve “all things, whatsoever ye shall ask.” When you ask God, you have access into the “exceeding greatness” (Ephesians 1:19) of God’s divine power that will work as you believe it.

A For-Getting Recipe

“Hebrews 4:2 explains, For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith {believing faith} in them that heard it. Just using the name of Jesus Christ in prayer (John 14:14) is not the only component to successful praying, but to also admix our believing faith with our prayers, all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive- Matthew 21:22, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding- Proverbs 4:7, ― these are the necessary ingredients for receiving the desires of our hearts.” ~LMJ~