Continuing our mini-series on prayer, this episode teaches why thanksgiving is an essential part of our prayer life and how to thank God when our life circumstances aren’t what we hoped or dreamed.


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Welcome to Verity Podcast. I’m your host Phylicia Masonnheimer, and I am here to teach you how to know what you believe, to live it boldly, and to communicate it graciously to the world around you. I believe that women are ready to go deeper in their faith than ever before and they don’t have to go to seminary to do it. I am so glad you’re here and I hope you’ll join me on this journey because Every Woman is a Theologian. 

Hello friends, and welcome back to Verity Podcast for our end of summer miniseries on Prayer. We have talked about adoration, we’ve talked about confession, and now we’re talking about thanksgiving. What does it mean to pray in thanksgiving to God? How do we thank God on a regular basis and what does it do for us? So of course there’s crossover between these types of prayer. We’re going through the ACTS model of Prayer in this little miniseries, adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication as a way to kind of show how prayer can look different ways.

I want to encourage you to pray more than just requests, although we’re going to talk about requests next week, I want to really encourage you to pray more creatively and to pray what Scripture says. And this is something that we like to do with our kids, but it’s also a really great practice just for as you’re going about your day and cultivating that habit of praying continually as 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us to do. If you’ve ever wondered how to pray continually, it’s simply talking to God as you’re going about your life. And I think thanksgiving is one of the easiest ways to do this. Adoration is similar in that we are turning our eyes to God and his character. But Thanksgiving is specifically focusing on one aspect of God’s character, and that’s God as our giver, our provider, our sustainer. We’re thanking him for the ways that he is revealing himself in our lives already in anticipation that he will continue to do so. Now whenever I talk about thanksgiving, I think people immediately think, well, if my circumstances aren’t great right now, how can I thank God? Like, do I thank God for this chronic illness? Do I thank God that my parent is passing away? Do I thank him for this suffering that I’m in right now? I don’t think you need to lie about how you’re really feeling. In fact, I would say God wouldn’t want you to lie about how you’re really feeling. 

If we read the Book of Job, the Book of Habakkuk, we see a very raw interaction with God and even asking God, why are you doing this? Why are you allowing this? The Psalms is another great example of this, but in the Psalms specifically, we see a turning from the observation of reality, to a thankfulness to God in how he’s showing up in that reality. There is always a turning to acknowledge what God is already up to. I’m going to actually look at some of the Psalms that talk about this a little bit and give us an example of how to turn our prayers in suffering, in pain to prayers of thankfulness without losing the honesty and the raw interaction that I believe God has invited us to have with him. The Psalm I specifically want to look at is Psalm 9. At the very beginning it starts with, “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you. I will sing the praises of your name almost high.” But if you scroll down, I’m on a computer, so I’m scrolling, not flipping. If you go down, you will see. In verse 13, he says, Lord, see how my enemies persecute me. Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. So the praising, the thanking that we see in the very first verse isn’t taking place in some ivory tower. This thankfulness, this gratitude isn’t happening divorced from real life, in fact, he’s being actively persecuted by his enemies.

He says he’s facing the gates of death and asking God to take him out of the place where he is. And he turns to God’s character and says, in verse 16, the Lord is known by his acts of Justice. Verse 18. But God will never forget the needy. The hope of the afflicted will never perish. So really what he’s doing here is a form of adoration and calling to mind God’s character. And out of that adoration, we can then see a form of thanksgiving and thankfulness. What is he thanking God for? He says, I give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of your wonderful deeds. 

So what wonderful deeds has God done for you, and how can you thank him for those right now? You might not be seeing anything wonderful in your current circumstance. You might not be seeing something miraculous or a complete change of circumstances in front of you right now, but there’s something that you can thank God for, and it’s not being fake to look for that, to find that thing because what you’re doing is you’re actively committing to spiritual war against anything, any ideology that sets itself up against your intimacy with God. The enemy would love for you to believe that in your suffering, in your current circumstance, God doesn’t care about you and that he’s never done anything for you. Isn’t that what he does? He wants to undermine God’s love, undermine God’s provision, convince you that God was not actually good to you and is not good for you, and he is not favoring you. 

That’s exactly what happened to Israel in the wilderness. They weren’t far out of slavery before they said, we miss our leaks and onions and we want to go back to Egypt, it’d be better to be in slavery. And we read it and we go, that’s ridiculous. Why would you say that? Leaks and onions, are they really worth going back? But when we do not thank God for where we are and what we have, the ways he is providing for us, we end up with short term memory and we start to think, you know what? You aren’t providing for me at all. 

