The victory that we have in Christ is a gift, it is not earned, and there is nothing that we can do to repay what has been given to us through the blood of Jesus. We are however called to recognize Jesus as the source of that gift of life, and then live in light of our new reality. It is for that reason that we are focusing on "Celebrating Victory" this month because when we do we are forced to recognize the source of that gift. It is in the same spirit that we are focusing this week in our spiritual discipline.
It may seem elementary to have our focus be on thanking God..... but this practice is FOUNDATIONAL. This practice is so common place that sometimes we have the words roll off our tongue without even thinking about it. Ex. "they have my favorite cookies on sale today! Thank God!" ........ well ........ i'm not sure if you actually felt God's face shine on you in that moment but the words do mean what they mean, and I do believe that you believe what you said. This practice that we will walk through together this week take this "elementary" practice and deepens it to a personal EMPOWERING practice.
When you thank someone, you are looking at multiple different factors that give you reason to give them your thanks. The gift cost them something, it took time to put together, it involved them thinking about how to make you happy, they took the time to either send the gift or take it to you in person. When you thank someone, you recognize them and the love that they have for you. So how do we do that practically with our relationship with God?
Here are some practical ways to be intentional about thanking God this week........
1) Slow Down Your Prayer- prayer has a way of being more habitual and less relational. As you thank God in your prayers, pause. Think about why you are thanking Him for that, and why He would have given you what you are thanking Him for.
2) Write A Letter- This seems to be a practice that we forget all too often, this can be integrated into your regular journal practice if you already do that. Write a letter as you would to anyone who gifted you something, the only difference is that the gift is eternal life and a connection to an almighty God 24 hours a day. The great thing about writing a letter is that you are forced to think about your words and slow down.
3) Place Him In The Room- have you ever prayed with your eyes open? have you ever made your prayers conversational? give it a shot and see how you feel. sit in your living room and look across at your creator and talk to him about why you are thankful, the purpose of this is to be intentional and be genuine about our thanksgiving. when you can see Him with you, its had not to be!
4) Share The Moment- Simply put, do this with someone out loud. Once again the purpose is to be intentional and to be genuine about what you say and why you say it. doing this with someone forces you to think about your words before you say them.