“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”
What a great verse, isn’t it? Just to start this psalm, to start this day, if you’re listening to this in the morning. End your day, if you’re listening to this at night. Whenever you are listening to this, just stop and say, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.” You think about the command we have in the New Testament to give thanks in all circumstances. In all circumstances, I will give thanks with my whole heart. Why? Because I have so many wonderful deeds from the Lord to recount.
God, we praise you for your goodness in history and in our lives.
This is what I want us to do in prayer, but I want to leave some space for you to do this at the conclusion of this prayer. So not just to move on to whatever’s next, but to spend just a moment just thanking God for wonderful deeds he has done.
Think on two levels. Think on the level of wonderful deeds in history. Just think of the word, think of what God has done over centuries, wonderful deeds. Just to pause and thank God for his wonderful deeds over the course of history, and then to pause and recount wonderful deeds God has done in your life and my life.
When we hear this command to give thanks in all circumstances and we think about particularly difficult circumstances, we think about when things are not going well in our lives. Maybe we have been wronged in this way or that way. How do you give thanks in the middle of those circumstances? Well, obviously we’re not thankful for evil, for being wronged; but we are thankful for God’s sovereignty over this. We are thankful for Jesus power over evil displayed in the cross and his resurrection from the dead. We are thankful that evil does not have the last word, that injustice doesn’t have the last word. We are thankful that God is our defender. You start to think of all the ways you can give thanks to the Lord with your whole heart, even, even amidst difficulties.
Let’s pray. God, we say together with the Psalmist today, we will give thanks to you with our whole heart. We praise you for your goodness in history, for your goodness in our lives, and we will recount all of your wonderful deeds. We pause right now to recount all of your wonderful deeds. We praise you for your promise. As soon as the first sin entered the world, your promise to redeem. We praise you for the way you called out Abraham by your grace and your mercy to bless him and the nation that would come from him, the nation of Israel, that your blessing might be made known among all the nations. God, we thank you for the way you delivered your people out of slavery in Egypt. We thank you for all of the wonderful ways you showed your power, how you split a sea in half, how you led them with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. We praise you for the way you guided them all throughout, wilderness wanderings, for the way you brought them into the land that you had promised them.
God, we praise you for the way you faithfully shepherded your people all throughout the Old Testament, though your people were constantly unfaithful to you, in the same way you do that in our lives. We praise you for your faithful deeds in our lives when we have been unfaithful to you.
God, we praise you ultimately for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, the Savior, the Lord, the King, to save us from our sins, to live the life we could not live, to die the death we deserve to die, to rise from the dead. We praise you, Jesus, for your resurrection. What a wonderful deed, the cross where you died for our sins, the resurrection where you declared sin and death and the grave have no sting, where you made clear that all who trust in you, though we die, we will live because we believe in you. We thank you for your wonderful deeds and the cross, the resurrection, your ascension. We thank you that right now, you’re at the right hand of the Father, and we thank you for all the ways you pour out your grace on us in ways we could never deserve.
God, we want to pause even at the end of this prayer and just to give you individual thanks for all of your wonderful deeds in our lives, for the ways you’ve saved us, for the people who share the gospel with us, for the ways you’ve provided for us, guided us, led us through hard days. You’re leading us now. We put all our trust in you. Why? Because we put our trust in you now because you are trustworthy. Your goodness, your mercy is new every single day, and we give thanks to you for it with our whole hearts. Even now, right now, we recount your wonderful deeds in our lives.
I just invite you as this podcast episode closes, you just start thanking God for all the wonderful deeds he has done in your life. Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. I will recount all your wonderful deeds.”