Being Watchful And Thankful

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (NIV)

Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)

People sometimes tell me that they admire how I have handled the challenges in my life. They could see that being a single parent was not easy, especially given that both my daughter and I had serious chronic illnesses to manage. There were also difficulties at work due to my condition, and at school because of my daughter's learning disability.

Well, the truth of the matter is that my way of handling most of the challenges was to pray. I was able to persevere and overcome them only because I prayed without ceasing. I didn't handle the problems on my own. God was my refuge and strength.

Sometimes, we forget to pray. We might think that our problems are too small or that God doesn't really see us or want to come to our aid. But I can tell you that He most definitely does. One time, while I was coping with work pressures and illness in my extended family, my kitchen was invaded by rats. The exterminator finally caught them, but by then, the cupboards were like a hazardous waste site. I couldn't bear to clean up the horrible mess myself. I called a cleaning service, but once they saw the extent of the detritus, they refused to touch it. I didn't know what to do. I was at my wit's end and emotionally exhausted.

Well, you know what happened next? A church friend that I hadn't been in touch with for awhile phoned me out of the blue and asked what was going on with me. I told her my tale of woe and how I was at the end of my rope. In response, she offered to clean up the mess for me. She assured me that she could deal with the problem because she grew up in India and this task was nothing for her. I just had to get her some bleach, a pair of rubber gloves, and a face mask. When I protested that I couldn't possibly ask her to do that, she insisted, "God told me to call you." Can you imagine that? In my distress, God sent me someone to rescue me who knew His voice and was obedient. I was astounded and so grateful!

How often does that happen and we don't recognize that it is God at work? The right person comes along, and we think that it is "just by chance" that they crossed our path. Many, many times I have been aware of God's provision with my finances. How else could I have the financial security that I have now? A friend asked me the other day whether I had help buying my house. I replied that I hadn't — but I should have given God the glory. His was the only help that I needed.

It is important that we pray in times of trouble. But it is also important that we keep our eyes and ears open to see what God has done in response. A friend finds a job, a surgery goes well, or we find the money to pay for something that we need. God cares for us, and He moves in so many different ways and in all manner of situations to help us. There is nothing that He cannot do. God hears us when we pray. For our part, we need to be watchful and thankful for how He answers and moves in mysterious ways.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for Your loving care and for how You watch over us. Thank You for how You answer when we cry out to You in times of trouble. Help us to see You at work so that by our testimony, we can give You the glory, honour, and praise. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Thanks for the encouraging word Helen.


    Helen – what a great reminder. Thank you so much!!


    Thank you, Helen for a wonderful devotional. It is a wonderful reminder to be persistent in prayer.


    Excellent!
    (Texas)


    Thank you for putting these thoughts and experiences in your devotional. God does not ever leave one.


    Thanks, Helen, for sharing your inspiring story.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Helen, for sharing this uplifting testimony in this devotional. All I can say is, Amen and Amen. Blessings


    Good morning Helen,
    Thank you for your inspirational story “Being Watchful And Thankful”.


    Your devotional is a wonderful testimony to the effect of prayer and God’s presence in a life. With Him anything is possible.
    Blessings.


    Hello Helen. Thanks for today’s devotional. It really spoke to me. I have been praying for help for a couple of things. In the past I have noticed God sending people or events to help me.


    Good Morning, Helen: “WOW” what a Saviour!!! Your devotional was so anointed and spoke so clearly to my heart. “Thank You”, dear heart, for putting pen to paper and writing your story. I know God will use it to remind us again that He is in absolute control of our lives. God Bless You and trust all your days will be filled to overflowing with His Love and Presence.
    (N.B.)


    Thank you for today’s devotion. I sometimes forget to look for God’s answers when they could be easily overlooked or staring me in the face. I know we need to pray every day and God will answer on His time but I also need to remember that He will answer on His time.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Helen. You could have been a part of our ‘after church’ discussion last Sunday. Your topic is precisely the topic we all wanted to speak to when our group of friends gathered at Tim Horton’s after church to enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat.
    To our Father in Heaven we give thanks for you and your testimony.
    Blessings.
    Good morning Helen,
    Thank you for your inspirational story “Being Watchful And Thankful”.


    Greetings,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. So rewarding to hear how the Lord was there to help you through the problem you had with rats and how He continues to be with you and your daughter. The Lord is so good watching over us and we need always to be so thankful for His daily love and care.
    The Lord’s richest blessings upon you,
    (B.C.)


    Dear Helen,
    Thank you for sharing how God has helped you so wonderfully in many ways, as well as with getting rid of the rats. I have never had a rat invade my house, but I had mice two years ago and am glad I’ve had no more since. I had help going around the outside and the inside of my house concerned for every possible crevice.

    You are an example to many. I pray that you will continue to live in love with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, trusting and praying and knowing that all of your sins have been washed away, and you are free to continue to share with His people.
    Amen.
    Write again.


    Isn’t it ‘funny’ how prayer is the one thing that we will allow to be interrupted? We are distracted by all kinds of little things and we can find any number of excuses to dodge spending an hour in steadfast prayer. I lament this lack of dedication to our Heavenly Father and to His Kingdom, EVEN THOUGH I FEEL AS IF ITS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE!! Clearly, I have not given my Lord, His Kingdom, and my time, all that I thought I had given Him. It’s time to review my commitment to Him, and make my whole life over to Him, with my WHOLE heart, and not just the bits of time and thought and energy that I haven’t filled with other things. Thank you for this lovely reminder of the wonderful foundation of our lives – the loving Presence of our Lord, and His great desire to hear from us every day, all day long. Blessings on your day.


    True indeed – thank you for sharing


    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it so that others will find peace by knowing that God is in control and listens to our prayers. God bless.


    Hi Helen,
    You are so right, there have been many times in our lives that we wondered why certain things happen and later we see that it was God’s guidance. Thank you for these good words.


    I agree wholeheartedly Helen. I have experienced similar rescues in times of trouble. I don’t know how people manage without God in their lives.
    Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you with strength. May He also give you words to share through your devotionals.


    Dear Helen:
    Oh, thank you so much for writing this beautiful devotion!! I just love it when I hear these wonderful stories of how our great God works to help us through other people. I know our Lord will keep providing for you and your daughter always. Prayer is SO powerful.
    Thanks again.


    So very true! All you have said in His provision for us as His children can be echoed by me over and over again. Several years ago, in answer to a prayer for leading in my professional life He promised me he would supply all of my needs.. ALL! according to His riches in Christ Jesus, and He has never failed over all of the ensuing years to do that and far more than I could imagine.
    Thanks for this reminder to praise Him for His wonderful faithfulness.


    Helen,
    Thank you for your devotional called “Being Watchful and Thankful”. It encouraged my heart today as I’m seeking God for some answers in some heavy burdens I carry. God uses me in great ways in ministry which I’m really grateful for and He’s still opening new doors for me to serve Him and his people. God is faithful and I continue to walk in trust day after day. And it’s good to read or hear things along the way that encourage and strengthen us in battle.
    So, thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the good work.
    Much blessings,
    (BC Canada)


    Outstanding Helen. We need faith like you have it. I will pray for you as well. Hang in, don’t give up.