I’ve got my mind on my manners, my manners on my mind. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I like to mind my manners when I pray, primarily my “please and thank you’s”. What I’ve discovered is that all prayers usually center around two phrases:

Please and Thank You.

Have you ever prayed prayers like this before:

  • Please, God can I have that? Please, oh please, oh pretty, pretty, pretty pleeeeeeease!
  • Thank You God for all that you’ve blessed me with!

  • Let’s take a moment and really break “please and thank you” down. When you say please, you want something. When you say thank you, you’ve got something. By saying please to God, you are asking Him to do something for you. By saying thanks, you’re acknowledging that you have God to thank for what you have.

    When you say please, you want something. When you say thank you, you’ve got something.

    Saying thank you can mean that you’ve got something tangible, but maybe all you’ve got is faith. What I mean is that sometimes others can see why you’re thankful, while other times, only you can see thankfulness in your situation. Sometimes you thank God for the things you don’t have yet:

  • Victory over cancer
  • A loving and supportive spouse
  • Wonderfully obedient children

  • Thanking God for something you don’t have yet is one of the greatest acts of faith you can have. This is the “I’ll See It When I Believe It” attitude, as opposed to the “I’ll Believe It When I See It” one. But sometimes you thank God for the things you dont have (period):

  • Thank God, I don’t have kids like that.
  • Thank the Lord I wasn’t born in Chicago, I might have been a Cubs fan!
  • Thank God I don’t think out loud!

  • What I think might be more important is the heart behind the prayer. You see, perspective determines priority, and priority often determines perspective. How you view God and life often determines what’s most important to you. This comes out in our prayer lives.

    Let me ask you this, when you pray, do you begin with please then end with thank you? “Please give me this and by the way thanks for this.” Or do you begin with thanks and end occasionally with please?

    Perspective determines priority and priority determines perspective.

    It all comes back to the heart. Sentences that start with thanks usually have the word “you” in it, while sentences that start with please usually have the word “me” in it. It’s hard to say please without having a me-centered perspective, without having a “looking out for numero uno” priority.

    So what’s the antidote to self focus? Others focused. Let’s pray less for “I” and more for “U”. What would our community look like if we began praying more prayers that sounded like:

  • Lord, please show my father that You’re real.
  • Lord, please forgive them, they don’t know the implications of their actions. (Luke 23:34)
  • Lord, please let Your will be done. (Matthew 6:9-13)

  • To be clear, I’m not saying don’t ever ask anything of God, I’m just saying lets pray for others more. Let’s all just pray more.

    Eric Kidwell, Associate Pastor of Worship and Media

    As the leader of the Worship Ministry, Eric creates and leads worship experiences for Christian Life. Additionally, he administers the website, and designs compelling graphics and videos for Sunday mornings. (Read More)