Posted by: matt25 | March 9, 2015

First Things First in Prayer

People pray.  To the life of anyone who believes in God, I might contend even for anyone who thinks there “might be” a God who exists, this is true.  For some it happens only rarely when life is threatened, and for others it happens constantly throughout the day, every day.  Gramma was in the latter group.

I remember our family visits to the home where my father grew up in Buffalo’s old First Ward, and being impressed with hearing part of my grandmother’s routine of prayer.  Any sentence that came out of her in conversation might end with the phrase, thanks be to God.  Whether she had said Grampa had gotten over a cold or that a batch of still warm cookies were waiting for us on the table, it might end with “thanks be to God.”

Gramma Hens was a pretty smart cookie I think.  She knew that life was hard.  She raised eleven children during the Great Depression.  Through it all she had developed an attitude of gratitude in her relationship with God that extended into every nook and cranny of life.  This was so ingrained in her being that her prayers of thanksgiving were not reserved for times when she was praying, instead all of the activities of life became opportunities for times of prayer.

My grandmother's painting of her backyard.

My grandmother’s painting of her backyard.

Perhaps we should learn from her what should come first in our prayer.  Before we ask for anything, even it is an unselfish intercession for someone else, even if we are painfully aware of our own turning away from relationship with God, no matter where we are on that spectrum of, I believe in God to I don’t know what I believe, perhaps we should start with a thank you.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about this morning as I sipped my coffee, thank’s be to God.



  1. Thanks be to God, indeed! Beautiful painting.

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