Bayless Conley reminds us through the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel to spend more time praising God than we do asking Him for things.
There are two immensely important words that we must learn to utter to the Father once we have prayed. Two words that express our faith like no others: “Thank you.”
There is a great example of this in the story of Hannah.
Hannah’s first prayer to God was for a deep need in her life. “Remember me… give Your maidservant a male child” (1 Samuel 1:11). God responded to her heartfelt prayer and she conceived Samuel, and later bore many other children.
Her second prayer, however, was a prayer of thanksgiving. “My heart rejoices in the Lord… there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:1-10). The second time she prayed, Hannah didn’t ask for anything—she just praised God for what He had done.
Interestingly, Hannah used 53 words in her prayer of petition and 256 words in her prayer of thanksgiving… which leads me to think we ought to spend more time praising God than we do asking Him for things!
I wonder how many people have prayed Hannah’s prayer in chapter one, received an answer, but never prayed Hannah’s prayer in chapter two.
In Psalm 29:2 King David said, “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name.” Perhaps some of us have glory or thanks that needs to be given to God that is overdue.
When ten lepers were healed, only one came back to give glory to God (read Luke 17:11-19). Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” And there is no record that the nine ever came back.
Hannah was a blessed lady and if we want her blessings, we should try her prayer life!
Hannah prayed with thanksgiving for what God had done. We need to do that—and in addition—we need to thank Him by faith for what we are trusting Him to do.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Don’t worry about anything—not your marriage, health, finances, children, future—just let your requests be made known to God. But there is an ingredient you must add: make your request with thanksgiving.
Once you pray, you need to say thank you!
You may have had God do some things for you. Maybe He has helped you or answered your prayers. Have you offered Him thanks for what He has done?
Maybe there are some things you are trusting God to do. You’ve prayed, but you haven’t offered Him thanks yet. If you believe that He has heard you and dispatched the answer, then you are going to say thank you!
If my children ask me to do something and I say, “Okay,” they say, “Thanks, Dad!” As far as they’re concerned, it’s a done deal. They offer thanks. Why do they do that? Just faith in my word. How much more for our heavenly Father?
What do you want God to do? Find a promise and spend some time letting it come alive in your heart. Find out God’s will and become convinced of it—and then pray. He will hear you!
Be as simple and respectful as you can and let your lips form that prayer. Then just begin to thank Him. Abraham praised God for his blessing before it ever happened… you also can thank the Lord for hearing you and dispatching your answer!