Many of the 1000+ blogs I have written for Love God Fear Nothing are somehow—directly or tangentially–connected to the subject of PRAYER. But I have NEVER, until today, written about THANKING GOD FOR ANSWERED PRAYER. I cannot explain this subject’s absence, but I can tell you why it’s the subject of today’s blog:
God answered our prayers to have my two-year old grandson Briar’s bone and brain scans for cancer come back clean. THEY DID. With that hurdle cleared, and last week’s surgery a success to remove the one-pound tumor from his 25-lb frame, eight months of chemotherapy to annihilate any rogue cells will commence.
But that praise report for Briar is just the trigger for this blog. The subject is for YOUR PRAYERS. WHY and HOW we THANK GOD for ANSWERING our PRAYERS. Big prayers. Little prayers. Multi-year prayers. In-the-moment prayers. All kinds of prayers.
HOW DO I SAY THANK YOU?
We know that prayer works, but when God’s answer is clear and immediately impactful, it’s possible to be overwhelmed, awed by God, and unsure how to respond beyond saying thank you. In that state, an array of emotions course through our mind and squeeze into our heart. Stunned. Relieved. Overwhelmed. Thankful. And so many more.
The next time you’re unsure about how to thank God for answered prayer, try this 3-step process I developed last night and this morning for my family and Briar’s positive news: 1) Acknowledge the SOURCE; 2) Offer passionate THANKS; and 3) Share its POWER with others.
ONE: Acknowledge the SOURCE
After God answers one of our prayers, it’s tempting to have the relief propel us quickly forward. But there’s danger in rushing so far ahead that we forget the source of our relief. The longer we run without specifically acknowledging the source of our answered prayer—GOD—the more apt we are to give ourselves credit or just assume some kind of “luck” was on our side. We need to stop in the moment he answers our prayer and remember that HE was the source.
TWO: Offer passionate THANKS
Our automatic reflex when God answers a prayer is to thank him. That’s great, of course. But the danger here is that we spend so much emotional capital on our prayer that our thank you falls short of matching that depth or passion. That’s why I try to thank God in multiple ways, and multiple times. Vocal expression. Expression through worship. Telling others as a testimony to the greatness of God’s intervention. Then I use the joy that comes with his answer to increase my intimacy with him and use that to serve him and his Kingdom by telling others about his Good News.
THREE: Share its POWER with others
God embeds power into his answers to our prayers and we need to use it! That power is a platform to shout our praise. To reach others with God’s message of hope and grace. To do something special for someone else. We need to find a way to use our answered prayer to encourage others who need it by demonstrating that God’s power is real and available to THEM.
I ask God to give me the wisdom to use his intervention on my behalf to shape my spiritual growth, ever increasing my faith, trust, and reliance on him. To reach others for him and his Kingdom. To elevate him to his place as God of Heaven and earth.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How will you thank God the next time he answers one of your prayers?
“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3