Prayer of Appreciation
“One of the most beautiful forms of prayer is the prayer of appreciation. This prayer arises out of the recognition of the gracious kindness of creation. We have been given so much. We could never have merited or earned it. When you appreciate all you are and all you have, you can celebrate and enjoy it. You realize how fortunate you are. Providence is blessing you and inviting you to be generous with your gifts. You are able to bless life and give thanks to God. The prayer of appreciation has no agenda but gracious thanks.” John O’Donohue Eternal Echoes P, 198/199
When we were children we were taught to say “please” when we asked for something and “thank you” when we received it. After a while it became the normal thing to do and for most of us it has carried on into our adult years.
Those of us who were brought up in Christian homes were probably taught how to pray to God, often closing our days with prayer before we went to sleep. The habit of prayer may not have been carried on in our lives once we passed the time when our parents prayed with us and so it may not have been ingrained in us as much as our almost automatic pleases and thank you’s in our day to day lives.
However, as responsible Christians we usually return to the ground of prayer at some point in our adult life and as we grow in our prayer life and our love for God we also grow in appreciation for all that we have been given. Many of us ask God for what we need, many thank God for what we have been given, and many more write gratitude journals.
As we make our daily gratitude lists, we become more aware of all the gifts that surround us, whereas before, we took many of these gifts for granted. Our appreciation for the wonders that surround us grows and we cannot help but cry aloud, “Thank you, God.” So many blessings, so much love, and so much joy—thanks be to God!
Judith Lawrence lives in Muskoka, Ontario, a land of lakes, forests, and wildlife. She began to write seriously when she was in her fifties and has written three non-fiction spiritual books. Judith has also written a book of mystical poetry and one of short stories; she writes a weekly blog about contemplation and records a podcast meditationmonthly.