Modeling a Heart of Thanksgiving
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2
If there’s one thing I want my children to take note of and notice about my life as they grow and come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, it would be a heart of thanksgiving. I want my kids to recognize the fruit of gratitude evident in my life, and begin to cultivate it for themselves. This can be accomplished through prayer. Pray with praise. Pray with gratitude. Pray with thankfulness overflowing up out of you. Pray throughout the day. Thank God for his blessings in your heart, and out loud for your children’s ears to hear.
A “heart of thanksgiving” might present itself as a lofty phrase, but really and truly it is life giving and uplifting to those all around. May others be blessed and drawn to the light in our lives through spirits of gratitude. May our children taste the salt in our lives. May their hearts be filled as they come to know and recognize God’s unique blessings coming to fruition in their own lives.
Model praising Jesus and presenting your thanksgivings to God through prayer. “Thank you Jesus for x, y, and z.” Try to think of at least three things you are thankful for in your own life and model this prayer for your children’s ears to hear, daily.
Invite them to pray. Stand back and be amazed at how your children follow suit. You cannot imitate what you don’t know. Children will acknowledge what they are thankful for in prayer when you model this type of prayerful thanksgiving.
Don’t underestimate the impact of repetition. Repeatedly pray with praise. Confess what you are grateful for to the Father. Permanent notches are being carved into your children’s hearts that they can come back to. Let’s continue to thank God for our blessings, so that our kids naturally remember to recite prayers of thankfulness for themselves as they grow older.
Your prayers are like a soothing aroma that is uplifted to the Heavens for the Lord Almighty’s pleasure. God delights in your prayers. Pray often. Pray intentionally. Pray with the heartbeat of thanksgiving resonating throughout your life, overflowing and spilling out over into your prayers.
Pray with thanksgiving even when it feels like your cup is only half full. God is able to miraculously provide his perfect provision when we come before him with contrite hearts, ready to praise Jesus, through it all, through prayer.
Your children are watching and taking notes about the way you pray. Your model of prayer could impact them for the rest of their lives. Pray big prayers, in specific ways, that acknowledge the unique blessings in your life. Invite your children to pray and be amazed at the way they mimic your prayers, and God moves in their hearts, personally. God wants to use you as a vessel mama. Pour into your children’s hearts through prayers of thanksgiving, each day.
I thank you and praise you for my family, the beauty of nature, and your unending kindness. Thank you for being ever-present in my life and loving me, always. Father, instill in me a grateful heart. Cultivate an ongoing awareness of your blessings and hand in my life. I praise you for your peace, protection, and promises that are good. In Jesus’ everlasting name, amen.
Steps of Faith:
Pray with your kids today, and thank God for five specific things in your life.
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