Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Daily Devotion: Beginning and Ending

Bible Reading: Nehemiah 11:3-17

Key Verse: Verse 17 – “And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.”

Key Words: begin the thanksgiving in prayer

After the Babylonian captivity, Nehemiah led the nation of Israel in rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem and in restoring the temple and in restoring the worship of God.  After the restoration of the walls and temple, the people of Israel gathered together in a thanksgiving service, and Mattaniah, a leader of the tribe of Levi, began the service with a prayer of thanksgiving.

Now, this raises a question in my mind: how do we begin and end our prayers?  Do we do this by giving thanks to God?

The Rev. Leslie F. Church related the following story at the annual meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society:

A friend of his was staying in Yorkshire one very wet Sunday with two other friends.  On the way to church he was told they would be the only people there probably, and that the service would be taken by a lay preacher who would have walked fifteen miles over the hills in the pouring rain to get there.  “Is he a great preacher?” the friend asked.  “No, but he can pray.  He always begins, continues, and ends with thanking God.”  Sure enough, they were the whole congregation, and the old man came into the pulpit, drenched through with the rain, but punctual.  He began his prayer thus: “Almighty God, we thank Thee that it is not always as bad as this.”

Let me encourage each of us to begin and end our prayer with thanksgiving to God.

What to do:
✞ Always include thanksgiving to God in your prayer.
Let others see and hear your life of thanksgiving.
Remember, there are always reasons to be thankful.

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