Larry James' BLOG

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Your Thanksgiving Inventory

What are you thankful for?

Be thankful for your relationships.

All of them.

thankscopiaSeems to me that there may be only two prayers worthy of praying. One prayer is to know God better. The other prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pray a prayer of self-discovery and one of gratitude, and know God is listening.

It is useless and wastes God’s time — and our mental energy — to pray for things. God has given us the ability to choose. Our greatest power is choice. To use this power to choose to pray for things that God has already given us the power to create may not be an effective use of our time.

I can imagine God being amused. I can hear him saying, “Why don’t they get it? I have given them everything and yet they insist upon asking me for the same things, over and over again.”

It may not seem logical that you should only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are someone who has always used your prayers for asking, this may sound strange to you. This, to some, may appear to be an arrogant way to speak to God. Hardly.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is, ‘Thank you,’ it would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

God will view your prayers with greater reverence when you acknowledge that you have already been given the power to choose. Stop asking God to give you a great relationship. Instead, choose to thank God for a love relationship that transcends your own imagination, then do whatever you can to help it turn out that way.

It’s up to you to do. Take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish what you want. Do at least one thing everyday towards accomplishing what you have thanked God for. Make a call, attend a seminar; do whatever it takes.

Thank God every day for guidance. Listen to the still small voice within. When you respond to what you “hear,” the rewards are often more than you ever expected. Listen to your heart. It always tells you the truth.

In the past we have asked for a great relationship, never received it, and never bothered to do anything differently and wondered why God didn’t answer our prayer. Hopefully, we have learned that lesson by now. That’s like asking God for a great job and never going to look for one. Excuse me! I don’t believe that’s what God had in mind. We must be thankful and do something.

Being thankful for the relationships you already have is one of the keys to attracting the relationships you want. Cultivate the practice of affirmative prayer. An attitude of gratitude is faith in action. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that what you are thankful for, you will experience. What you focus on, manifests.

“Stay in a state of gratitude and awe. You can’t feel stressed and appreciative at the same time.” – Dr Wayne Dyer

A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire.

Someone once said, “Pray without ceasing.” God hears your quiet thoughts too. Another good reason for keeping your thoughts focused on what you desire. Thinking positive is a good thing. Caution: Negative prayer (or thought) works too.

Saying a prayer of thanksgiving has you focus on the good things that are happening to you and the good things that are about to happen to you. That alone may be a good enough reason to only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. It creates a thirst for more of the good that God says is already yours. Think about it. You get what you really believe.

Is it true that when something bad happens we tend to not want to take responsibility that the bad we see is what we created? Not taking responsibility means we try to find someone outside of ourselves to blame. When we ask God for things and the things don’t come, who do we blame? When we blame God for not answering prayer, our love for God becomes conditional. There is no room for blame in an unconditional love relationship.

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

How can we justify loving Him conditionally when we, in our self-serving arrogance, resist believing that our misfortune is our own fault?

God always answers prayer. Always. It may not be the answer you want but he always answers.

Can we look at ourselves in the mirror, take complete responsibility for our relationships and all areas of our lives, and know that we do have choice and we do create our own reality? As within, so without. Consider saying ‘yes’ to prayers of self-discovery and thanksgiving and experience the miracle of good that God has already given to you. Then get busy and do something different. Change your thinking and your behavior and you will change your life!

Pray to know God. Thank Him for being there for you. Be grateful for the gift of constant and faithful devotion He has given to help you get to know Him better. Pray to thank God for His abundance. Let Him know how grateful you are for the relationships in your life. Offer thanks for your present circumstance, regardless of what you think or feel about it. Thank Him for the lessons of good you learn from the things you often call bad. Thank Him for the tears of joy and the tears of sadness.

Be grateful for your abiltity to create an attitude of receptivity. Thank Him for more love, courage and understanding. Express gratitude for the everyday miracles that occur that you often take for granted. Be grateful for the power of choice. Thank God for creating the possibility of unconditional love and for the self-discipline to stay on that path. Thank Him for the opportunity to express gratitude. Be thankful for all that God has freely given.

Now. . . receive it!

Whatever you want in your relationships. . . wants you! Thank God for that, too!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” – Oswald Chambers


Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” There are more than 750 pages of great relationship information on Larry’s Website. Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hi Larry,
    Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for what you write, for allowing God to guide and direct your thoughts, for giving you such an incredible gift of encouragement through your writing.
    Each year I set a spiritual goal for myself. One that focuses on something I know I need to work on for spiritual growth. Something that will bring me closer to God through obedience to His Word. Funny thing…I never run out of ideas for what I need to work on next!
    I found that by focusing on my personal relationship with God, outside distractions of every day life are so much more manageable. My relationships with others grow stronger. My anxiety lessens, my gratefulness increases and my love for my Heavenly Father deepens. Wow! What more could you ask for?
    I am grateful for the people He strategically places in my life that share in my beliefs and encourage me to strive on. People just like you!
    God bless you.

    Comment by Louise Hile — Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 1:49 am | Reply

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