May 12, 2012


Luke 17:11-19

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
—Luke 17:15


While I was in high school, one of the teachers from the business department taught us skills for pursuing a job. While helping us practice for interviews, she emphasized that the interview was not over until you wrote a thank-you note.

At first, I thought of the thank-you note as nothing more than an appendix to the interview. It was one more opportunity to make myself look good. As we practiced interviewing, I discovered that the intention to write a thank-you note changed the way I approached the interview. While answering questions and learning more about the potential job, I made mental notes of items to include in my thank-you note. The intention to express thanks made me more aware of the interviewer’s concerns. I don’t know if the thank-you notes changed or enhanced my image in the eyes of the interviewers, but I know it changed my awareness of the interview process.

We may realize that prayer is an important part of thankfulness, but do we realize how closely prayer and gratitude are tied together? We might be inclined to believe that prayer is the appendix to a good day or a successful endeavor—it is good to include, but it doesn’t add much to the substance of what has happened. But prayer does more than punctuate God’s blessings. It helps us become more aware of God’s goodness and contributes to a growing sense of gratitude toward God.

Dear God, may my life of prayer with you give me an ever-growing sense of gratitude. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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