There is a legend about two angels who were sent to earth to gather up the prayers of all people. One was to fill his basket with the prayers that are petitions for special desires and the other was to gather their prayers of thanksgiving. When they returned, one had a basket heaped high, and running over, with the innumerable requests from the people. The other returned with a sad and heavy heart, for his basket was almost empty. Many there are who ask for what they want from God, few there are that stop to give thanks for all that God has already given them. This story reminds me of the 10 lepers. All prayed to be healed, but only one came back to Jesus to say “Thank You.”

Psalm 50 informs us of God’s attitude towards worshippers with unthankful hearts. The Psalmist says that all our service or all our sacrifices mean nothing when our hearts are ungrateful and unthankful. God tells his people that He “…will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.” God goes on to say that if He were hungry, He says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.” Verse 14 then says, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…”

Robert Louis Stevenson said that we should keep both eyes wide open to all God’s blessings, “The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.” Someone else said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” And another said, “It is better to say “thank you,” and not mean it, than to mean it and not say it.”

James Steward of Hull, England, is described as a “professional” beggar. Steward has “thank you” tattooed on the palm of his right hand! Not a bad idea for all of us who receive so much from God!

“As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.” (Psalm 48:10)