Prayerfully Grateful
Posted on January 26, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Prayer
One of the men I’ve been witnessing to this year posted on social media at Thanksgiving how lucky he had been in 2020. He was trying to be upbeat, but listed over and over again how lucky he was because he could do things like work at home and lucky to live in a day when science could cure his debilitating skin disease. 
Hearing someone give credit to luck hit me cold when, at his request, I had prayed for him for months and I saw God healing him. In an old Reader’s Digest, I once read, “Luck is what a fool calls it when God gives him a break.” 

It is not appropriate to stay silent either. When I was in the Holy Land this time last year, I saw the place in Caesarea Maritime where Herod addressed the crowd and people declared that he must have been a god (Acts 12:21-23). Our tour guide pointed out that Herod would have worn a shiny gold frock and had the afternoon sun illuminating him on a special throne in the amphitheater. Herod didn’t correct those who made such a public claim and shortly afterward, he was struck down by the hand of God. 

Is it possible to overlook thanking God? Is it possible to mutter a “thank you” when being complimented? Or do we shout, “PRAISE GOD! He gets the glory for that!” 
When James Howard, a WW2 fighter pilot and missionary kid to China was complimented by bomber pilots for protecting them against 30 Luftwaffe planes, he quoted from a parable Jesus told, “We’ve only done our duty” (Luke 17:10 CSB). Howard was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. His humble reply quoting Jesus became a model for me. 

Do you flippantly say, “Good luck!” Have you slipped someone a buckeye for luck’s sake? Do you find yourself thanking your lucky stars? And don’t get me started on crossing your fingers, not breaking mirrors, avoiding walking under ladders, knocking on wood, opening umbrellas indoors, and flinching when black cats cross in front of you. Have you ever repented of crediting science for God’s providence? As the Covid-19 vaccine makes its rounds, do you credit science or the Lord who provided an answer to the pray-ers who cried out for the pandemic to stop?

God, help us to bow our heads and not just say we’re thankful for our food at mealtime. Help us to bow our heads in reverence for everything that You do in and through us. 

Give all praise to God and it’ll knock down the shine on anything posing as Lady Luck.
--Mark Snowden serves as Director of Missional Learning (DOM, AMS), Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
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