Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (TLB)
When Douglas L. McWhorter, from Alabama, receives a new issue of The Upper Room, he turns to the first page and draws a large T, like an accountant would use for debits and credits. On the left side, he writes down the list of prayers and petitions that he wants to present to God. They often include such things as an elderly aunt in a nursing home; a family member starting a new job or school; or the tendonitis affecting his right elbow.
On the right side, he writes some things he is thankful for. They may include recent prayers which have been answered: "Thank you for a healthy newborn grandchild," or "Thank you for healing my wife's sprained ankle." He also likes to incorporate some long-standing blessings he has received from God through the years: "Thank you for our home and our family" or "Thank you for loving Christian parents who raised me."
Each morning after reading the meditation for the day, Douglas reviews his list and follows Paul's admonition to present his prayers and petitions to God with thanksgiving. By the time he receives his next issue, Douglas is often amazed at how many of his prayers and petitions have been moved to the thanksgiving side of the ledger. Tracking his prayers in this way has revealed to him the incredible faithfulness of God.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always hearing and answering our prayers, and for the many blessings you have given us, in Jesus' name. Amen.