Category Archives: Pray with Authority

30 Days of Thankful: Day 16

Sometimes the words we use can start to sound a little ordinary—words like bless, or grace, or thanks. Consider how often you casually say “thanks” to someone.   Or pray for God to “bless” so and so? Or say “grace” over your meal.   We may not even be conscious of the true meaning of these words—thus, their power can be lost on us.

We’re on Day 16 of 30 Days of Thankful—just over the half way mark. I’d like to pause here and look at the word thankful through the lenses of Scripture. I believe it might just breathe new life and power into this simple word—and could even transform your day.

It helps to understand that there are a couple of different words translated as “thank” in the New Testament. Let’s take a look at one of of those words, eulogeo.  Eulogeo comes from two words which mean “good” and “to speak.” So eulogeo means to speak well of, or to praise, or to thank. It can also be translated “to bless.”

Eulogeo is the word used when Jesus served His disciples what would be their last supper together: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body…” (Mat. 26:26 MOUNCE).

Eulogeo is the same word Jesus used before He fed the 5000: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves (Matthew 14:19 NIV).

We see that eulogeo is translated as bless Hebrews 6:14: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number” (Hebrews 6:14).  This verse refers to God’s original blessing to Abraham in the Old Testament. What’s more,  this blessing is the foundation of our entire covenant with God:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).

Do you see the strong connection here between eulogeo and the biblical words thanks and blessing? Powerful, when you stop to consider this truth:  If you believe in Jesus, those very same blessings promised to Abraham are also your inheritance.

So next time you say “thanks”eulogeo—pause to realize the power of your words. And when you pray for blessings for others or receive God’s blessings for yourself, be aware—these gifts of thanks and blessing are powerful, and not to be taken lightly!







30 Days of Thankful: Day 7

Welcome to 30 Days of Thankful!  Today my friend Sara shares a beautiful lesson in thankfulness that she learned from her little daughter.

GUEST POST: By Sara Miller

Each night when we put our three-year-old to bed we share a list of the things for which we are thankful. This practice brings about some sweet memories and some really practical takeaways for myself (and maybe for you too.)

1 – When she was younger she used to say, “I’m thank you for …” instead of “I’m thankful for …” How true! We’re not just saying that we’re thankful for these things; we’re taking time to thank God for these things. A subtle but important reminder.

2 – The purity and simplicity of her list is sweet. Honey (my husband keeps bees) is always #1 and playgrounds are usually #2. The remainder of her list is sometimes consistent (cats and dogs) but other times it varies with the activities of our day. I’ve found that choosing gratitude can be easy, but can also be a stretch if I force myself to “vary” my list and find new things each day for which I’m grateful.

3 – Ending the day with mindfulness towards gratitude is refreshing and it gives good perspective on the challenges we may be facing. Who doesn’t benefit from perspective?

4 – For a few months my daughter always finished her list with the same four items: “daddy, daddy, snuggling with daddy, and daddy!” She would proudly say, “That’s 4 daddies!” (Can you tell she loves her daddy?) What a great reminder. At the end of my days, do I take time to say to MY heavenly Father, “thank you daddy for who you are, for being my daddy, for your presence with me, and for your Fatherly love for me”?

Reflecting on who God is and remembering His presence with me are a few ways I give thanks. Worship music is another.  Click here and take a few minutes to listen to “Good, Good Father,”a great song about our great God.

And I encourage you to start your own “thank you” list too!

30 Days of Thankful: Day 6

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6).

A friend confided to me the other day that she’s had to go into counseling because she’s worried about the threat of ISIS.  The same thing happened again.  Another woman admitted to me that she is suffering panic attacks because she’s fearful of  threats in the Middle East.  These are affluent, suburban women, far from the conflict. But anxiety over the world situation has crippled their hearts. That’s the goal of terror.

It’s Day 6 of 30 Days of Thankful.  And you’re probably wondering what in the world anxiety has to do with our discussion of thankfulness.   I’d like to suggest that giving thanks may be one of our best secret weapons against worry.

I decided to talk with a friend who serves on the front lines of war, giving relief to refugees. I asked him if he was afraid of ISIS. He answered matter of factly, “We’ve learned to trust God for our protection.”  He said these words as calmly as I would have said, “I’ve learned to buckle my seat belt when driving to the grocery store.”

