1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 (ESV)

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,

One of the ways of cultivating an awareness of God’s working in the world is to make sure that we spend time thanking him in our prayers.

  • The psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving to God, and in them God teaches us to come before him with thankfulness. Notice Psalm 50:23: He who sacrifices thank offerings honours me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.

We often experience times of discouragement, whether due to our personal circumstances or to the situation in our society. At such times it is tempting to see the world negatively and to lose hope in the power of God, or at least in his willingness to demonstrate his power in our midst. Although thankfulness may be the last thing on our mind at such times, those are precisely the times when we must discipline ourselves to thank God. Notice how Paul says, “We always thank God for all of you” (1 Thessalonians 1:2). There is nothing like thanksgiving to restore our confidence in God’s power and his willingness to exercise that power on our behalf.