Returning for Thanksgiving Alone

A new concept came to me a few weeks ago. One that I had never really considered before, but one that I actually became quite excited about.

For the last year and a half I served on the committee for our ladies retreat for the district of our church.  I was also asked to lead the music for the weekend, which included four services.

I did not take either of these responsibilities lightly, but instead spent much time in prayer and fasting leading up to the event.  I wanted to be sure my heart was surrendered, having given God the weekend to do His thing.

To say He showed up beyond what I could have dreamed is an understatement.  What an awesome experience to be a part of that weekend and watch Him work.

And then the challenge to my heart came.

So often in the past I have prayed with focused intent.  After the prayed for moment had passed or an answer came, a prayer or two of thanks would be offered and then it seemed I was on to the next thing.

This time was different.  I was challenged that if I had spent so much time and focused effort pleading and beseeching God to show up, why would I not also spend focused time in gratitude thanking Him for the way He answered?

And so I did.  I carved out a block of time to get alone by myself. 

During that time I was reminded of the leper who came back to thank Jesus.

Luke 17:15-16 (NIV) "One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him..."

After considering this leper, I realized how often I am like the other nine that continue on.

How much more I need to be like this one.  The one who took the time to come back.  The one who recognized the full impact of what had truly happened and who deserved the credit.  The praise. The glory.

And so... I took the time to come back to the many thoughts and moments that had surrounded this one weekend for the past year and a half.  To ponder all that happened.  And then to rejoice, praise, and give thanks for the way God revealed Himself.

I recognized the outcome was nothing of myself and I couldn't move forward without pausing, throwing myself at His feet and giving full recognition to Him for what HE alone had done.

Looking back, this intentional time I spent in returning for thanksgiving alone was the best way I have spent a morning in quite some time. 

After something prayed for has passed or been resolved, have you considered intentionally returning for thanksgiving alone?


  1. So often, I've prayed for one of my children that I maybe hadn't heard from in a while and then I'd get a call or visit and it wouldn't be until later that I'd realize that was the answer to my prayer and petition to God. I am trying to become more aware and more thankful!

    That was powerful and much needed!

  2. This is so true Donnetta. There are times I not only don't spend enough time quietly giving thanks and focusing on Him - I forget for a little while to even give thanks at all. And then I feel so ashamed of myself.
    Thank you for this. It is an inspiration.

  3. Amen! Sometimes it seems like the thanks is more important than the initial prayers, but that is just my little perspective.

  4. Such an excellent post, Donnetta. I've thought about this a lot this week.

  5. This touched me, especially at this time of Thanksgiving, because I too am more like the nine. I desire to be like the one who returned. Thank you for the thoughtful reminder, Donnetta.

  6. What a wonderfuk post- and revelation on your part! In studying that passage a few months ago it was brought to my attention that after the one leper returned, Jesus said, "Your faith has made you well". But wait---wasn't he already healed? Maybe there's a different type of healing that the others didn't get because they didn't get the gratefulness part. Beautiful how Jesus simply touches, heals, AND makes well in other ways...

    xoxo Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

  7. Excellent post, Donnetta.


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