A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise


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Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (Psalms 100:4 Amplified)

Enter My Courts With Thanksgiving

Beloved, I have come to redirect your focus and draw you into a place of gratefulness and freedom. I am here to remind you how important it is to enter My presence with thanksgiving and praise each and every time you come. Lay hold of this and it will transform your life. My heart is drawn to My grateful ones. Appreciation and gratitude are the foundations of contentment in all things and enables you to behold Me with a clean and pure heart.

On the Day of Atonement My people brought two young goats that they might be cleansed of all their sin. One was chosen for sacrifice and a scarlet cloth was tied around its neck to distinguish it as the one to be sacrificed (a shadow of the Lamb to come). The other goat became the scapegoat and was held outside My holy place. The sacrificial lamb was slain and its blood taken into My holy place to be presented to Me with the burning of incense. As the smoke, representing My presence, filled the room, the priest sprinkled blood in front of the mercy seat seven times.

All the while My people lay prostrate as the sacrifice ensued; knowing atonement for their sins was taking place. Their sins were being forgiven—they were being covered. The priest left the holy place and put on his regular priestly garments. The entire people rose, for a time of rejoicing was at hand as the priest laid his hands on the “scapegoat.” The laying on of hands transferred all sins, all the iniquity of the people to the head of the scapegoat. Their sins were removed and placed on the young goat and it was led away into the wilderness where it could not return.

In doing this, My people could see in a visible way the removal of their sins and that they would not return. My son Jesus came as your scapegoat and carried away your sins as far as the east is from the west, never to return. This is cause to rejoice, cause to have a heart of thanksgiving and praise just as Israelites did when their sins were removed and carried away by the scapegoat.

No matter the trials and sufferings of this life—no matter what you endure, you must enter My courts with thanksgiving for what I did on the Cross. To be redeemed by My blood which enables you to behold Me is more than enough to generate a grateful heart. Beloved, let today be a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving for what I have done for you. Come into My courts and behold Me. Come and feast at My table. All is prepared and I am waiting for you to recline and sup with Me. Come…

Sacrifices Of Thanksgiving

Beloved, come into My presence and use the words of your mouth. Thanksgiving and praise are not silent exercises. As the Israelites brought two goats, one for sacrifice and one as a scapegoat, you must bring two things; thanksgiving and praise (Hosea 2:12). Speak words of thanksgiving and sing songs of praise. Let the fruit of your lips be a constant stream of praise regardless of what you are experiencing (Hebrews 13:15).

A sacrifice of thanksgiving is something you give when there seems to be no reason to do so. Even if your circumstances seem to garner no reason to praise, I am still good and worthy of adoration—worthy because My kindness and steadfast love endure forever—worthy because of what you received at the Cross. I am worthy.

Many times your trials test your faith in hard and difficult ways. I know about these things. If I had not known the goodness of the Father and focused on the prize He set before Me I would not have been able to endure the Cross. Beloved, you were the joy set before Me and still are (Hebrews 12:2). I beheld you in My heart and now you must behold Me to overcome. There is no other way. Be thankful. I am.

Be Anxious For Nothing

When you behold Me things change. Your heart changes to become thankful like Mine. Be rooted and built up in Me. Plant yourself deep in the soil of My Cross—in the soil of My love and receive resurrection life in the midst of trying and burdensome circumstances.

Become established in your faith and abound to overflowing with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7). Be glad and full of joy. Give yourself wholly to Me at all times. Give yourself over and over with a heart full of good cheer (Philippians 4:4).

Beholding your circumstances more than Me gives them My place. When you behold Me you receive life. When you behold your circumstances, struggles and disappointments they give you more of the same, causing you to be anxious. Concentration on them robs your grateful heart.

Don’t be anxious or take one negative thought to heart about anything in the midst of suffering. Instead you must wholly give all things thoroughly and without reservation to vocal and earnest prayer. Your supplication—your request must be brought forth in conjunction with and accompanied by gratitude and thanks. Let your heart pour forth grateful language as an act of worship regardless of what you see or feel. In this I am glorified and you are at peace.

Let your entire request be made known to Me. Declare them aloud and in detail and they will ascend to My very throne where My ear is neither deaf nor My arm short (Philippians 4:6 Isaiah 59:1).

Beloved, I am extending My right arm to you and asking you to take a hold of My hand by faith. All you have to do is reach up in a posture of thanksgiving and I grab on to you. Let the words of your mouth declare thankful words and let your lips sing a joyful song of praise. I am near to sing over you and desire for you to release this new song over your life. Arise and sing what you hear Me singing. It will change your viewpoint. I am near. I am singing.

The Peace Of God Guards Your Heart

Beloved, knowing with complete assurance that your salvation through Me will not fail and being content with where you are in this life makes way for peace. Knowing Me destroys fear and all its ugly threats and intimidations. Thanksgiving testifies of My goodness and makes way for peace.

