Thanksgiving: An Occasion for Prayer

Written by Drew on November 23rd, 2005

Numerous Scriptures call for constancy in prayer:

  • “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).
  • “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17).
  • “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…” (Eph. 6:18).

In one of his sermons on prayer, Alexander Campbell pointed out that Scriptures like these suggest two important things: the occasions and the seasons of prayer. He explained,

Occasions and seasons, though intimately connected, and sometimes confounded, are not identical. The occasion is the incident that calls for any thing to be done; and the season is the time when it should be done (The Millennial Harbinger, July 1839).

Of course any season is appropriate for prayer. Maybe your habit is to rise early every morning and petition the Father. Maybe you pray before meals. Perhaps you kneel at your bedside every night. All these, and more, should be seasons for prayer. Our prayers ought to be habitual, as the above Scriptures suggest.

There are also many occasions for prayer—some we tend to remember, and others we tend to forget.

It is not uncommon for a believer to fall to his knees and pray before the Lord’s throne in an occasion of grief. Moreover, we frequently come to the Lord when fraught with trials and anxieties too great for us to bear.

However, we do not pray enough when we happen to find an occasion for thanksgiving. Truly, occasions for thanksgiving outnumber the problems we experience. But, in most cases, we bring more burdens to God’s throne than praise.

The Bible teaches us to be thankful in prayer. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name” (Ps. 100:4). “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps. 107:1). Even in the midst of trials we can be thankful that the Lord is treating us as sons and daughters, in the “discipline” we receive (Heb. 12:7).

The Lord has richly blessed us all. Let us not forget to return thanks.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Signal Raven says:

    “return thanks”

    the term has evaded my apprehension as children do spanks; as rebels do yanks, disturbing ranks.

    What exactly is being returned? Is it appreciation spurned?

  2. Athelney Jones says:

    Mr Raven, a haiku for you:

    Simple minds
    Dry winter vines
    Without fruit

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