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  • Writer's pictureTrey Harper

Pray; Thanks

There is a story about a preacher who lived in a fishing village. “From time to time, the fisherman would be away longer than expected and without notice. Wives commonly asked for prayers for their missing mariners. At the end of the year the preacher announced there would be a memorial service for nine fishermen for whom they had been asked to pray. Confused, the ladies confirmed that all of their men had been returned to them, safely, and they asked who the preacher was talking about. He replied, “We were asked to pray for twelve, only three returned word to thank God for answered prayers. Naturally, I assume the other nine were lost.””

God loves His children. We are told to cast all our anxieties on Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5.7). We sing a song that begins, “Are you weary, are you heavy hearted? Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus. Are you grieving over joys departed? Tell it to Jesus alone.” Encouragement, if not command, is given to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5.17). So, telling God about our needs should be thought of not only as acceptable, but necessary. Boldly approach His throne and tell Him your troubles. God loves you.

But, remember to thank Him. Like the nine wives from the fishing story, it is understandable that we could be so overjoyed about the answered prayer that we forget to thank God for granting our petition. But God is not a miracle vending machine. Just as, when you were a child, you mother may have reminded you to use your manners and say, “thank you”, we should also thank God when we receive the answers we are given. God has heard you and has your soul’s best interests at heart.

Lately, my family has been in dire need of God’s comfort. We cry tears of temporary mourning. Eventually we will rise up to gather together at the throne of God, victoriously completing our pilgrimage and reuniting those who have gone on before. “When the trumpet sounds to signal Heaven’s day- Resurrection morning when the dead shall wake- what a glorious gath’ring when the Lord descends and we rise to meet Him in the morning. How long, my Lord? ‘till we see the morning? How long, O my Lord, till we see Your face? O my Lord, my Lord, guide us through our troubles till we rise above them in the morning.” (How Long till the Morning)


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