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Gratitude

Here’s something to pray about — gratitude.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118, verse 24. There is a quote that goes something like this: this moment is called the present because it is a gift from God. I like to give thanks for that gift.

I feel really blessed and I think I should be giving thanks a lot. My experience is when I’m feeling grumpy and angry at the world, praying gratitude often cuts through that sludge like a hot knife through butter. I just have to be aware enough to step back and start praying.

One place I practise praying gratitude is on my motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle has a bit more risk than travelling by car so as I ride along, I often give thanks for all the blessings of my life and for a safe journey up until that moment.

I recently rode from Calgary to Sorrento Centre and back. That trip requires travelling the Trans Canada Highway west from Calgary, through Banff, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse and Rogers Pass to Shuswap Lake in the BC interior. It is not an ugly or boring trip.

A beautiful moment. Photo by me.

The trip out was on a hot sunny July day. I wear full protective gear so I was toasty. While riding a section just east of Revelstoke, I noticed something that will not be experienced in a car. The fast moving mountain streams that flow straight down the cliffs next to the highway are moving more that ice cold water. There is a refreshing cool wind current that is induced by the water flow. Now that feels really good on a hot day! I gave thanks a number of times for that splash of cool wind.

When I wake up in the morning, sometimes I remember to say a quick prayer of thanks for another day on this beautiful planet. Perhaps I’m aware of that gift because I have already outlived my father by 17 years. It feels to me like waking up in the morning is a gift.

I try to give thanks often during the day even in unpleasant circumstances. I find that a challenge. I try to remember that I do not know the larger purpose of what is happening in that moment. The common phrase around here is “it’s all good”.

Perhaps I should set the timer on my Blackberry to go off every couple minutes and at that moment, give thanks for what is happening in that moment. Ok, that’s not going to happen.

So I give thanks for the opportunity to compose this blog posting because it has given me a chance to reflect on my prayers of gratitude.

How do you express gratitude through prayer?

Mark Perrin

About Mark Perrin

I’m a member of St Martin’s Anglican in Calgary and a director of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. I’m an engineer by training and consult in the oil patch doing engineering, IT and finance work. I am married and have three children. At church I’m an intercessor and participate in our healing prayer ministry. My spiritual life includes Christianity, the healing arts of Qi Gong, Reiki and Shamanism, and a curiosity about how creation works. In my spare time I occasionally post to this site, play with motorcycles, guitars, computers and model trains.
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0 Responses to Gratitude

  1. Kyle Norman

    Thanks Mark

    We have  a member of our parish who has committed herself to what she calls ‘An attitude of Gratitude.’  It is wonderful to hear about how the simple act of recognizing God’s goodness, and giving thanks for it, can mean so much.

  2. Thanks for the post, Mark. Gratitude is an excellent thing to be reminded of, even if it is difficult to be grateful all the time. I know I have an annoying tendency to forget about being grateful in the busyness and frustrations of any given day. I don’t think that is very unusual, but I know I can have a tendency towards cynicism, if I leave it unchecked, so I need gratitude to switch the polarities in my mind from negativism to a more positive view on things. That sometimes means a conscious decision to list what I have to be grateful, no matter how grudging I am of doing it. The results are, almost always, noticible. My problems don’t evaporate, but my attitude to them changes when I remember with gratitude the positive things in the situation. That ‘attitude of gratitude’ doesn’t necessarily change things, but it does change my attitude which can be a major thing.

    As for your question, apart from the conscious reminders about gratitude, my other ways of remembering gratitude in prayer show up in a conscious decision to include the Ephesians passage from several services in the BAS (Glory to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask for or image. Glorty to God, from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus. Amen) in my morning and evening devotions. When I remember or feeling less stressed with time, I try to list a few things about which I’m grateful, but, even reciting that prayer can make me grateful.

    Peace,

    Phil

  3. Hi: I use one prayer for a whole lot of occasions – post-Communion, when I’m out for a quiet walk, or just a quiet ‘sit’, or whenever it seems to be the right thing to do: “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless his holy Name. Praise the LORD, O my soul: and forget not all his benefits; Who forgiveth all thy sin, and healeth all thine infirmities; Who saveth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindess; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, making thee young and lusty as an eagle.   Ps 103.1-5

    I guess you can tell I can memorized it some time ago….

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