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When God Answers Your Prayers, Are You Truly Thankful? 

As I was recently getting my 1 year old out of the stroller, I noticed for the first time in quite a while there wasn’t gallons of gunk coming out of his nose. And I thought about how much I had prayed for him to get better, especially during several days of an extra high fever — and then conviction hit me: have I really stopped to give God a heart-felt thank you for answering my prayers?

Mind you, my prayers were persistent. For days I was rocking a feverish grumpy baby and during that time it only made sense to ask God to restore his health. I prayed about other things too, of course, but I certainly prayed for my little guy. 

And God answered. In fact, he gave me exactly what I asked for. 

But how easy it is to jump back into life and move on as if nothing happened. A quick “thanks God!” might be offered, but you’d think more heartfelt gratitude would naturally flow after such insistent prayer. 

Child-Like Forgetfulness 

I imagine I’m not the only one who asks God for things, only to get an answer, and then barely give a notice to God’s kindness. 

Think of the times you’ve prayed for wisdom and God directed you, the times you prayed for someone’s health and he listened, the times you asked for clarity and he gave it, the times you prayed about a trial and God got you through it. While God may not always give us the answer we hope for, he is so good and kind and does grant many many requests. The problem is, we can be like thoughtless little kids, who quickly forget about the giver after receiving the gift. 

No doubt we thank God for things, but does our gratitude match our petitioning? Meaning, if we care about something so much as to pray and pray about it, do we whole-heartedly thank God who gave us the very thing we asked for? 

Put it this way, If our kids were begging us for a certain something, wouldn’t we hope they’d be overjoyed and especially grateful if we chose to give that undeserved blessing? Or would we think it’s fine for them to say a quick “thanks”, take the gift and almost pretend they never asked for it? Clearly, the latter is not what we want from our kids and it’s not what we want from ourselves.

Christian Forgetfulness 

Unfortunately, God’s people have been quick to forget his goodness throughout history. How many times we read the Old Testament and think, “Wow those Israelites are so quick to forget what God did for them!” Yet, we do the same thing. Over and over again, God graces us with his goodness, and we give it such minimal attention. 

But this is a new week, with new requests, and without a doubt, God’s kindness is sure to find us soon. When it does, let’s be sure our gratitude matches our petitioning. 

If we spend minutes praying for something, let’s spend minutes thanking him when he answers. If we ask him for something over and over again, let’s praise and thank him over and over again. With our attention on the giver far more than on the gifts — let’s take every opportunity we can to thank God. 

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