15. Eph. 1:16 Prayers Appreciation part 15
Activate in Making Continual Requests Captivate in a Mark of Perpetual Celebration
Prayers Method v.16
Appreciative to give thanks for you,
Gratitude in the setting of this letter is a aiming at ceaseless appreciation. This positions the standard of thankfulness as high as it could be stretched.
Paul generously highlighted gratitude in his writings. He mentions it 23 times in his works. The rest of the New Testament only refers to giving thanks 14 times.
In Ephesians 5:20 he calls thankfulness, his desire; he wanted to do it always. He also described expressing appreciation as a consequence of the Spirit’s filling.
We are to give thanks always for all things unto God.
This is an ambitious perspective. But it is achieved by our occupation with all the riches and blessings that God is constantly pouring out on us, and others around us. When our focus is clear we’ll fill the air with appreciation.
Really, the more we pray, the deeper our gratitude. For the greater we are engulfed in the blessing of prayer, the more our experience of propelling, from strength-to-strength, from faith-to-faith and blessing upon blessing.
The reality is, prayer doesn’t gain credit to us, as performance criteria. Every prayer is merely our opening of our heart to the knocking of Jesus on our heart.
He allows things into our life to show us how weak and destitute we are. The only solution is to open the door of our heart to Him. He tells us to seek His face and talk in His ear about everything. To give Him every care, each concern with itemized consternating detail.
This is not an argument grueling activity, but a exhibition of apprehending our need. We’re coming on board to reality. He’s the Lord of prayer and our advocate night and day.
He’s given the Spirit of prayer into our hearts, crying Abba Father. When we don’t pray we are resisting His Spirit, we are ignoring His step-by-step, moment-by-moment coming along side of us.
As He puts His arm of comfort and encouragement over our shoulder to draw us to His side, how in the world can we not respond to His invitation to share our needs?
When we decline to pray it’s like shoving his arm of love away from our shoulder. He has told us to be filled and to keep on being filled with the Spirit. Speaking to ourselves, and expressing all around us, in Psalms and Hymns and Spirit motivated songs. Giving thanks always for all things.
In Luke 17:11-19, The Lord is making His way to Jerusalem and as He traveled He was at the border of Samaria and Judea. He healed ten lepers, the most devastating disease of that time in history. Leprosy caused public rejection and the plighted were placed into exclusion and banishment from society.
Jesus provided radical and complete healing removing all their ugliness and pain. What a terrible snub to Christ, of the ten that were healed, only one returned to offer appreciation and thankful admiration.
Is the Lord suggesting in this historical account the general ratio or a statistical percentage? Do only 10 percent of those He pours loving care out on, and helps miraculously give the Lord credit with gratitude? Are 90 percent unappreciative?
Do we only express 10% of the pray gratitude, one tenth as much as we should, and only one out of ten times identify with thankfulness the blessings of good that Christ is doing for us?
That’s a pathetic story to reject the recognition and tribute the Lord deserves from us. It’s hard to go through life feeling discredited and unnoticed.
But our Lord is perfect in His care of us. He is the source and provider of every good and perfect gift. He gives with no barbs or strings attached. He is worthy of appreciation and honor. That He has spends so much, and sees so little in return is something we should admire and appreciate on its own.
To digress for a moment look at the prayer of the ten lepers.
Their Fervor Luke 17:12-13 They lifted up their voice
They Felt their Disability
They Felt their Despicableness
They Felt their Distance stood afar off
Hebrew health laws quarantined and enforced isolation seclusion on these ten so they must have felt devastated
THE PRAYER WAS FULL OF:
FUNDAMENTALISM Jesus, Master, have mercy on us
THEY KNEW HIS PERSON Jesus,
THEY KNEW HIS POWER Master,
THEY KNEW HIS PITY have mercy on us
Our pleas are based on who Christ is, what he can do and how He feels toward us in sympathetic compassion and gentle forgiveness. We see them come not based on how good they are. They didn’t approach according to a position of merit they had achieved, but on the person, power and pity of God.