But it was his next words that really got me thinking.  “I am overjoyed at the work God is doing among these refugees,” he said.  “Many are accepting Jesus. I praise God and give thanks as I  see the children reciting Bible verses and taking a bold stand for the Gospel.” There wasn’t a trace of worry in his voice—only gratitude.  And joy.

Most of us live far from the front lines and don’t face daily threats from war. But fear and worry can still attack us right where we live.  Let’s take a lesson from my friend and simply trust God for His protection.

And let’s follow his example in our own neighborhoods and step out boldly to share God’s love with the broken around us.  As we watch God at work, let’s remember to pray and give thanks–and watch fear and worry flee.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

30 Days of Thankful: Day 5

At midnight Paul and Silas worshipped, and praised God (Acts 16:25 WYC).

Just how powerful is praise? And why does giving thanks seem to change the spiritual atmosphere? I’m not sure anyone really knows the answer. But we can look at some of the results. Earlier, I shared the story of the ten-year-old boy who, after being kidnapped, sang praises to God and was released unharmed by his kidnapper.

Here’s another praise-power encounter: After preaching in Philippi, Paul and Silas were dragged out of the marketplace and thrown into prison.  After being severely beaten and bound with chains, they began to praise and worship God—and a miracle occurred.

Suddenly, there’s an earthquake. The prison was shaken to its very foundation and the doors flew open and “the chains of every prisoner fell off!” (Acts 16:26). The jailer wakes up terrified, ready to kill himself. But Paul shouted, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

What follows is surely the quickest salvation message ever preached. The terrified man simply cries out, “What must I do to be saved?” To which Paul and Silas reply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-34).

More amazing things happened. The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home where they told his family about Jesus and “his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.” Wow. Salvations, beatings, prison, rejoicing, more salvations, more rejoicing. The whole account is dizzying.

Praise and thanksgiving seem to lift burdens that nothing else can move. And miracles in the Bible often follow a time of giving thanks. Remember how Jesus thanked God before he fed the 5000?  And He cried out, “Father I thank you that you have heard me” (John 11:41) before calling Lazarus forth from the tomb.

Praising and giving thanks are powerless by themselves. But what if they connect us with God? “God inhabits the praises of His people” writes the psalmist (Psalmist 22:3). And when you connect with God, powerful things happen. Lives are changed. Souls are saved. Darkness flees. Grief is lifted.

Perhaps thanking God—even in the midst of our storms–is simply an expression of faith in its purest form. And faith changes things. It was Jesus Himself who reminds us that “all things are possible when we believe” (Mark 9:23).

Lord, tune my heart today to praise and thank you in each situation I face throughout my day. And I thank you in advance for your mighty work. –Amen










30 Days of Thankful: Day 2

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? (Jer. 32:27)

Welcome to30 Days of Thankful.”  I’m honored you’ve decided to join me as we strive together to develop a thankful heart.

Sometimes I wonder if my view of God is too small.   Just the other morning, I was outside enjoying the quiet when suddenly, two fighter jets flew overhead at a very low altitude. Their roar was deafening and everything around me shook violently. I realized the two massive jets were probably part of the game opener show at a nearby college football stadium so I wasn’t alarmed. Even so, I was overwhelmed by their sound, speed, and power.

Strangely, tears welled up in my eyes and I got a lump in my throat.  Now I admit to having a soft spot for our military, but this went deeper. It was if God whispered to me: “You need not fear anything in life,  for I am far stronger than these mighty, fighter jets.”

Then, I remembered the words God spoke through the prophet  Jeremiah: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

I thought about the word behold.  Not a word I use every day.  The dictionary defines behold as “to see through sight or apprehension;” or “to gaze upon.”  I realized that beholding is connected to thankfulness:  If I want to develop a thankful heart, I need to spend time each day “beholding” God’s majesty. Simply put, I need to “gaze upon him.”

Then it hit me: The closer I get to God, the more easily I behold his awesomeness. I was very near to those fighter jets—so their might and power were awe inspiring. How often am I awed by God? Maybe I need to spend more time each day drawing close to him.

My prayer partner once said this:  We should “glance at our problem, but gaze on God’s promise.” The fighter jet episode reminded me that I also need to gaze upon God himself. I need to draw near to him each day and behold his majesty and glory.

When I truly behold God, fear, discouragement, and hopelessness flee.  And my heart swells with thankfulness.