This is the eighty-third lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
See Mel Lawrenz’s new book, Christmas Joy for Kids: A Devotional.
In the USA, Thanksgiving is a great national holiday, and a fantastic opportunity for a spiritually significant time of gratitude, one of the greatest dynamics of life. Here are some principles.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
- Thankfulness lessens our anxiety (“do not be anxious”).
- Thankfulness reframes every situation we find ourselves in (“in every situation”).
- Thankfulness puts us in a posture of prayer and submission to God (“by prayer and petition”).
- Thankfulness authorizes us to ask God for what is good (“present your requests to God”).
- Thankfulness imparts peace (“and the peace of God”).
- Thankfulness orients us toward the transcendent (“which transcends all understanding”).
- Thankfulness protects our hearts and minds (“will guard your hearts and minds”).
- Thankfulness keeps us connected with Jesus Christ (“in Christ Jesus”).
Here is a “Prayer for Thanksgiving”
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at large. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, including How to Understand the Bible—A Simple Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.