Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Gratitude of Attitude

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 68: Today, I am grateful for a new gratitude... a new attitude. 

Since the movie "War Room", there has been a growing interest in prayer. How can something that should be so "simple" feel so complicated?  

It is year five of daily gratitude, but it appears I still have much to learn about gratitude, grace and God's desire to not just be for us... but with us. 

Many are embarrassed to confess,"I don't know how to pray." The Bible is full of examples from Hannah, Jonah, Jabez, David,  Nehemiah and , of course, Jesus. Even Jesus disciples struggled with this question of how to pray.

This is where I am so happy to report that Jesus reminded us of the value of coming to him as a child. We MUST become like a child. 

How do children ask for what they want? Do they put away their toys and clean their rooms first? Many do. Then, they often simply spend a little quality time just being with us, before the request is made. They build relationship first. 

There is a lesson here we can apply to our relationship with God. Do we first clean things up and just love him for awhile before presenting him with our needs? Do we clean up our hearts and take time to be still in His presence.  

"Create in me a pure heart. Renew a right spirit in me."  Other translations say "clean heart", loyal heart and even a steadfast spirit in me. 

God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again. Psalm 51:10 

This is the Psalm David wrote after his big sin of sending Uriah intentionally to his death in war so that he could have his beautiful wife Bathsheba. That blood on his hands was not a warriors. It was murder and it cost him. The child they conceived in adultery died and God allowed him to gather things for the fabulous temple to be built to God's glory but his son, with Bathsheba, Solomon would build it. Love, sin, mercy and forgiveness are all over David's lifesong. 

David and God had an amazing relationship. They talked and David spent time in his presence. They just "hung out". When David came to God in prayer with a need, the relationship already existed. Many of his Psalms... prayer songs.. are pure praise. 

Look at Psalm 51:10 in The Message:

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.

Pouring out his brokenness and praising God for all that He was, is and will be. He saw "I AM"... the present God, not just a far away, unreachable power

An attitude of gratitude... where we clean our hearts and just hang out for a while, getting to know our Father in heaven He is a good father. He is mercy, justice and restoration. He loves to just be present when his people offer praise and gratitude. Imagine when two or three gather in his name to pray together. 

Like a parent, he know if we are buttering him up with hidden agendas. He knows when we truly enjoy spending time with him in praise. For me... songs of worship sweep me to the throne of his grace and power. The moments of pure gratitude and praise matter to God. Why? Because it changes us... not him. He loves to see the transformation in a heart that opens up to pour out praise and thankfulness. 

Dear Lord... My heart is in awe of your faithful goodness to us. Create in me a clean heart. Let my heart seek your face, your grace and time with you with a sincerity that touches your heart. Let what is broken in me find restoration in you. I am kind of a fixer-upper, but you love to bring new life to the broken, run down and tired. Your healing hand takes my breath away and restores new life. Let my heart beat with yours. Let me see what you see and love like you love. -Amen

Today, I am grateful for a new gratitude... a new attitude. 

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