DISCLAIMER: This hub is written by a Christian for Christians. The attitudes in this article are very spiritual and may be offensive to some with differing points of view. Please respect the nature of the article!
I used to think that prayer was about asking for things from God. I felt that He was obligated to give me whatever I asked for. After all, wasn't that the purpose of God?
During the years that I spent as a pagan, I learned that if I asked about something in the "right" way, I received it. The answered prayers (or spells) became something that was expected, much as a child might expect his parents to feed him when he is hungry. And just as children often don't thank their parents for the things they do, I wasn't grateful for the things I was given.
The truth is that we live in a greedy, materialistic world. Humans in general can be incredibly selfish and self-serving creatures. I used to think of myself as a self-made woman: not any more.
Gratitude in Action
I have learned so much about myself in this past year. I have learned that I am helpless and that without God and on my own, I can accomplish so little. I have discovered that without Him I lack motivation, and that with Him I can move mountains. I have learned about myself, and I have learned things about God that I would never have imagined. I learn more day by day!
One of the most important things that I have learned about God is His desire to do good things in my life. I look around myself, even in the most dire of circumstances, and I can find something about which to be joyful. I can see my little girl, still pink and new at almost 18 months old, I can see myself, becoming a better person with each passing day. I can see my husband, and the good things that God has made happen in his life. All I need to do is to look around me and be thankful.
It is so easy to overlook everything good and beautiful in the world when your life is looking down. It takes a genuine effort to reach out to God and to thank Him for everything that He has done in your life. It is easy to feel as though nothing is going your way, and to lose tough with the reality of God.
As Christians, we are sometimes reminded to be grateful: when we read an article like this; when we go to church; on Easter Sunday; the birth of a child; when we read Paul's epistles. It is easy to forget to make gratitude a part of our daily devotional routine. But gratitude is a necessary element in our lives. It can reconnect us with our creator in an unimaginable way and the results are, in my experience, always amazing!
God Wants Great Things for You
God wants great things for you. He wants to use you in His way for His purpose, and His purposes are always beautiful and good. He wants to bring the ultimate in abundance into your life, but He cannot work unless your heart and mind are open to Him. One way to keep yourself open and vulnerable to God is to daily express your gratitude to him.
I do this when I wake up in the morning. I thank Him for a good night's sleep (regardless of whether or not I got one!); I thank Him for my heath and for the health of my family; I thank Him for the motivation to get out of bed (whether or not I have it!); I thank Him for the things He gave me in the previous day.
I also end my night with grateful prayer. I thank God for the things He has given me throughout the day, and I thank Him for everything I was able to accomplish. If I wrote a great hub (or three, knowing me!) or if I had any income for the day, I am grateful to Him. Even if the income is only a penny, I thank God for that and invite His abundance into my life. Without Him, I wouldn't be here, doing what I do. He is the author of my life, and the author of my talents.
If you feel that you have nothing to be grateful for, find something. I can assure you that even during the worst of times there is something for which to be thankful.
My husband and I have been homeless, we have struggled with incredible debt (and still do) and we have had our family turn their backs on us. We have fought and struggled with one another and the system. We have had ups and downs in our marriage just as every couple will do. Through four years of this I was disgusted with God . I blamed God for everything that went wrong in my life. I clung bitterly to my pagan past because I just knew that the God of Abraham had it in for me. I knew that He hates me and was causing my struggles. I didn't look for the good things in my life.
In the past year God has made me a much happier person. I am grateful to Him for the things that He has done for me and I am grateful for my relationship with Him. I believe that God is absolutely amazing and is ultimately worthy of our praises!
If you can think of nothing for which to be grateful think of something! What about your family? Are they healthy? Happy? Are you able to feed yourself and your children? Do you have a good friend on whom you can rely? Do you have any special talents that you are able to share with others? There is always something for which to be grateful!
Gratitude Improves Health!
- » Enhance Happiness and Health by Cultivating Gratitude: Interview with Robert Emmons « Brain Fitnes
Are spiritual folks happier folks? If they are more grateful for the blessings in their lives they just might be! This article talks about how gratitude increases happiness and mental health.
- Gratitude Improves Your Health
This article haunted me as I considered writing the above hub. I ran across it time and time again until it finally pushed me into action. Gratitude can change your entire outlook on your life, including your health! Amazing!
Other Spirituality Hubs
- Are you living for Jesus or just for yourself?
What an interesting question! Recently this question came up on a forum of which I am a member, and it illicited a particularly thoughtful response from me. I have lived what I feel is an especially selfish...
- The Power of Forgiveness
I recently had the wonderful experience of forgiving my ex-husband once and for all for all of the horrible things he did to me during our marriage. I learned a lot from the experience and wish to share that experience with you!
- Why I Believe in God: A Personal Journey
My belief in God is very strong, but it has been quite a battle to get to the current peace that I have with Him. This article shares my personal journey and how I got to where I am now.
- Abrasive Atheists and Contrary Christians
For many years I found Chrsitians to be very offensive. These days I find that it is often the opposite and that atheists are offending my sensibilities. Could it be that both sides are wrong?
