Dear God: Reflections and Petitions of a Thankful Heart
I’m so grateful for so many things. I praise You because You have called me by name through Your Son, Jesus Christ, and I am Yours (Isaiah 43:1). And I thank You for the amazing people who You have brought into my life who are also called by Your name and who encourage my faith daily. I praise You for the gift of my parents and Natalie, Mariah, Isaiah, and Grace, for grandparents and relatives, and for all my amazing friends. I thank You for bringing us together and for the many ways You’ve uniquely blessed me through each of them. You have encouraged me so much because of their servant-heartedness and love for You and for others. You’ve given them grace to not only speak incredible truth, but to live out that truth in their lives! It’s obvious to me that Your joy is real to them. Thank You for the ways they’ve supported me in the good times and bad. I praise You for giving them faith in You that continues to manifest itself in so many Christ-exalting, others-oriented ways, whether it was in the midst of surgeries or basketball tournaments, laughter or tears, depth or fun. What an incredible gift it has been and continues to be to learn and grow and enjoy the life You’ve given us as a close-knit community of people who love each other and love You!
Now Father, I pray for each one of these friends and family members that You would blow them away afresh by Your grace and mercy. I praise Your Name that You chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and blameless before You (Ephesians 1:4). Stun them with the reality that Your Spirit is in fact in them, and they stand before You righteous because of Your Son, Jesus Christ. There will be days when we all feel the weight of our sin very heavily. In that day, give us grace to remember the cross on which Your Son b.l.e.d. and d.i.e.d. so that that we would no longer have to live in fear and shame! God, You’ve blessed me so much by causing these brothers and sisters to endure in the midst of trials. The fact that their faith continues to grow strong is tremendous evidence that You’re in them! The world’s faith crumbles when trouble comes.
So I pray that they would continue to trust that You who began a good work in them will bring it to completion at the day of Your Son, Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Give them an abhorrence for evil and give them the strength to hold fast to what is good (Romans 12:9). Give them an unshakable and increasing joy in Your Son, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth so that each and every one of them could have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Cause them to know pleasures at Your right hand forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Satisfy them in the morning with your steadfast love, that they may be glad all their days (Psalm 90:14). When trials come, may Your joy be their strength (Nehemiah 8:10)!
Father, I praise Your Name for all that You have done and all that You are doing, and I ask all of these things through Your Son, Jesus Christ!