‘With Thanksgiving’

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   October 17, 2006

Like an electric shock, the name of someone I loved dearly flashed into my mind at 3 a.m. and jolted me awake.

So I lay there praying for the one who was trying hard to run away from God. When it is dark and the imagination runs wild, there are fears that only a mother can understand.

Suddenly the Lord said to me, “Quit studying the problems and start studying the promises.”

So I turned on the light and got out my Bible. The first passage that came to me was Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (NKJV). Suddenly I realized the missing ingredient in my prayers had been “with thanksgiving.” So I put down my Bible and spent time worshiping God for who He is and what He is. Even contemplating what little we do comprehend of God dissolves doubts, reinforces faith and restores joy. I began to thank God for giving me this loved one in the first place. I even thanked Him for the difficult spots that taught me so much.

Do you know what happened? It was as if suddenly someone turned on the lights in my mind and heart, and the little fears and worries, which like mice and cockroaches had been nibbling away in the darkness, suddenly scuttled for cover.

That was when I learned that worship and worry cannot live in the same heart; they are mutually exclusive.

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