Give God thanks for answered prayers
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (New International Version 1984, Colossians 4:2).
Thanksgiving to God has been celebrated most Novembers for almost four hundred years in parts of North America. It is easy to think that the troubles we face today are worse than ever and that hope is fading. However, as a follower of Christ, we base our faith on the unseen hand of God and not the visible danger all around.
Beginning in 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated the English practice of Harvest Festival and thanked God for their shaky existence, fragile friendship with the Indians and a meager harvest. In 1623, Governor William Bradford issued a proclamation that November 29th serve as a day for “render[ing] thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”
Continuing with President George Washington, in the midst of the uncertainty of a young nation staggering with the great American experiment in democracy he proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
Thanksgiving was codified as an American tradition with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 declaration which is considered the beginning of what we now know as a national holiday and the first of an unbroken string of presidential proclamations. This was done in the midst of the Civil War, a time of unspeakable depression, deprivation and death.
In the midst of economic depressions, civil and world wars and terrorist attacks annual proclamations of thanksgiving to the “great Father,” “the Almighty Hand,” the “glorious Being,” “the beneficent Author,” “the Most High God,” the “Almighty God,” the “Lord of Hosts,” and the “One greater than ourselves” have been made by our presidents.
Make this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas a time to focus on the promises of God instead of the discouragement of a situation. At my wife’s suggestion, I am reading Robert Morgan’s The Read Sea Rules. This has been a fresh reminder of the promises and faithfulness of God. Find this book and read it. It is a small, hard cover book that will make a great Christmas present to a family member or friend.
With a strong November and December of year-end giving (which more often than not is the case), OJPM can finish with a balanced budget for the first time in at least five years.
Please use this time of thanksgiving and celebration as a prayer for how the Lord can use you to financially bless OJPM.
God does answer our prayers! Last week God touched my heart as I was praying with several men over prodigal children. Some were joyful praises of a child’s return; others were continued pleas for salvation or restoration.
In this prayer time the Lord reminded me that the prayers of many heartbroken moms and dads are answered each week when OJPM volunteers share the gospel and pray with inmates. Remember, they are someone’s children. Remember, God does answer prayer.
Thank the Lord!
Unleashing the captives,