It ain't easy being a teen... and Jackie O. understands that well. Take her sound, faith-filled advice as we walk with God together.
Jacqueline Overpeck is a multi-published inspirational author who loves to offer encouragement to readers. Jacqueline and her husband, Arnold, are both CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Services) graduates. They enjoy the outdoors, and traveling in their spare time with their Maltese dog, Coconut.
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Psalm 92:1 declares “It is good to give thanks to the Lord” (NKJV). Colossians 4:2 continues, “Devote yourselves to prayer being… thankful” (NIV).
Prayer is when you stop everything else to actively communicate with God. You might offer Him praise, make a request, seek guidance, confess sins, or simply express the thoughts and feelings of your heart.
During the month of November, I’m reminded that we need to offer thankful prayers. I love to walk outside, take a breath of the crisp autumn air, look up at the colorful trees, and thank the Lord. This is the season of harvest, bounty, and blessing so it’s easy to allow the overflow of the golden goodness all around to bubble up inside and come rushing out in prayer.
A lot of people claim to pray, especially when they are up against the wall, but many don’t really understand the power of prayer to deliver them from temptation. Prayer makes a real difference in our lives. It enables us to shut out the distractions of this world and lift the petitions of our hearts to God, where we can leave them for His divine intervention. Then after we pray all we must do is believe. Sometimes that’s easier said that done. When my faith is low, I remind myself one hundred times a day that God is able to keep what I entrust to Him (see II Timothy 2:12). At all times, we must believe, then keep on believing, and believe some more. God will come through. How can we be sure? Because our belief is based upon His might not our own ability to stand strong.
Prayer blesses God, but it also serves to encourage us. How? Prayer builds hope where there was despair. Any time you are in trouble, you can ask for God’s help. He will give you peace where there was confusion, but you must be honest with yourself and the Lord.
The thing about thankful prayers is that we don’t have to wait until we’re hard-pressed to call out to God. We can lift a prayer of thanksgiving to Him right now for all the wonderful things He has done!
Prayer can be spontaneous, in your own words, or it can even be a song that you sing. Prayer doesn’t have to be formal. Matthew 6:7 reminds us, “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (NIV). Prayer is best when it comes directly from your heart. Ecclesiastes 5:2 encourages, “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (NKJV). God has it covered. He can be trusted and He is worthy of our adoration.
So how can you and I express our thankfulness to God in a practical way? By receiving His love and being grateful for it.
When we recognize that only God deserves the honor, glory, and power, we align ourselves for a special miracle. Answered prayer is a supernatural gift. Only the Lord protects us, provides for us, blesses us with life, and sent His son Jesus to die in our place. The miracle-working power of God is great in your life and in mine.
Psalm 34:17 says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (NIV). When you pray the Lord inclines His ear. He stops everything and listens. He is ready to respond to your faith. Never doubt that the Lord is touched by your prayers or that He cares.
Let’s offer our ardent love to God this November. Let’s declare His faithfulness in the morning and at night (Psalm 92:1-2). This Thanksgiving season (and all the year long), God is more wonderful than our hearts can receive.