The First Step in true worship — thanksgiving!!!

Prayer Focus week 23 (Sunday-Shabbat)

True worship begins with a heart of gratitude. Gratitude and thankfulness are key elements to worship. Think for a moment: how do you feel when you do something for another and they don’t respond? Or, how do you feel when someone shows you how much they appreciate what you’ve done? In the first scenario, most of us feel hurt or offended. However, in the second, our relationship with the individual is enhanced. So, it is with God. The more we are truly grateful for what He has done/for Who He is, the deeper our relationship becomes. Out of a heart of thanksgiving comes true worship.
In Psalm 100, King David tells us how to enter into the LORD’s presence. First, when we come to His gates, we are to have thanksgiving in our hearts. Then, we enter His courts with praise.
Observant Jews daily pray, “We thank Thee, O LORD, for Thy miracles which are daily upon us and for Thy continual marvels.” According to one Jewish tradition, we should find occasions, even a 100 times a day, to say a blessing (Hebrew, brachah) or to give thanks to our Creator.  When we remember intermittently to bless God, we bring the Lordship of our Creator into every dimension of our lives, especially into our thought life.
The American holiday of Thanksgiving is in a few days. For what are you thankful? What has the Lord done for you this past year? This month? This week? Today?
Verse upon which to meditate:
o   Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name,” Psalm 100:4, NASB.
“Holy, righteous God. You, Who have given us everything – we worship You. Thank You for Your amazing intervention into our lives. We bless You. We pray that You will touch the hearts of Americans, help our nation to look to You during this Thanksgiving season. Thank You for having given us this blessed country. We pray Your comfort for Fred’s family. Protection for Kyle, Natan, and all our soldiers. Healing for those who are ill or hurting. Bring families together. In Your most awesome Name, we pray.”
o    Daily, Bonnie is becoming stronger.
o    Fred went to be with the Lord last week – please continue to lift up his wife and all of his family.
o    Y continues healing from the serious accident. (A car hit her as she was walking across a very busy intersection -– pray she will regain complete use of her right leg and right arm.)
o    Soldiers in Afghanistan are on intense missions. God is protecting our soldiers.
o    Family relationships are strengthening.
o    Brother: only had to have 3 stents put into his heart!
o    Daughters: one got a new house (nicer than before & $400 less per month!). The other got a new job.
o    Everyday Phyllis is doing better after her knee replacement – and continues to have an amazing attitude! She is off of pain medication!
o    Rhonda: healing in her foot is going very well — doctor said she can now put weight on her foot.
o    Mother stabilized so he didn’t need to travel prior to his daughter’s wedding.
o    Anna (our IDF soldier; she and her family are American Christian who have lived in Israel for 30 years): awarded Israeli citizenship!!!!! (This is an enormous miracle that she was given Israeli citizenship!)
o    Brother: went to hospital for lung surgery. (For years he has had polyps, scarring, and the lungs of a smoking man twice his age, due to 28 years of his smoking. Plus, the last three months he’s been coughing up blood, shortness of breath, etc.) Surgery was only a third the expected time. Furthermore, the surgeon was amazed that his lungs are as clear as that of a new-born! Deb’s prayer is that both her brother and his wife will quit smoking and walk in the fullness of all God has for them.
o    PJ’s back situation: can be improved with pool exercise – doesn’t look like he will need surgery! – now, we can pray for a pool!
o    D’s requirements have been fulfilled!
Requests: (please email updates on these situations)… we blessed to be allowed to intercede for these!
o    Gilad Shalit (the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped for over five years): pray for his emotional healing. It is an awesome thing that Israel did in trading 1000 convicted terrorists for ONE soldier – but imagine being the one and how you would feel knowing all of these were released into your country!
o    God will protect our soldiers – that He will give them wisdom.
o    Natan and family (Les’a and Don’s son and his family): deployed 12 days ago. He has requested prayer support that God will protect them on these very dangerous missions (also that he will be able to have an R&R during this deployment.).
o    The hearts of Americans will turn to God!
o    J: continued health and financial challenges.
o    N: job interview this week – with possibility of working at home!
