1 Thessalonians 5:18 — In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Gratitude is a Christian Duty of Great Importance — When We Pray We Should Have Gratitude in Our Hearts & Minds
In this chapter, the apostle Paul lists several duties of Christians. Please observe how these duties are interconnected. The have a big effect on our lives and hearts.
Briefly, they are:
- Verse 16: Rejoice evermore. We must understand spiritual joy and rejoice continuously.
- Verse 17: Pray without ceasing. This doesn’t mean we have to pray everyday, all day. But we should not let other affairs of life cut short our prayers. We should offer up prayers in every appropriate place and time and not let worldly issues stop us from prayers.
- Verse 18: In every thing give thanks. Should we find ourselves in prosperity or adversity–we give thanks.
- Verse 19: Quench not the Spirit. We should embrace the ‘fire’ of the Holy Spirit. Do not quiet the still small voice.
- Verse 20: Despise not prophesyings. Much of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is plain, not complex. Many who think they are wise despise the simplicity and ultimately reject the teaching.
- Verse 21: Prove all things, but hold fast that which is good. Blind obedience to a preacher is not a doctrine of the Bible. We are told to use discernment and prove all things with the scriptures.
- Verse 22: Abstain from all appearance of evil. We should try our best to be an example of a life touched by Jesus so that we may glorify the father.
More specifically, as it relates to Today’s daily verse — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — we are to give thanks in every thing. This includes prayer. Some people only pray when they are in a crisis or in an adverse situation. When this happens they may offer the entire prayer in the spirit of fear and/or anxiety. But this may not be the best pattern of prayer:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.Philippians 4:6
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly think it is better to pray in any circumstance. But I also think it serves our heart and mind if we can approach God in a spirit of gratitude. I know this may be easier said than done.
What I like to do is always start my prayers by listing the many blessings I enjoy. I find that approaching prayer in a spirit of gratitude increases my faith. I find I’m able to present my requests to God. I know he hears and answers prayers.
Do you think approaching prayer in a spirit of gratitude can help you?
Today’s Verse in Context: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.