Gratitude is one of the most powerful prayers that there is because it places us solidly in the manifestation of what we seek as though it has already happened. Giving thanks as though our good is here lifts us above physical limitations to realize the divine energy of receptivity with a powerful sense of appreciating that our good is there before we even ask. When we know our good is here, we simultaneously open our minds, bodies and souls to receive.
The Psalmist said I will “[e]nter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4). “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1). Why? Because our good is everywhere present, just waiting for us to claim it.
Scientists say that praise and thanksgiving is beneficial to our immune system, protects our cardiovascular system, helps recover and uplifts our spirit by helping us feel good regardless of whether we have achieved our goals or not. We can always give thanks. By believing that we can receive whatever we ask for, that we don’t have to beg someone outside of ourselves and that nothing and no one can keep our good from us, alone, should make us grateful.
Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
But where is God?
God’s kingdom is within us.
Every single quality that we attribute to God, all of the purity, all of the power, all of the compassion, all of the peace, all of the patience, all of the greatness of God is within us. So why should we be anxious? Why would we deprive ourselves? Instead, we can simply give thanks, and be grateful.
Jesus said “feed my sheep” and what he meant was the food of Spirit.
This doesn’t mean that his sheep are poor but that we need to be reminded of the power that we are. That we are just as great-filled as God. Jesus said these and greater things shall you do. I am great-filled not only because of what I have done, but because of what I can do. And by being great-ful, I create an energy that generates change, that stimulates the spiritual ethers, that are always molding and shaping the divine vibrations of the universe into what we want.
My teacher, Eric Butterworth, in Spiritual Economics, says that giving thanks is not a “reactionary emotion,” it is a causative energy. He cites Plato, who said more than 2,500 years ago that “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to it great things.” It is not just a social grace, it is a prerequisite for success.
Giving thanks is not a quid pro quo. It doesn’t make any difference to God whether you give thanks or not. But it makes a difference to us—to our consciousness, to our strength, to whether we are in tune with the divine flow, the divine stream of God’s blessings. The purpose of prayer is not to convince God, it is to convince us that we are always being blessed by the goodness of God, which is the pure potential of divine mind that is everywhere present.
1 Timothy 4:4 says “[f]or everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” God is greater than anything we could imagine; greater than any myth we could conjecture; greater than any name we can create for everything that God is. That’s why it is so important not to limit our prayers and meditations by what we can conjecture because it is far less significant than what lies in the quantum field of endless possibilities.
When my heart is filled with greatness, I realize that the things that I desire, I already have. I know that the universe is always blessing me, that God is Good all of the time. I accept that God expressing as me means there is no limit to what I can do.
I am only limited by my capacity to receive. But when my heart is filled with gratitude, I expect the best – not the least, not the mediocre, not the half-filled cup but one running over with the capacity of all that I AM. I am then open and receptive to all of God’s promises.
We are promised so much that we just gloss over it. We gloss over the fact that the Lord is my Shepherd, so I have everything I need; there is nothing that I want; we gloss over the fact that an entire table is prepared before our enemies; that our heads are anointed with oil; that our cups runneth over; that goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. Jesus says “”blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)
The Psalmist says “my eyes stay open through the watches of the night, so that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). And what are these promises? Jeremiah says to give us “all the prosperity” we want (Jeremiah 32:42). Genesis says blessings through our offspring (Genesis 28:14-15). Deuteronomy says we will be given “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deuteronomy 26:15), with “praise, fame and honor high above all the nations” (Deuteronomy 26:19).
We are the recipient of unfailing love (Psalm 119:76), the Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 1:13), and the grace of divine inheritance (Galatians 3:18). So all we have to do is give thanks.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!