As we approach November, we invite you to join us in the practice of giving thanks. See below for a challenge and words of encouragement from our own Gloria Grell.
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A November Challenge: The Discipline of Thanksgiving
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Do a search of the phrase “give thanks” in the Bible. (Blue Letter Bible – see HERE – is a great online concordance. Check it out if you haven’t used it before.) That exact phrase is used 68 times in the New American Standard Bible, 44 times in Psalms alone! Don’t stop there. Try “give You thanks” or “thanksgiving.” God wants us to practice the discipline of thanksgiving!
Why? God deserves it! Every good and perfect gift we have is from Him (James 1:17). But God gives us another reason to give thanks. It protects us against the attacks of the Enemy.
In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. “Guard” is a military term. To guard is to prevent hostile invasion, to protect by a military guard. This is the promise! The peace of God will protect us from hostile invasion! It will protect us from the bitterness, the jealousy, the grumbling, the hopelessness, the despair, the paralyzing fear, the cowardice, the doubt that leaves us hopeless. God calls us to come and find protection in His fortress of peace. How do we do that?
Thanksgiving. Prayer with thanksgiving. Being watchful in prayer with thanksgiving. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. We need to practice the discipline of thanksgiving.
We have a fortress available to us, a fortress of peace that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Give thanks and enter that fortress. The battle is great right now. The fortress of peace is greater! Give thanks!
Practicing the Discipline of Thanksgiving
I want to invite you to join with other women from First Free in intentionally practicing the discipline of thanksgiving over the month of November. Below are seven suggestions for doing this. Choose one or more or come up with your own way to practice thanksgiving. Along the way encourage another sister by sharing how God’s peace is guarding you.
- Memorize a Psalm of thanksgiving. (I am memorizing Psalm 113.)
- Begin each day by thanking God for something. (I have a white board in my kitchen and I begin my day by writing 3 things on it for which I thank God. Others in my home like to add their own thanks to it 🙂
- Focus on a name or attribute of God each day, thanking Him for who He is throughout the day.
- Write a note of thanks to someone each week of November.
- When walking or driving thank God for 26 things (Thanksgiving is November 26th :).
- End each day by thanking God for the challenges you faced and the blessings you experienced that day.
- Daily tell someone else what you thank God for.
Remember, a discipline is just that, a discipline. This may take effort. But it will be worth it!