Micah Redding on December 03, 2013:
God is good. It says in the bible "blessed are those who believe and yet have not seen." I do not believe that I have not seen though. Unfortunantly, I am not strong enough to have faith on my own without a few visions, and God has truly blessed me. When I was in fifth grade I had huge doubt, despite the fact that I have a pastor as a father. I went to a camp, my faith at it's weakest, for I thought that whoever believed was not very smart. The Christian camp that I went to changed me, and of course it was God's doings. One of the last nights, I looked into the camp fire as we were singing songs, and I saw something extroirdinary. In the fire, God had revealed to me, was heaven. It has been about five years since that, and all that I can remember well from the shock was seeing very fuzzy people skiing and waving at me. Years later, when I was 12, I saw heaven in a dream. In the dream, my whole family died and went to heaven. When we woke outside the gates, it was like a huge city. The outside of heaven to me looked like possibly New York or Seattle. everyone was rushing down in one direction, so we followed everyone. outside of the city there was a great staircase to heaven. As we walked up though, people were being taken by angles who would come out of side doors and would take people through other side doors to death, I was assuming. This scared me very much and I woke. Months later, I had a dream of being just outside of heaven. For some reason, the dream was very detailed on a person that I knew at school, who wasn't a very close friend of mine. We were outside and were talking to Jesus. I asked him about dinasours and other random stuff. I received the answers, but when I woke they had left me. God had to tell the other boy that he had to leave heaven. He spoke very kindly and in a sad tone. The boy pleaded, very unlike him, outside of the dream, but God, very patient, had to explain to him that he didn't have faith in him. Later in the dream, I saw myself enter the pearly gates. I saw nothing but light as I entered. This left the dream without me with only the boy and God. Later I came back, amazed, yelling about how exiting heaven was, how amazing. I am sure though in real life I will never leave heaven, for me leaving in the dream was only a way of God to show me how cool heaven truly will be. God is amazing, and I am very glad he sent his only son Jesus to die for us. My dad has inspired me to become a pastor like him, and if it is God's will, it shall happen. Besides this, I have heard of a man at church who had a broken back, paralyzed, been healed completely by God. This left the doctors amazed, and many crying. I have also gotten to see the transformation of people who I never would've guessed to be changed through the holy spirit. I hope that this helped you and thank you for reading. You may say that these were merely dreams and only a little mess up with a fire, and even I find it difficult to believe, but God has most certainly changed a man through ways that other men would never be able to do. the dreams were just dreams, but they were the most real dreams that I have ever experienced. God bless. He has risen. :-)
Angel on November 21, 2012:
THIS IS MY TRUE STORY
I gave my life to JESUS at the
tender age of 14 years of age, and about two weeks later this is what happened to me.
On one morning in late 1986, I was getting up and I saw that everybody was sound asleep. Right across my room was the restroom, and as I begin to walk toward it, I heard the spirit of GOD say to me, “Look in your hand”. I began to say back to the spirit of GOD, “Why would I look in my hand?” Then the spirit of GOD spoke for the second time, “I said look in your hand”. By now I am still talking back to the spirit of GOD because I didn’t know what was going on. I was only 14 years old when this happened to me, so as you can imagine, I was frightened. So for the third and final time the spirit of GOD’s voice got really loud and HE said to me, “I said to look in your hand!” This time I looked at my right hand and I saw what looked like a puddle of blood, but here’s the thing: it was not bleeding. Then, right in the center of my hand I noticed that GOD had put a beautiful cross in my right hand.
By now I had gone to my mother’s room and knocked as hard as I could on her door and when she opened the door and saw my hand, the only thing she could say to do, so we just decided to pick up the phone book and call up some of our local pastor’s to tell them what had happened to me. My mother and I came across a particular pastor in Newnan, Georgia, and we decided to call him. My mother started to tell this pastor about all that had happened to me, and this is what the pastor told my mom: “Tell your daughter to show as many people as she can about the cross that GOD had put in your hand”. The pastor also told my mother that GOD had ‘marked your daughter’. It was so amazing and so touching that GOD had chosen me and put a cross in my right hand, and yes this is a true story. To this day that same cross is still in my hand. (LUKE 1:37 –For with God nothing shall be impossible.}
-I just Love showing people!
Thank you for reading My True Story!:-)
-Angel (I’m now 40 years old)
CollB on January 16, 2011:
A truly brilliant hub. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and being a Catholic/Christian, I understand what you mean about God's love and gratitude!
Shane Belceto from WA USA on May 19, 2009:
Thank you for the reminders and for filling this HUB so full of truths. E$very day we are given is full of miralces all arround us just some days it does take work like you said to notice them.
Eager to hear more HUBs like this from YOU.
Ivorwen from Hither and Yonder on April 21, 2009:
You are so right about God not 'working' like a spell! He is over all, and will not be manipulated.
"His mercies are new every morning." When I am tempted to be disgruntle or discouraged, I can always trace it back to a lack of gratefulness in my life. There is always something to be grateful for!
einron from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA on April 21, 2009:
True, true God is indeed wonderful.
We should be thankful every day and night for the abundance of love showered on us though we may not see it sometimes. We have to be happy for blessings and when we have trials and temptations, we should stop and reflect on our weakness and turn to God for help.
Lgali on April 20, 2009:
nice hub good message