THE PRAISE OF THE ONE LEPER LUKE 17:15-19
HE WAS FAST When he saw that he was healed… he
glorified God… giving him thanks
It’s important to be prompt in our gratitude; we overlook who gets the credit for our privileges. We take things for granted. Meetings of remembrance and recollection where we identify the Lord in respectful acknowledgement are essential.
We’re easily deceived into a disposition of ingratitude. As weird as it may seem we feel we merit and deserve more then we really do. We forget where it all really comes from and demand our rights and mandate exacting stipulations.
HE WAS FOREIGN One of them…he was a Samaritan…this stranger
This is a sticky point that Jesus points out. The Jews had all the rights in there stuffy religious we know it all status. The Samaritans were considered half breeds, dogs and low class.
All the spiritual privilege and opportunity the Jews had and they failed to compute it out into real character. We are treated by God according to our advantages and concessions of freedoms, benefits and favorable circumstances. Look at the freedoms, luxuries and literary opportunities we’ve had in the culture of the U.S.A. and we have to be a little shocked at our spiritual illiteracy and attitude of gratitude. We so easily get all cranky and whiney over the problems when we should be lost in an ocean of praise.
HE WAS FULL OF FERVOR With a loud voice glorified God
Often we like to keep our gratitude and praise in check. Not this guy he was blowing a cork over his God and making a verbal scene.
HE WAS FULL OF FEELING Fell down on his face at Christ’s feet
The praise and gratitude was not only passionate but it was respectful, unassuming and humble. He wanted to honor the Lord with every fiber of his being but didn’t embarrass Jesus in the expressions of admiration and tribute for the nobility and distinction of the Lord.
Genuine gratitude is the reality that we owe our enrichment to others and ultimately God. This is the foundation of humility, deflecting the credit. The danger zone is getting wrapped up in what others owe us. In John 12 when the notorious Mary pours her gift of gratitude on Jesus feet the room was full of the fragrance. Gratitude fills our life with an incredible fragrance and charm.
HE WAS FUNCTIONAL “He [Christ] said unto him
[the healed leper], Arise, go thy way;
your faith has made you whole”
This is such a cool thing and the real value in the healing and gratitude expressed. We get the greatest blessing from giving all the glory and credit to the Lord. Our faith is ignited into a full flame and our life is incited with the inspiration of wholeness. Spiritual healing is really greater than physical healing and often if not most the time they are interrelated. Our wholeness and completeness in the fullness of the Spirit and the filling of Christ is directly related to our gratitude. Gratitude is from the same root word as grace. If we have experienced God grace, we need to be grateful for all God has done in the riches of His grace to us. Thank and think also come from the same root word. The truth would seem that when we think correctly and deeply, we thank approval and loyalty.
DAVID GIVES US A DESCRIPTION OF GRATITUDE
1 CHRONICLES 16:8-15 HE DESCRIBES APPRECIATION AS:
OUR DUTY V.8 Give thanks unto the LORD,
OUR DELIGHT call upon his name,
OUR DECLARATION make known his deeds among the people.
OUR DISSERTATION V.9-10
MELODIC Sing unto him,
POETIC sing psalms unto him,
SYMPHONIC talk ye of all his wondrous works.
SPLENDOROUS Glory ye in his holy name
JOYOUS let the heart of them rejoice
PURPOSEFUL that seek the LORD.
DAVID FURTHER SAYS WE’RE GRATEFUL BECAUSE OF THE LORD:
HIS DOMINATION Seek the LORD and his strength,
HIS DESIGN seek his face continually.
HIS DEVELOPMENTS Remember his marvelous works
HIS DOINGS that he hath done,
HIS DRAMA his wonders,
HIS DECISIONS and the judgments of his mouth;
HIS DELIGHTS V13
THE ROYAL O ye seed of Israel his servant,
THE RUTHLESS ye children of Jacob,
THE REWARDED his chosen ones.
HIS DEITY V.14
PERSONAL He is the LORD our God;
POWERFUL his judgments are in all the earth.
HIS DIMENSIONS V.15
TENDER Be ye mindful always
THOUGHTFUL of his covenant;
THOROUGH the word which he commanded
to a thousand generations