I’m still working through my checklist of simple words which cause us to revisit the basics of prayer. This month, I’m focused on ‘Thank you’ prayers.
During the autumn, we work our way through a season of Thankfulness. We give thanks for the splendour of creation at harvest. At Remembrance, we look back in Thankfulness for those whose sacrifice gave rise to the freedoms we enjoy. We prepare for Christmas, a time of great Thankfulness for the birth of Jesus – the idea that God became human so that we can be in a fully restored relationship with God.
With much of the pastoral visiting which I do, I’m very aware of those who give thanks for the daily miracles of modern medicine. We may not always think that the NHS has sufficient resources, or that we receive prompt treatment, but we are surrounded by witnesses to the way in which medical science has moved on within the last generation.
We can also easily take for granted our freedom to worship, the availability of food in the shops, our freedom to express political opinions…
I know how easily I can fall into the trap of complaining and of wishing things were better. I don’t suggest that we ever give up on that struggle, particularly when we struggle to serve others.
I do urge you to take time to pause, to breathe and to acknowledge all God’s good gifts.
‘Always remember, never forget, always say “Thank you, Lord.”’