The Oasis - November 20, 2019

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019
by Pastor Dan

     Why do we pray?
     In my personal life (that is, when I’m not praying as a part of my duties as a pastor), I find myself praying far more often when I need something than when I do not. I prayed for strength and healing to get through the sore throat I had last week. I prayed for help finding something I had lost. I prayed for my computer to work properly after I rebooted it (it did, thanks be to God).
     All these things are worthy prayers. It is right to come before God with our needs, because to not  is to say that we don’t need God in our lives (we do, thanks be to God.).
     But it’s no revolutionary revelation to acknowledge that prayer comes much more freely when we need something than when we do not. Not counting the casual thank Gods we say in our everyday lives, focused, intentional prayers of Thanksgiving don’t come as naturally to us. That is to say, when life is chugging along the way it should, we don’t always feel as  moved to pray as we do when everything’s falling apart.
     And why shouldn’t the good move us as much as the bad?
     When we lose our car keys we tear the house apart looking for them, frantically searching because the consequences of not finding them are too frustrating to contemplate. Yet on a normal day when we know  our car keys are sitting exactly where they should be, there is nothing frantic about us.
     This Thanksgiving season I encourage you to allow the good things in your life to spur you to prayer. Grab on to those moments of happiness, even if they are at times fleeting, and let them power your core just as much as desperation does. Don’t just be “thankful” for what you have. Acknowledge how much the blessings in your life change  your life, how much they would  change your life if you lost them, and let contentment no longer be passive, but active.
     Join me in trying to remember to pray prayers of thanksgiving more often, more freely,  until they come just as naturally as the other kind. I’m interested to see how that might change my daily life, even beyond November. Maybe you are too.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-7

Pastor Dan’s song of the week:  “Savior,” by Rise Against.

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