I find myself continually being pleased with The Book of Common Prayer. It seems that, just about anytime I'm at a loss for words while praying, I can find the perfect prayer in the BCP. There is just a wealth of beautifully written prayers spread throughout the entirety of our primary worship document. Just last night I was reminded of one of my favorite prayers from the BCP.
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
-BCP, p. 836
I think that, of all the forms of prayers out there, we struggle the most with thanksgiving. Sure, we can offer up to God some things for which we are thankful if we are asked, and we can certainly offer a spotaneous thanksgiving after an averted crisis. When, however, do we give thanks for the every day aspects of our lives or our failures?
This is what we are asked to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Even in our disappointments and failures, we can find reasons to give thanks to God. Today, I invite you to think of your those areas of your life that are not going your way and give thanks to God for the reminder that we must rely on God alone.