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     Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17) What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Cor. 4:7)

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.Praise the Lord, my soul,  and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins  and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things. Psalm 103:1-5

Dear heavenly Father, I take way too much for granted; still indulge an occasional bout with an attitude of entitlement; live with an assumed right to things the poor of the world would consider luxuries; and live at a pace of life which makes it easy to keep on going without saying, “Thank You”.

I repent, this morning, and want to express heart-felt gratitude for a wide array of things I would never have if you weren’t so generous. I praise you for giving me a wide array of gifts—each of which you intend for me to greatly enjoy and freely share.

Father, I praise you for a full and complete salvation in Jesus. By your sovereign goodness, you revealed the depth of my need, then lavished the riches of your grace on me; I’m forgiven everything and have been declared righteous in your sight; I’m an object of your constant affection and a subject in your unshakeable kingdom; I’m a beloved child of yours and a called servant in your story; I a roof over my head and the new heaven and new earth as my permanent home. These things, alone, mock any whining and pining I can muster on any given day. But there’s more, much more…

Father, I praise you for my treasured family and my precious friends; for a bed and the gift of sleep; for a refrigerator with plenty of food in it; for this cup of hot coffee I’m sipping and this laptop by which I’m offering this prayer; for the utter quiet of this morning by a lake and the loud rejoicing you constantly offer over me in the gospel; for a thermostat to make the room feel good and a thermometer to use when I feel bad; for the assurance you really like and enjoy me, and the peace that you will bring your good work to completion in me… I so finally, and once and for all, want to be like Jesus.

Father, I praise you for not answering a bunch of my prayers, that I offered with zeal and good intent, but from the perspective of a mere man; I praise you for the gift of suffering, which I now realize you always have meant for good; I praise you for not making my life always easy, less I foolishly believe there IS a lasting city in this world; I praise you for daily showing me that I need the gospel this day as much as the first day; I praise you that Jesus is constantly praying for me what I’d pray for me if I knew what he knows. Father, I love you; thank you for being so astonishingly generous with me; thank you for being God and reminding me I’m not. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus wonderful and merciful name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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