“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say ‘Thank You’?” (William Arthur Ward)
“Act as if Andrew!” That was the suggestion given to me by my sponsor in recovery recently when I told her I was really struggling with prayer and not feeling like anything was being answered in my life. When I asked her what she meant by that, she said why not act as if God has already answered my prayers by thanking Him, rather than constantly praying for what I feel I need.
Honestly, of the 86,400 seconds that occur every single day, I probably say “Thank You” to God far less than I ask Him for something. Most of the time I find myself praying for my health to improve, instead of thanking God for all the healing that’s already taken or currently taking place. Or the fact that I pray for my relationship to improve with my partner, instead of thanking God for how close the two of us have grown and continue to grow. Or that I pray for my sponsees to get their step work done, instead of thanking God for how much work He’s done to keep them sober and how much they’ve done in turn.
The reality is it feels pretty foreign to thank God for things I’ve been praying for that I feel haven’t been fully answered. But I’ve been wondering about something ever since my sponsor made this rather simple suggestion. Could it be possible that many of my prayers haven’t totally materialized yet because my focus has mostly been on what I feel is lacking in my life and in others as well, instead of being on all the wonderful blessings that are right in front of me all the time or the ones that I know will come when they are meant to?
Maybe it’s time for me to stop praying for so many things I think I or the world needs and instead start thanking God for everything, as maybe then I might start seeing the world through a more joyful set of eyes, rather than looking through ones that have been too blindly focused in prayer to see that God has already answered quite a number of my prayers.
Dear God, I thank you for helping me to praise more than pray, to acknowledge more than ask, and to focus on what I’ve been given more than what I feel has been taken. I know I need to act as if You’ve already answered all my prayers, because the truth is, you probably have…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson