Jewell had some heavy praying to do. So many problems were pressing on her. On the top of her list was her daughter Jenny caught in the web of an eating disorder.
Two friends also had children with serious problems-one had a son in prison, the other had a 16-year-old daughter who was pregnant but not married.
Yes, these needs would keep her on her knees for hours. She sank to her knees. "Dear God," she pleaded, "please deliver Jenny...." she stopped. She felt strangely checked not to petition.
An impression deep within seemed to say, "Give thanks."
"For what?" she wondered. "Jenny is a sick girl. Others have died from eating disorders. Lord, You've got to help."
The urge to express thanks to God lingered. In obedience, Jewell again bowed her head.
"Thank You, God," she said. "You are greater than any eating disorder, and I believe that You will take Jenny safely through this trial."
Her friends' children were her next concern. How should she pray for them? The pain is real, the circumstances grim.
She felt a heavenly nudge to look beyond the circumstances and be thankful. "Thankful for what?" she asked. "How can any good come out of either situation?" She searched her mind for even one reason to say thanks for the daughter's pregnancy or the son's imprisonment.
"Yet, God, at Your will..." She praised God for his watchful care over her friends' children.
That night Jewell didn't ask God for one thing. She only expressed thanks. Jewell said, "Many times since that day, burdens have pressed heavy on me and I have gone to God for help. But before I petition Him, I give thanks. In so doing I change my focus from my problems to God, who is my faithful, all-sufficient Provider."
Keep reminding me, dear Lord, when I am behind on my praises.
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Please pray for Kim McLean and the praise team as they meet later this month for their second song-writers' retreat. Pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire them to write songs our Lord wants to hear His people sing.