Thanksgiving: My Kingdom or His Kingdom?

Let my whole life
be an expression of thankfulness
unto thee for thy grace and mercy.
And therefore, O Lord,
I do here from the the very bottom of my heart,
together with the thousand thousands of angels…
acknowledge to be due unto thee…
all praise, honour, glory, and power,
from this time forth and forevermore.
Amen.

The Reverend Lewis Bayly, a Puritan minister in London, wrote these words around c.1611 as an expression of thanksgiving following an illness. This prayer gives us insight on how to truly live out a life of thanksgiving. Notice that there is very little of Pastor Bayly in this prayer. His thankfulness is aimed to the heavens and with the very angels that surround the throne of God, he is thankful for grace and mercy. 

And what does Pastor Bayly do with his thankfulness? He does not turn it towards self. There is a very important 21st-century-American lesson from this 17th-century-British pastor:  So much of our “thankfulness” is really covetousness and thankfulness for the building of OUR kingdoms! So many of our prayers of thanksgiving look like this:

I am thankful for my….
I am thankful for my…
I am thankful for my…
I am thankful for my…

Pastor Bayly reminds us that genuine thankfulness is directed towards another king and another kingdom: “unto Thee, all praise, honour, glory and power.” May we learn this lesson. May all of OURS be turned towards HIM so that His kingdom may  be built and so that He may rule in our hearts and lives.

Your thanksgiving needs to be for the building of His kingdom, not yours. May your feasting and your thankfulness be filled with Christ and His kingdom, to whom be praise, honor, glory, and power.

Let my whole life 
be an expression of thankfulness 
unto thee for thy grace and mercy. 
And therefore, O Lord, 
I do here from the the very bottom of my heart, 
together with the thousand thousands of angels… 
acknowledge to be due unto thee… 
all praise, honour, glory, and power, 
from this time forth and forevermore. 
Amen.

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