Three ways to live

Which is your way?

The purpose of thanksgiving prayer?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vitali at 8:40 am on Thursday, November 22, 2007

I’ve been talking to some friends about importance of prayer recently, and I shared with them I don’t have a problem with thanksgiving or meditation prayer, yet I don’t completely understand the petition prayer – why ask God for something if He already knows what you need. One of them pointed it to me that the same can be said about thanksgiving prayer – why thank God if He already knows you are grateful. Well, I thought, if you put it that way, I don’t understand it either.

Just now I came across this post with a mystery quotation that, in opinion, addresses this issue very well:

Jesus’ encounter with the ten lepers illustrates the importance of thanksgiving. Countless sermons have been preached about the healing of the ten lepers, focusing attention on the theme of gratitude. The thrust of many of these sermons has been that Jesus healed ten lepers, but that only one of them was grateful. The only polite response to such preaching is to call it what it is—nonsense. It is inconceivable that a leper enduring the abject misery he faced daily in the ancient world would not be grateful for receiving instant healing from the dreadful disease. Had he been one of the lepers, even Adolph Hitler would have been grateful.

The issue in the story is not one of gratitude, but of thanksgiving. It is one thing to feel grateful; it is another thing to express it. Lepers were cut off from family and friends. Instant cleansing meant release from exile. We can imagine them deliriously happy, rushing home to embrace their wives and children, to announce their healing. Who would not be grateful? But only one of them postponed his return home and took time to give thanks. The account in Luke 17 reads: “Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan” (verses 15-16; italics mine).

1 Comment

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Comment by Huai Tze

November 23, 2007 @ 2:28 am

perhaps thanksgiving and petitionary prayer is the place where what God knows connects with what we experience ? It is astounding, the Sovereign Lord of the Universe inviting His creatures to be a part of His unstoppable purposes on earth :)

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