An Attitude of Gratitude

Emmanuel Community
weekly devotional

I’m struck by the connection between prayer and thanksgiving, and how easily it can be missed. I remember as a child learning to include thanksgiving in the ‘recipe’ of my prayer – yet somehow it has often become a neglected ingredient.

Pope Francis teaches us that gratitude in prayer is not an afterthought but central to the heart of the disciple:

“This attitude becomes a prayer of gratitude to God for others. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” (Rom 1:8). It is constant thankfulness… it is the gratitude which flows from a heart attentive to others. When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” Evangelii Gaudium #282

I can easily find myself slipping into a routine of prayer focussed on the areas of struggle and need in my life.  Sometimes it is a conscious decision to take time to give thanks to God.  Yet I have also found that bringing thanksgiving into my prayer often changes my attitude in prayer, bringing life and a focus on others and on the goodness of God.  Over time, an attitude of thanksgiving draws us out of ruts in our life and into a greater recognition of God’s action around us.

This month of November is a Month of Prayer in Emmanuel Community, during which we focus our prayer in a more intense way for Emmanuel: our people, our ministries, our life and our call.

This week is also our annual Week of Thanksgiving, in which we acknowledge the blessings that God has poured out upon us during the last year, and celebrate the variety of blessings which exist within us as a community of many gifts, ages and experiences.

What better time to refocus our prayer – individually and communally – through an attitude of gratitude! Let us approach the Lord this week with praise and thanksgiving before coming with our needs and weaknesses.

This blog was taken from Emmanuel's weekly devotional.

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