Approaching Prayer with Thanksgiving and Praise
By Chrystal Evans Hurst
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.
Sometimes when we go to God in prayer, we do it with a big laundry list of what we want God to do for us! (Not me, of course. Other people.) And thankfully, God is gracious to hear and receive our prayers for what we need and want.
But what if we first focused on praising and thanking God? When we praise God, we adore him for who he is. When we thank God, we express our gratitude for what he has done. Rather than beginning with ourselves, our prayers of praise begin with God. If God never did another thing for us, these are the reasons we would still love, admire, and honor him.
Here’s the real deal: when you praise God, you don’t need a bunch of religious fanfare. Just tell him what you think about him that’s good. Compliment him like you would compliment a friend. Seriously, it’s as simple as taking a moment—any moment during your day—and telling God what you know to be true about him.
And thanking God is pretty simple too.
Do you remember a few years back when it became “the thing” to keep a gratitude journal? Perhaps you’ve already discovered for yourself how powerful it can be to choose gratitude every day. Research has demonstrated that we can transform our attitudes—toward God, toward others, and even toward ourselves—when we practice gratitude. When we slow down to pay attention to our lives—spiritually, physically, relationally—we notice all that God has provided for us. And we have the opportunity to give God thanks.
Today, thank God for what he has done for you spiritually.
- If you can recall the particular moment of your salvation, give God thanks for all that led you to that moment.
- If God gave you a family—parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles—who nourished your faith as a child, thank God for each of them.
- If your spirit was nurtured in a community of faith, give God thanks for all those in Christ’s body who cared for you and loved you to faith in Jesus.
Adapted from The 28-Day Prayer Journey: A Daily Guide to Conversations with God by Chrystal Evans Hurst. Click here to learn more about this excellent resource.
For anyone who longs for a consistent prayer life yet struggles with distractions, doubts, or knowing where to start, bestselling writer and beloved speaker Chrystal Evans Hurst offers a simple and heartfelt method to meaningful conversations with God, just one day at a time.
The kind of intentional, fervent prayer life we’d like to experience often seems intimidating or just out of reach. Chrystal knows how that feels and shares her own relatable journey through the challenges and joys of deepening her prayer life. Showing up to pray just one day at a time, Chrystal found a simple yet powerful practice that made consistent prayer amazingly doable. A warm and encouraging writer, Chrystal shares the same supportive help she found for talking with God specifically and intentionally throughout the day.
With stories and Scripture, this prayer journey offers three prompts each day to guide you through an easy yet intimate prayer experience. From giving thanks, hearing God, and making requests, to simply knowing what to say–Chrystal gives practical explanations and easy steps for each aspect of prayer. Most of all, this book will strengthen your faith and transform your life with the profound experience of communicating with a loving God.
Whether you are new or well-versed in communication with God, this hopeful and supportive guide will help you experience God’s presence in ways you never have before through the practice of meaningful prayer.
Chrystal Evans Hurst is the bestselling author of She’s Still There and coauthor of Kingdom Woman with her father, Dr. Tony Evans. She reaches millions of women each year speaking at conferences, sharing on her blog and podcast, writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and teaching and leading women in her home church. In addition to her work in ministry, Chrystal works at home as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the Hurst household, cultivating hearts and commanding chaos. She is a mother of five and homeschools three boys around the kitchen table while hugging two adult girls, a son-in-love, and two grandchildren every chance she gets. Chrystal is grateful to share her life with her husband, Jessie. Keep up with Chrystal and her journey at ChrystalEvansHurst.com.
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