Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day eight with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for God providing partners in ministry.
Thankful for Ministry Partners
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:12 (NIV)
I am thankful for the ministry partners that make Impact Prayer Ministry possible. God’s calling, gifting, and equipping is important, but life and ministry isn’t done in a vacuum. While I am the face people see wherever the prayer ministry display is set up, it is actually the ministry partners I have which supply the needs that are being met by the resources being provided. I am thankful for the churches and individuals who financially partner with Impact Prayer Ministry in a way that results in many expressions of thanks to God by those receiving encouragement from the prayer-based resources.
Some of my favorite “expressions of thanks to God” at the conferences I share at have come from convention center workers who probably didn’t expect much to be thankful for when they arrived at work to start their shift. Very few of them will take a devotional book they are looking at the first time it is offered. I suspect part of it is their training and instruction from their employer that the convention displays are not for them. But when I watch their face light up at a kind and simple greeting, I think part of their hesitation is that they are so used to being unseen. I have had workers take a couple books for themselves, then come back throughout the conference with different coworkers who are all thanking God that I would share with them.
But it is not just the financial partners which result in praise and thanksgiving being offered to God. Whether setting up a display at a convention or teaching a prayer seminar for a church or group, people often ask the same question; “How can you do what you are doing?”. The answer they receive is always the same. One, I have a God who has equipped me for this work. Two, I have a family that supports and encourages me in this work. Three, I have a church that believes in what God is doing in and through the prayer ministry. Four, I have people who willingly give financially so that others can be encouraged to pray. And last, but not least, I am surrounded by people who make sure my day to day work gets done when the prayer ministry takes me away from home. All of that is possible because I serve a God who “supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory.” Because He is the supplier of all five of those reasons for how I can do what I am doing, He is the One who gets and deserves all of the praise and thanksgiving for anything I accomplish!
It is my prayer that the works of service you and I do would always be done in such a way that they result in many overflowing expressions of thanksgiving to God! To God be the glory, both now and forevermore!