Tonight we come to the eighth area of prayer that we want to discuss. It is 'thanksgiving'. Basically, thanksgiving is the act of expressing specific gratitude to God for blessings He has bestowed upon us. It differs from praise in that praise focuse s on who God is, and thanksgiving focuses on what God has done for us.
I. The Attitude of Thanksgiving.
A. We have placed thanksgiving at this point in our prayer time, but it would fit anywhere throughout.
B. Paul instructed the believers in Colosse to abound in thanksgiving.
C. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." cf Col. 2:6-7
D.Col 4:2, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanks- giving;"
E. Ph 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
F. All prayer should be offered in an attitude of prayer.
II. The Actual Thanksgiving.
A. Is what we can give to God.
1. Ps. 116:12, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?"
2. His answer is in v17, "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanks- giving, and will call upon the name of the LORD."
3. Even Jesus offered prayer in an attitude of thanksgiving.
4.In the account of the raising of Lazarus Jesus "...lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me."
5. In Mk 8:6, "...he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples..."
C. Principles to consider when offering thanks.
1. Thank God for spiritual blessings. (salvation etc.)
2. Thank Him for material blessings. (jobs, needs, etc.)
3. Thank Him for our physical blessings. (health, family, etc.)
4. Thank Him for past blessings.
Note: Ep 5:20, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
1Th 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."