Power of Gratitude
“Help me learn how to pray.” It is a statement or question that as a minister, I get often. As I read the Gospels, I notice that Jesus must have also gotten that question quite a bit because so much of his teachings are on how to pray.
One lesson that Jesus gives over and over again is on the power of gratitude as a prayer. So often we think of gratitude as an effect. We say thank you after the fact. But when you read the stories of Jesus, particularly the stories of the miracles, we find him giving thanks to the Father in advance of his request.
When Jesus talks about the Father, he is not talking about some man in the sky who grants or denies our wishes. He is talking about the Creative Principle from which everything springs. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity Movement says, “Divine Principle is fundamental Truth. God as Principle is the unchangeable life, love, intelligence, and substance of Being. It is the underlying plan by which God (the Father) moves in expressing Himself.”
So, when Jesus gives thanks in advance, he affirms the fundamental Truth that God as Source is infinitely present. He claims in that moment that we are created from the field of God thereby provided with everything we need to live life freely and abundantly. Jesus understood that a continual consciousness of gratitude cultivates our field of awareness of Gods’ good and our ability to lay claim to it. Jesus gave thanks because he knew himself as God’s beloved expression of life, love and creative expression. This was his instruction to us. He taught us to pray a constant prayer of gratitude in order that we too will grow in the awareness of God’s good everywhere present. As gratitude becomes our living prayer, we train our eyes to see and our ears to hear only God. The more we focus on the presence of God the more we expand the experience of God through and all around us. And it all begins with a simply “thank you!”