Thanking God after he gives you something is gratitude. Thanking him before it occurs is faith. Since we are entering the week of Thanksgiving and we will be celebrating all that God has done for us and all of the blessings great and small He has given us, let’s talk about another kind of Thanksgiving. Praising God in advance is a way of thanking Him and showing our faith that He will provide. He is a good God and wants to give us good things. He will honor our faith and expectation as we pray for His will in our lives and as we honor Him by thanking Him in advance for what He will do!
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24
This verse demonstrates faith and expectation. It shows not that we have magical powers, but that God honors our faith. It does not mean that everything we ask for will be granted like a genie in a bottle, but it does show that if we are in line with God’s will, He may put desires and things in our hearts that we pray for and they may come to pass.
When my son was younger, we were in a Doctor’s office and the resident that day was asking him if he’s been good- If he behaves and listens to his parents. When the DR asked him this, he responded that he does behave and he showed great pride in the fact that he listens to his parents. The doctor proceeded to tell him that he must have the “obey me bone”. I don’t know why, but that phrase always stuck with me. As I think about faith and how this is also praising God in advance through our expectation, sometimes I think it’s like we have that phantom “obey me bone”. God puts something on our heart and He wants us to ask Him. He wants us to come to Him and put ourselves in a little child’s position and petition for this thing. He also wants us to know that He will provide a way. When we pray we are actually exercising this. The more we do this, the easier it becomes to believe that God really will provide a way. We can take pride in the fact that we are listening to our Father as he tells us that we are to Ask, seek, knock. He will answer. It may be exactly as you envisioned it or it may be in an unexpected way. Either way, be ready to be blown away by His great mercy and gifts.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4