"Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks."
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
I was talking about prayer with Susie the other day, and I told her that - at some point - my prayer life changed. Now, every one starts with "thank you."
I don't know how else to pray because I stopped knowing what I wanted to pray for.
As much as I want parts of my life to change, I don't want it to change if it's not in the best plan of God.
Sometimes I don't want things to be this hard if I live a long life, and sometimes I want to fulfill this road but want Him to promise me it will be a short one. I want people protected and to feel the peace they so need, but I don't want them to be protected out of living and loving in His will.
For me, it all comes down to wanting to ask Him for His will to be done. Not mine. It comes down to trusting Him with absolutely everything and everyone.
So my prayers sound more like this:
Thank You for knowing how all of this plays out each day, so I can be content in living each day of it for You.
Thank You for keeping me open so I can see what is in front of me that you need from me today.
Thank You for covering my friend in your protection. For allowing her to feel the love and peace that I am sending and that You provide.
Thank You for never leaving my friend, even when He doesn't feel You or believe in You; thank you for waiting for Him with open arms when he's ready to see You again.
Thank You for loving her enough to make a clear path in a time when she needs to know how to travel.
Thank You for the gifts you've placed everywhere around me, in the hard places, so I can see You in it all more clearly.
Thank You for healing her in Your time and in the way You know she needs. For protecting her body and her spirit as only You know how to do as she walks this road.
I don't know if I'm right or wrong, but I trust that everything that comes from God is good. I trust that everything that comes from God is an already answered prayer. I trust that everything that will come from God is exactly what I need.
Even if it's hard.
Because He's sees what I can't. So I count it all as gift. And I thank Him… not for the pain and the difficulty… but for the faithfulness He gives during all of it.
That is how I have learned how to Praise.
Even in my weakest places, even in my hardest moments, even in the depths of pain and sickness, I thank Him for what I know for sure is true. Beyond the distraction of the hard. Within the hard.
I praise Him for Him.
As Ann says in her book, all is gift. All is grace. And I praise Him because I trust Him with all of it.
My praise and my trust go hand in hand.