Being thankful puts you in a position to rest and be at great peace. The prosperity of peace, oneness, quiet and rest of who I am will flow from Me to you. My peace transcends fear and sets you at a place of oneness which rejects all anxiousness and confusion. Peace of this magnitude eliminates double-mindedness because it passes all understanding. It is superior, more excellent and holds itself above all other possible solutions—above all human thought, feeling or will.

Peace mounts guard like a sentinel posting spies at the gate of your heart. Peace hems you in and protects your heart and if you embrace it nothing will offend you. Like a mighty garrison, peace encircles you with a great occupying force. It cannot and will not be denied. I will not be denied

Therefore beloved, I come with My peace to protect your heart, your mind, yes even, to the very thoughts and intents sequestered within. My peace hems you in to protect you from all the pressures of everyday life and its disturbances.

My peace has the power to seize the anxious thoughts of the enemy he so strategically places in front of you in very subtle ways. Peace stands as your sentinel to watch and warn you in advance. Build up your walls and gates with praise.

All this is done through My blood, through Me, your Lord and Christ. It is time to offer up your prayers with a heart of thanksgiving and praise. You will be amazed at the results and if you see peace dissipating consider it a warning you should not ignore.

Sacrifice To Me With A Voice Of Thanksgiving

Beloved, all you must do is take a chance and believe. Do this even for a moment and things can change. Ask Jonah! After all his bellyaching, (no pun intended) he came to a place of giving thanks. He passed the test of giving thanks in all things. Everything looked hopeless and out of control until He surrendered his ways of doing things—until he realized I knew what I was doing. I always know best. Father knows best.

Remember I have seen the end from the beginning—you haven’t. Let Me orchestrate and you play according to My instructions. Beautiful music will be made this way. Don’t wait till your soul faints to offer thanks. There is a better way.

It is never My desire for you to get to the place of fainting. When there is nothing left to do but stand, you must stand (Ephesians 6:13-14). To be able to do this is the result of peace birthed from a thankful heart. When you refuse to be thankful or even if you simply ignore opportunities to do so, depression and hopelessness can come in. How can you pray in faith from a position of hopelessness? It is impossible. You see, depending on other things or people outside of Me are like having an idol. Idols are incapable of mercy and loving-kindness. They are deceptive and exalt your own ways of being and doing.

Once again, you must remember, to give a sacrifice of praise in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds is the greatest gift of faith you can give. Giving thanks in the impossible situations of life make way for My delivering hand to work. There is only room for one hand to work. Sometimes I step aside and I let you try but it will be to no avail. Save time and heartache. Do it My way.

It is not by might or power but by My Spirit things are done. Sacrifice with a voice of thanksgiving and you cannot hold on to idols of your own thoughts and ways. Take unbelieving thoughts captive and replace them by voicing thankful ones. In doing this, your mind will be renewed. Like Jonah, you will see My salvation in astonishing ways. Try Me and see.

Courts Of The Lord

Beloved, courts can be a place where justice is metered out and is held in the presence of a judge or king. I am both Judge and King. I have established ways in which to enter into My courts which I have given you access to through My blood. I have been seated far above all rule, authority, power, dominion and every name not only in this age and world but also in the age and world to come (Ephesians 1:21). I hold court over all the earth. Nothing escapes Me. Nothing goes unnoticed. This power and dominion belonging to Me, I have given to you through the Cross. I have seated you with Me in heavenly places to rule and reign in the earth—to have dominion—to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28).

It is My desire for you to come into My courts as Elijah did and legislate according to My wishes for your family, your nation and ultimately for the nations of the world who so desperately need Me. Elijah walked in a place of authority and power because of intimacy with Me. He gave Me the highest form of thanksgiving and praise. He gave himself to a life of adoration and worship. In other words, he entered My courts with thanksgiving and praise. In this manner He stood before Me and was able to pronounce My will (1Kings 17:1)

What you do in the natural must first be done in the Spirit as it was with Elijah. Standing in My counsel always comes first and you cannot enter there with murmuring and complaining. Ponder on how Miriam and Aaron found themselves outside the camp.

It is My desire for you to see and know what I am doing in your life and on your behalf. Many things take time to work out and patience is of the utmost importance. There is always a fullness of time. If the enemy cannot get you to blame others and be offended, he will endeavor to blame you. Either way a thankful heart is ambushed by fear, murmuring and complaining which lead to doing things in your own strength.

This is where your thankful heart comes in. The more you thank Me and sing praises, the more you trust Me. The more you trust Me, the more intimate you are. The more intimate you are the more you hear Me. The more you hear Me the more you walk according to My counsel. The more you walk according to My counsel the more My will is legislated in your life. The more My will is legislated in your life the more peace will rule and reign in your heart. Time has come for you to approach into My courts with thanksgiving and praise. Remember, there is no other way, for it is the way of love.

