Is it a challenge for you to be grateful and thankful on a consistent basis?
Especially when things are not going the way you had hoped they would?
Have you ever experienced a ‘breakthrough’ in your life through the power of thanksgiving?
I want to share very transparently in this letter about something that happened recently to me. My hope is that it will encourage and inspire you. Perhaps, in the midst of any tough situation you may be facing, it could bring you a thanksgiving breakthrough.
Ever Have a Bad Day?
I was having a bad day. (I know it may seem ‘politically incorrect’ or spiritually deficient to admit this to you, but it’s the truth.)
I was particularly discouraged about a frustrating situation facing me — one that wasn’t improving, even with my best efforts.
So, I decided to write an email to one of my closest friends, baring my soul on the matter, and outlining my frustration. Sometimes, just writing it down can help to make things better.
Unfortunately, in this case, listing my frustrations in the email only served to make them clearer to me. In fact, after writing to the friend, I actually felt worse.
I went home that Friday evening in a very disheartened state. When I stepped into my house under that nasty, dark cloud, my dear wife wisely recognized that it would be better not to probe the matter too deeply with me. Eventually,
I simply trudged off to bed, hoping that a good night’s sleep might erase my discouragement and improve my outlook.
A Change of Heart
I’m sorry to say that I awoke the next morning in an even darker mood than the day before. Even so, I dutifully headed out the door for the DPM office as is my custom on Saturday mornings.
I wish I could say that I reached out in Faith, but I simply wasn’t in the mood to pray and interact with The LORD during the drive to work. Then, it happened.
As I was passing by a stand of trees that were in full blossom, I thought to myself, “I’m grateful we live in a part of the country where most of the year there are trees in bloom.”
Then, somewhat routinely, I finished the thought by saying, “Thank You, LORD!”
In that very moment, I felt something shift in my spirit. My spontaneous act of thanking The LORD had caused my heart to turn a corner — and I knew it instantly.
From that point onward, I began thanking The LORD for anything and everything that came into my mind. It was like a tonic for my downtrodden heart.
The remaining ten minutes of my drive to work were nothing but thanks to The LORD. By the time I pulled into the DPM parking lot, I was a changed person.
What had brought the transformation? It had been a thanksgiving breakthrough!
A Vital Component
The recent event renewed a lesson in thanksgiving — one The LORD had taught me in the past. In fact, at one point in my life, when I was in a desperate time, He led me to proclaim Philippians 4:6-7 — and those verses changed my life and perspective.
Strangely enough, for a number of weeks during that season, I was misquoting verse 6, leaving out a very important component. I had been using “prayer and supplication” to tell The LORD my desperation.
But I soon realized I was overlooking two vital words in the verse: “with thanksgiving.” The addition of that essential element changed everything!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
In this recent event, I should have remembered. However, The LORD faithfully reminded me of this pivotal truth: thanking Him is a game-changer. It is the key to every thanksgiving breakthrough!
The Doorway to a Miracle
In his classic message, “Thankfulness,” Derek Prince adds so much insight to this topic. (Later in this letter, I’ll encourage you to get a free MP3 of this message for your added benefit.) Or listen to it here now online:
In this teaching, Derek comments on the theme from the life of Jonah.
“Do you want a miracle? Maybe you have prayed for days, weeks, years. Try giving thanks. It worked for Jonah.
In chapter 2, we read a prayer that Jonah prayed in the belly of the fish. He did a lot of praying. (I imagine you and I would have felt prompted to pray in that situation, too.) But in verse 9, he changed. He said: “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving….”
Now, that is definitely a sacrifice — to give God thanks when you’re in the belly of a fish. But it paid off.
What does the next verse say? “So The LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” I suppose God was saying to Himself: “That thankless fellow, Jonah. He’s not getting out of that fish until he mends his conduct. When I hear him give thanks, I’ll talk to the fish.”
You know, many of us may be in the same situation. We will get out of the fish when God hears us say, “Thank You.” “
A Needed Declaration
Let me ask: are you facing serious troubles right now?
Perhaps, like Jonah, you and I are in need of a thanksgiving breakthrough?
If that is the case, would you join me now in a declaration to The LORD of our intention to thank Him.
Lord, I realize from what has been shared that I have so many reasons to give You thanks.
I confess that sometimes I have been so focused on my problems, concentrating on my desperate prayers and supplications for relief, that I have neglected to thank You.
I haven’t expressed gratitude for Your faithfulness in the past and Your power to bring forth a victory in my life.
In this moment, I shift my focus to You. I will give thanks to You as I deal with my problems. I set my heart to have a thanksgiving breakthrough.
Help for the Process
I pray that this shift in focus which you and I have just declared will be a game-changer for you. Would you agree that giving thanks in a difficult situation is totally counter-intuitive?
The idea takes some getting used to. We want to help in that regard.
Please allow us to offer some assistance through the many teachings by Derek Prince which affirm this practice of thanksgiving. (He not only taught it — he lived it!)
Feel free to download our free MP3 offer of “Thankfulness,” the message from which we drew Derek’s quote.
Providing this and other material is just one way for us to thank you for the vital role you play with Derek Prince Ministries through your prayers and your financial gifts.
We are so grateful to you, and we send our deepest thanks for your partnership with us.
The Impact We Could See
In my mind’s eye right now, I see wave after wave of thanksgiving going up before the throne of God.
How it must bless His heart to hear His people thanking Him for all He has done! I have no delusions of grandeur, and I fully realize that this letter won’t reach the whole world.
But even if those waves of thanksgiving only begin with you and me, won’t the “ripple effect” move out from us to those around us, and then to many others?
Wouldn’t this be possible — especially in this season that is officially recognized as a time devoted to “the Thanksgiving holiday”?
I offer this prayer for you, for your extended family, for your circle of friends, and for your entire nation: May you have a thanksgiving breakthrough!
All the best,
P.S. We are so grateful for your faithful friendship. Thank you again for your prayers and contributions. Please make sure to download the free MP3 of “Thankfulness,” the message by Derek which could help to bring about a thanksgiving breakthrough in your life.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.