So often in life, I go to God with my challenges and struggles. My prayers can get pleading or even whiny – so often they are riddled with phrases like, “God, help me with ___, please work through ___, bring healing in ___, I need ____.” So many “I wants” or “I needs” fill my prayers. I recognize that I do need to bring my requests to God but I also need to be more aware of how often I am thanking Him and praising Him for prayers answered. This week, I’ve had some hard news with close friends who are going through really hard situations – cancer, pain, devestating news – and as I go to God in prayer for these situations, I struggle to remember to give him praise. It’s like my prayers are so focused on the negative, the challenge, that I can’t bring myself to remember that He is also a God who can do anything and can answer any prayer, and has many times answered HUGE prayers in a positive way.
To close out 2011, one of the awesome chicas in my womens bible study put together a list of praises for 2011 – God’s answered prayers. We track and email prayer requests to each other each week, all year long. She took the time to go back and make a note of so many blessings and prayers that were answered for each of us. This was such a great reminder to me that I need to spend as much time focusing on my praises as I do on my requests.
To recap her note, here were some of my biggest praises in 2011… my, my sister and my SILs’ pregnancies, a huge celebration of Landon’s first birthday, an amazing trip to Greece, Dean’s new job, Dean getting baptized, finding a new couples bible study and the blessing of Harleigh and Landon’s closeness and opportunity to grow up together.
In 2012, I’d really like to do a better job of thanking God and praising Him for blessings and answered prayers.