When Josh lost his job and I was pregnant with our second baby, seven months pregnant, it seemed like the worst timing in the world. And it was. We had just signed the mortgage on our house, and the next day he was laid off. Do I thank God for being laid off? No, I didn’t thank him for that specific circumstance. But you know what? I did thank him for his wonderful deeds in the past.

When I was pregnant with Adeline, 37 weeks, we moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania. And God provided an apartment for us to live in that was within our budget. A midwife who would take me when all the hospitals wouldn’t. A church community that brought me meals for six weeks when they didn’t know me at all. God provided that. And so I thanked him for those wonderful deeds when I was in the middle of a very scary situation. And it was those wonderful things that he had done through his people that sustained me in a difficult time. When I was in year 5 and 6 of my chronic illness, walking through another autoimmune disease that had no solution, feeling like the woman with the issue of blood.

You can go back and listen to my testimony if you want to hear that whole story. Did I thank God that I was chronically ill? No. But I did thank him for the ways that people cared for me and my family when I was chronically ill. I did thank him for what he taught me about himself in that time. There is always something to thank God for and when you practice this, your eyes will be open to the ways God is actively moving in your life and it will give you a rejuvenated faith for how he will move in the future. 

I want to tell you about a new resource called the Old Testament Handbook brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. This book is beauty, goodness and truth intersecting with amazing design, providing a high quality resource that you can use to display or for your own personal deep study. Of course, I’m encouraging you to use it for study and not just for display. The Old Testament Handbook is elegant and full color. It includes a robust summary of content from Scripture, charts, maps, word studies, illustrations and more for every Old Testament book of the Bible. So if you really struggle with understanding the Old Testament, this is an excellent resource for you. It’s constructed with high quality cloth cover materials, sewn binding, and is designed to last a lifetime. Christian Standard Bible is sponsoring Verity Conference this year Verity conference is Every Woman a Theologian’s annual event in Patosky, Michigan October 13 and 14th of this year. We’re so excited to see all of you and we’re even more thrilled to have Christian Standard Bible sponsoring us. So if you would like to grab the Old Testament Handbook, you can grab it with this promo code, otverity for 40% off on That’s otverity at

I want to read a section from my friend Anne Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts. This book is all about gratitude and I want to read this section about why we thank God in the model that Jesus gives us for thanking him. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. John 6:11 gave thanks. He’d done it there too. Again, I’d missed it. In all of my life, I’d never considered those two words, the bridge words there in the middle, the crossing over that took the not enough and made it enough. Gave thanks Eucharisteo. 

Jesus embraces his not enough. He gives thanks and there is more than enough, more than enough. Eucharisteo always, always precedes the miracle. And who doesn’t need a miracle like that every day? Thanksgiving makes time. Really, give thanks, and get time. Give thanks. Slow time down with all your attention, and your basket of not enough time multiplies into more than enough time. I have extra squares. I bank them along the rim of the plate and realize for the first time what has never been the problem of my life. The real problem of life is never a lack of time. The real problem in my life is the lack of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving creates abundance and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks, take just one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks, and he miraculously makes it more than enough. I have beheld suds in the sun and I have known miracles like that. I am a mother tired. But when my soul doth magnify, my time doth magnify. I look out to the six I carried on the hip and in the heart and need all the hours for and number 362 of my gratitude and all the Eucharisteo that came before tell me this. I redeem time from neglect and apathy and inattentiveness when I swell with thanks and weigh the moment down. And it’s giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments time made enough. I am thankful. I am timeful. 

I think this passage really articulates the message of thanksgiving in prayer. Thanksgiving tunes our hearts to recognize God’s abundance right here. Thanksgiving makes us aware of the ways God has already provided and encourages us to have faith for how he will provide in the future.

I can tell you that I have had to trust this so many times in the last ten years, so many times when I didn’t see the answer in front of me and I had to trust that God was good enough as he had been good enough before, and he will be good enough for you. Practice Thanksgiving this week. Find ways to thank God for the thing maybe not in front of you, but the thing that he’s done in the past. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of Verity Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, would you take the time to leave us a review? It helps so many other women around the world find out about Verity and about Every Woman a Theologian as a ministry in a shop. We appreciate you and I hope you’ll be back next week as we continue to go deeper into God’s word and the heart of Jesus Christ.


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