Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
TITLE: Truth Over Coffee
By Kristi Sands
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Philippians 4:6-, NIV
Do Bible verses ever roll right off your tongue, in the rhythm of a song, flowing and beautiful… yet familiar and lifeless? Not unlike the times in my car when a great song comes on the radio. I pipe up - “Yes! I love this song.” As the first few stanzas play, I sing along with fervor. However, a minute or two down the road, I realize I’m still singing, but not comprehending, not processing the words. I’m detached from the song.
Sadly, I’ve become detached from the song of God’s Word, from the song of Philippians 4:6-7. Until this morning.
As my friend, Julianna, and I sat in a coffee shop devouring these verses, we were able, together, to bypass the familiarity they held. Inside them was a truth that I may not have realized on my own, a truth that took two of us to discover. This truth was imbedded in the phrase “with thanksgiving.”
In years past, I’ve repeatedly heard the acronym A.C.T.S. as a model for prayer, a practical application intended to produce a more complete and God-honoring prayer life. A is for Adoration - a time of praising God for who He is; C is for confession – a time of repentance; T is for Thanksgiving – worshipping God for His many blessings; and S is for supplication – the presentation of requests. Each letter describes a different portion of the prayer time. T is for Thanksgiving.
But portions are not what Philippians 4 describes. Thanksgiving is not a part of our prayer; it is the heart of our prayer. Thanksgiving is not a separate section; it is the driving force. Thanksgiving is not a brief listing of blessings; it is the statement of the heart. When I confess, I confess with thanksgiving. When I adore, I adore with thanksgiving. When I present my requests, I present with thanksgiving. When I pour out my heart, I pour with thanksgiving. When things are good, when things are ugly, if I’m feeling joyful, if I’m feeling confused – I pray in all times with thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is the perspective in prayer. It is the death of self and the realization of God. It is the knowledge of the eternal pervading the worry of the temporal. It is the glory of God replacing the exaltation of self. It is hope… pure and simple. And I discovered it - not in a pew, not on my knees, but over a cup of coffee with a friend.
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