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Prayer for the Week December 3 – A Key

December 3, 2012

As she walked through the darkness she could feel herself growing colder.  The oppression was great and she was growing tired.  It had been a long journey with seemingly endless climbing and hidden obstacles over which to fall.  It hadn’t always been like this.  She remembered a time when the light abounded and she could hear singing.  That time had gone in flash when life turned upside down.  Then the shadows of selfishness, anger, depression, guilt, ingratitude and bitterness had slithered in slowly wrapping themselves around her like chains until all the light was gone.  Now she was fighting for her life.  Somehow through this season something had kept her moving.  Something deep inside her urged her on.  There had to be a way out.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  (Psalm 57:7-9)

I sit at my computer this morning with coffee in hand listening to gentle rain outside my window.

I am thankful.

There is peace.

Yesterday was not like this.  I woke up angry.  About what?  Everything.  Sometimes this happens to me.  Everything I see and hear is out of order.  It’s ridiculous, but it’s real.  I’m critical about everything.  I warn my husband sarcastically, “Be careful today, dear, otherwise I will have to kill you.”

Be still my soul!
the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God
to order and provide;
In every change
He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul!
thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through stormy waves
leads to a joyful end.

Oh, be still, my soul!
The waves and wind still know
still know His voice
who ruled them while He dwelt below.
(Excerpt from Be Still, My Soul; Katharina von Schlegel)

I prayed my way, all the way, to church where I knew I would find relief.  Relief in worship and in thankfulness.  It’s taken me almost 40 years to learn to worship the Lord through thankfulness.  Reformatting my complaints into pearls of thanksgiving is powerful.  It changes the atmosphere and allows God to move.  The darkness has to go in light of gratitude.  It’s a weapon the enemy would love for us to forget because it’s in direct opposition to his weapons of discontent and dissatisfaction.  I believe these two are the gateposts of anger, bitterness, and depression.  If I let in the first two the other flow in like a flood.

Back to our story…

She remembered, thankfulness is the key.  King David knew this and sewed thankfulness throughout the Psalms.  A pastor once said, “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.  Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.  Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.  Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”  (John Henry Jowett)  She had been limping along this darkened path burdened down with ingratitude.

A flicker of flame.  Clutched tightly in her fist she felt a key.  As she opened her hand like the petals of a flower the key of thankfulness was released.

Spark grows into flame.   All the powers of darkness forced to recede in the light of the revelation of thanksgiving in her heart.

This journey was long and she will walk its path again, but next time it will be shorter.  She will remember the key sooner.  Then one day, complete victory will be had.

In this Christmas season I can guarantee everything will not be perfect.  Things will not go just as planned.  Perfection will not be achieved.  You too may wake up angry despite your intentions to be joyful.  Remember thankfulness to the One who knows all is the key the enemy does not want you to have.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  (Psalm 100:4-5)

Father, I am so thankful you give me all the weapons I need to fight the good fight.  You never leave me stranded and you never leave me stagnant.  Please, Lord, help me to choose thankfulness instead of discontent and dissatisfaction.  Make me aware when my heart begins to go down that slippery slope.  I commit my life to you as one who will praise you and not forget your benefits!  From everlasting to everlasting your love is with me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Georgina permalink
    December 3, 2012 10:01 am

    Whoa! Two messages on gratitude in less than 3 hours?! I better listen and learn. Thank you Kristina for your honesty and remedy. I have been where you were yesterday. I am reminded of this quote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”. C.S. Lewis

  2. tracey permalink
    December 4, 2012 6:41 am

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how to respond and worship the Lord.. listening and being still is a precious thing we often overlook… blessings today

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