Prayer of Supplication and Declaration

Lord, please forgive me for looking more at what I do not have than what You have done for Me starting with the Cross. First and foremost You have given me eternal life. For this alone, I am most grateful… I thank you for choosing without hesitation to lay down Your life on my behalf. Open my eyes to see and know all You have done for me. Praise and thanksgiving are not silent activities or just mental assent. They are vibrant expressions of a heart responding to Your goodness.

Open the flood gates of my heart. Open the eyes of my heart. Let me see all the things You have done. I bring my every request to You in specific detail and trust You to do what best in perfect timing. I will not be dismayed or discouraged when things do not happen as quickly as I think they should. Your ear is open to my cry and Your right hand is stretched out to me. I reach up and You reach down.

Like a mighty garrison, peace surrounds me, encircles me in its protective sphere. I embrace peace and thankfulness. I love Your law and am not offended by the deeds of men. Peace warns me and sends little flags up along the way when things aren’t right. I listen and wait patiently on You during these times. I rest in the complete work of the Cross. Strengthen me in the day of trouble and I will not be dismayed. I cry out You and You hear me without fail. Your ear is inclined to me. I give You a heart of thanksgiving and praise as a precious gift to be used for your pleasure and according to Your glory. Like Jonah I am seeing and will see the salvation of the Lord in astonishing ways.

Lord, I enter into Your courts with praise and thanksgiving. There is no other way for me to come. You have told me to be fruitful and multiply, therefore; I must choose to multiply what is pure, lovely and upright. Like Elijah, I stand before You to hear Your Word for my family, my nation and the nations of the world. I have the thoughts and intents of Your heart and I am coming to the realization of them as I stand in a posture of thankful praise.

I embrace the fullness of walking in Your presence from thanksgiving to legislating on the behalf of others. I consider it a privilege worthy of dying to self for. I have come and now stand before You in humble praise. There is no other way. Amen

Reflect and Journal

  1. In what ways have you found yourself being more critical than grateful?
  2. Have you used your prayer time with the Lord to complain about things in your life or to cultivate a thankful spirit?
  3. Take some time to focus on something outside of yourself and begin thanking Him for the Cross and the eternal life it purchased for you. This will lead to thankfulness in all areas.
  4. Reflect on how much time you have spent giving Him oratory praise verses being critical, murmuring or complaining.
  5. Reflect on why it is so easy to be vocal about complaints and not about thanksgiving and praise. Change any habits of speaking negative by cultivating praise. It will take time but if you are persistent your whole outlook will change.
  6. He endured the Cross because of the joy set before Him. You were and are that joy. Take some time to reflect on this and let your thankful heart speak. Let your attentive hears listen and write what He says.
  7. Have you been beholding Him lately?
  8. Is it easier for you to behold your circumstances than to behold Him? If so, why do you think you do so with greater ease?
  9. What circumstances have you been beholding to the degree they have engendered an anxious and hopeless heart.
  10. Reflect on beholding Him. What is He singing over you?
  11. In what ways have you been testifying of His goodness to those around you?
  12. Reflect on how peace is birthed out of thanksgiving and praise.
  13. Take some time to contemplate peace as a sentinel standing guard at the gates of your heart? What does this mean to you?
  14. How have you found yourself in Jonah like shoes by wanting things your own way regardless of what you know is the right thing to do?
  15. Has your way of doing things become an idol in your life?
  16. Have you allowed another person or thing to become an idol in your own life to the point they or it distract you from doing what I have asked? Save time and heartache, be quick to obey.
  17. Do you have a tendency to be more like Miriam and Aaron than Elijah or David? In what ways have you done this?
  18. What needs to be done in your own personal time with the Lord to develop a relationship with Him as intimate as Elijah’s, one that can tell it not to rain and it doesn’t?
  19. Reflect on thanksgiving and praise being forerunners to legislating on behalf of those you love to see Father’s plan for their life coming into fruition.
  20. Position yourself with a more attitude when it comes to thanksgiving. Reflect on what this means to you in specific ways. Write them down so you will remember.

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About the Author

Brenda

Brenda Craig is a published author, prophetic teacher and Seer whose desire is to know the Lord in all His fullness. Her writings and teachings reflect a deep intimacy with the Lord. As a worshiper, Brenda has received revelation on how to take the simple act of “Soaking in His Presence” to a new level and developed a teaching called Soaking with a Purpose.

2 Responses to “A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise”

  1. Brenda – the Lord has blessed you with a gift of writing and sharing His heart in a way that teaches important and relevant truths for everyday living. Thank you again for sharing simple yet priceless pearls of wisdom which if adhered to will transform lives (my life) for the Glory of God.

  2. little1

    What a blessing to have you with us at Journals. Your words of encouragement mean more than you can ever know. Much blessing to you and your family as we all move from one glory to another and manifest the Kingdom of God in the earth….

    In Him Brenda

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