Starting and Ending Strong: The Power of Taking Time Out for Thanksgiving
And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. (Nehemiah 11:17).
In moments of heavy burden, I often find solace in prayer, seeking relief from life's pressures. It's easy for me to get caught up in the stresses that demand attention during these times, making it the focal point of my prayers. However, I've learned the importance of deliberately taking time out for thanksgiving.
Reflecting on Nehemiah 11:17, where the Israelites return to Jerusalem after exile, we encounter a seemingly unremarkable passage filled with names. Yet, nestled within is a precious gem: the emphasis on thanksgiving and its significance. The priests, assigned the duty of thanksgiving, played a crucial role in various religious ceremonies, festivals, and worship practices.
These priests were designated for the special task of offering gratitude through prayer and song, both in the morning and evening. It's a beautiful example of how we can shape the bookends of our day—with the dawn marked by thanksgiving and the dusk adorned with praise. As I begin my day, I prefer to steer clear of unnecessary chaos. I'm sure many can relate to the early morning commotion, especially those with teenagers bombarding them with requests. Starting the day with thanksgiving and praise, acknowledging the goodness of God, sets a positive tone.
What's truly remarkable is that we don't require priests to perform this ritual for us; we have direct access to God through Jesus. As believers, we can express our gratitude and worship without the need for an intermediary priesthood. The ability to initiate our day with thanksgiving to God is a powerful gift, and it's amazing how it can shape the course of our entire day.
So, here's to taking a moment, whether it's in the calm of the morning or the stillness of the night, to express thanksgiving. Let it be a song from your heart, a dance of appreciation for the beautiful gift of direct access to the Lord. Remember to take time out for thanksgiving and watch as it transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, guiding you with joy and peace.
You can read more on the tender mercies of God.
Gracious Heavenly Father,
I come before you with a heart full of thanksgiving. Thank you for your unfailing mercies, renewed for me with each new morning. Your marvel and majesty leave me in awe, and I acknowledge the holiness of your name. I express my thanks for all your incredible works and deeds, and I'm especially thankful for being embraced by the warmth of your role as a good, good Father.
In the name of Christ Jesus, I pray, Amen.