1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. . . ." — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
As believers, we are taught to pray. But why should we pray? Prayer brings us into communion with God, the maker and sustainer of the universe. God gives us life, and he sustains our daily living. We should pray because God has everything we need and wants us to flourish. What's more, we should pray because in prayer we can give thanks to God for all that he is and all that he does.
In prayer we recognize our utter dependence on God. It can be hard to admit that we are completely dependent. But at the same time prayer opens our hearts to more fully experience the breathtaking scope of God's amazing grace and mercy for us.
Thanksgiving in prayer is not just a good idea or a suggestion, though. It's a command, as the apostle Paul reminds us. By rejoicing always and praying continually, we obey the will of God for us in Christ.
Sometimes we think of commands as a burden. But obeying this command will bless us beyond measure and put us in the best position for loving and serving God in the world.
So when you pray today (and always), spend time communing with God, ask him for whatever you need, and feel the strong rush of his grace and mercy resulting in a sense of gratitude that shapes all you do.
We come before you, Lord, with hearts of thanksgiving for who you are and all you do. Amen.