o    Baby Mackenzie (her mother is Bonnie’s great niece’s friend): born about a month ago and has already had heart surgery and infections from her lines. Normally open-heart is not done until babies are older; in this instance, they couldn’t wait. Her parents knew prior to her birth that she would have these huge life-long medical challenges and were offered abortion as an alternative. They chose life – hallelujah! Please pray for her and her family!
o    As we are enter the Thanksgiving season, pray that family issues will be healed and that they will be able to enjoy one another.
o    Marita: where she is to live.
o    Families (all of our families): to be whole and walk in the ways of the Lord!
o    Kyle: serving in Afghanistan. Pray that he will be protected, and that he will fully yield his heart to the Lord.
o    Grandson: pray that his mom and her boyfriend treat him with love.
o    Brother and daughter: recurrence of drug addiction
o    Marriages to be healed.
o    J: That God intervenes and places him where he will be encouraged to make good decisions which will impact his family for good, for Your good. (His court date has been delayed to Jan 4)
o    God’s protection over Israel
o    D: return to the God of his youth — that his family will be encouraged.
o    Healing of family relationships.
o    Ruthie: heavy spiritual attack; that she is encouraged and resists.
o    Debbie: heart surgery + complications: she has been in and out of the hospital several times. She needs our continued prayer.
o    Intercessors for The Call To Prayer: wisdom and tenacity to continue on to see victory!
o    P (Pamela’s friend) “I have an urgent prayer request for my mobile home. The short of it is that there was quite a bit of fraud in the sale of my home, and the purchasing of my little mobile home. I have worked on this issue for three years, trying to beat the clock. I have not been able to find the right attorney. Now, the D.A. is deciding if this is a civil case, or bad enough to be a criminal case. Meanwhile, it is the start of the rainy season here. My roof was to have been new, but is 33 years old and leaking. The termite inspection was never done, and there is blackish mold behind my walls, and much wood rot everywhere. The walls fill with water and are spongy… and on, and on….”
o    Judy (Georges’ friend): God will intervene in health issues and strengthen Frank.
o    Uncle: radiation procedure
o    Aunt: stabilized and care
o    Aunt: leukemia. Prayer for assurance of salvation and understanding His forgiveness.
o    K: congestive heart failure; fluid in one lung and kidney problems. Barring a miracle, she won’t be able to attend her granddaughter’s wedding November 10th.
o    God’s power, anointing, and favor on pastors.
o    D: continued prayer for total healing of her knee.
o    S: migraines would permanently leave.
o    Peace of Jerusalem!
o    Healing and preparation for surgery to go smoothly.
o    PJ: back will to return to normal without surgery. Paperwork issues will be resolved ++ JOB!
o    K: kidney and urinary infections. On antibiotics and still feeling very ill.
o    Pima County Sheriff’s department.
o    Those who need jobs will get jobs — God-chosen jobs.
o    D: migraines and onslaught of the enemy.
o    B: favor at work and with doctors. He and his wife have strong desire to quit smoking and the Lord will restore health.
o    Favor & wisdom in the work force: We would be excellent in the work place – even as Joseph, Daniel, etc. were – blessings to the companies because we are there!
o    M: prayer: much pain and in hospice. Pray for wife and their children.
o    Traveling mercies and God’s timing for each stop along the way!
o    Bob: special prayer for physical healing.
o    God will heal our land
o    Food bank (C’s parents’ ministry). Two of those injured by the accident at the food bank at her parents’ church are trying to sue the church and Cynthia’s parents to recover their medical costs. We are believing God to see this activity stopped and against fear. We know no weapon formed against them will prosper.
(Insurance has made a payment, but lawyers aren’t satisfied.)
o    Three sisters to meet godly men.
o    Children will stop running and will turn to God.
o    Corbin (Jim’s acquaintance): God will open his eyes to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior and that he will accept the word of God.
o    God will supply the needs of those in ministry.
o    A’s daughter in law: her heart would be drawn to her husband; that the Lord would place believers in her path.
o    A’s relationship with his daughter: healing and mending of hearts.   
o    A’s Medicare situation to be straightened out – to his financial benefit. And for doctors to find the right solution to his health issues.
o    T (Les’a & Don’s friend & a man of God): the Lord would bring him the perfect helpmate – to share his life and to be a partner in ministry.