A Heart of Gratitude!
By Melody Mason
About this time a year ago, I was struggling. Some things in my life were making me unhappy and I began telling Jesus about it. The problem was, I didn’t leave my frustrations with Him. I kept picking up the problems and carrying them with me again. As the weeks went on, instead of finding peace and contentment, I began to murmur and complain in my heart more and more. As I murmured and complained, my discontentment grew, and the murmuring and complaining increased.
I realized that something needed to change—not only was my attitude making me miserable, it was starting to affect my relationship with God. I also realized that I wasn’t capable, in my own strength, of changing my feelings. They were strong! I knew that what I really needed was for God to give me a new heart, a heart of praise, contentment, and gratitude.
One morning, when I wasn’t rushing, I spent some significant time on my knees with my Bible open before me. Crying out to God in prayer, I asked Him to change my heart and give me a new spirit of gratitude. Tears poured down my face and dripped on to my Bible, as I began claiming God’s promises.
Promises like Ezekiel 36:26-27 came to my mind: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
Then I was reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:18. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
“Dear Jesus,” I prayed. “I have not been doing very well at giving You thanks recently. I’ve just been murmuring and complaining, and that’s been separating me from You. Please forgive me! You said You will give us a new heart if we ask. Please Jesus, change my heart. Give me a heart of gratitude again.”
After wrestling in prayer for quite some time, God’s peace began to fill my soul, and I knew He had answered my prayer. The discontentment and frustrations I had been feeling left me and suddenly I was overwhelmed with a sense of incredible gratitude—not just for God and His love and goodness, but even for the very trials that had pushed me closer into His arms. I started singing and praising God right then. I knew that no trial was too great to bear if He carried it for me. The pain and discontentment were gone. I was happy. I was free.
As I closed my Bible from my morning time with God, I got up to begin my day. It was time for breakfast. But first, I opened a gift bag that my neighbor had given me the night before. To my amazement, as I pulled out the tissue, I looked into the gift bag to see a beautiful pink heart. Engraved across the heart was the word “Gratitude” in big bold letters. (See photo with this story.) Fresh tears rolled down my face as I stared at the heart in wonder.
For the last hour or more I had been on my knees in prayer, claiming God’s promises and asking that He would give me a new heart—most importantly, a heart of thankfulness and gratitude. He had answered my prayer. Not only had He changed my heart on the inside, but He literally gave me a heart of gratitude to remember my victory!
Melody Mason is coordinator for United in Prayer and author of the book Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer.
World Church Prayer Requests
February 16 - 23, 2020
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please continue to pray for those that are facing sickness, isolation, and fear with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Pray that God would put a hedge around His children and give peace in the midst of the storm.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Continue to pray for our members in China. Pray that God would take care of them and provide for their needs spiritually and physically during this health crisis.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the health of our Church administrators and leaders as they engage in ministry for the global field. Pray that they will know how best to take care of their body temple. Remember your local pastor and leadership as well.
• PRAYER REQUEST: General Conference Family Ministries just finished “Christian Home and Marriage Week.” Pray for the families and marriages in your community, that they will continue to draw close to each other and to God throughout the coming year. Visit https://family.adventist.org for inspiring family resources.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for your pastor, his home, and marriage to be especially blessed by God.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for God to work in your own home and marriage, or in the marriages of your parents, siblings, or loved ones.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for ways to reach out and show love to those who are alone, or who have no family nearby. Pray that God would give them comfort and strength and help them know that they are not alone.