I’m still slowly working through my study on prayer. I really don’t do it often enough. Generally, I read the Word, but I don’t actually spend enough time studying it. When I do, though, it’s sweet.
I did this particular study at the laundromat on Sunday. (I recently moved and no longer have a washer and dryer.) The study was on persevering in prayer. How do we do this? The author said it is by thanksgiving and praise. (Phil. 4:6-7, Col. 4:2, 1 Samuel 1-2, etc.) Only when we thank God for His good, unchanging character and praise Him for His mighty deeds and His holiness, only then will we have the strength to persevere in praying for what we have longed for but have not yet received. God wants to be praised and thanked just as much as I, in my sinful pride, desire those things. The difference is, He deserves the praise and thanks for He is good, while I am merely a sinner.
The other thing I learned is that when we receive what we have so earnestly prayed for, we are to look past the gift and praise the giver. How often do I thank God for what He has given me and not thank Him for who He is that He delights in giving me the desires of my heart? Or what is more, how often do I praise the LORD to others for what He has done, yet I do not incline my heart to Him to thank Him. LORD, may I turn my heart to you when you bless me!