They walk together into prayer, hand in hand, or at least they ought to: gratitude and something else, the living partner important not to leave behind.
I see it in all the last post‘s Psalm references. Do you see it? (Ps 75:1; 92:1; 100:4; 105:1-3; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; and 136:1-3)
I see it William Law‘s recommendation for morning prayers: “When you begin… use… expressions of the attributes of God [that] make you most sensible of [His] greatness and power.”
I see it in the name for tradition’s early morning time of prayer: “Lauds.”
And yesterday, thinking about all this, I saw it again, blog-hopping—in this quote from C.S. Lewis:
Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun…
[Of course, I had to look up “coruscations.” I think “glittering flashes” expresses Lewis’s intended picture. He goes on…]
…If I could always be what I aim at being, no pleasure would be too ordinary or too usual for such reception; from the first taste of the air when I look out of the window… down to one’s soft slippers at bedtime (pp.89-90).
and from the blogger who quoted him in Crumbs from His Table:
“Gratitude is good, commanded, right. This idea of turning all into adoration of the good God who creates and sustains it, though,…this captures my imagination and challenges me to keep growing.” [Read more of the good thoughts she expresses here.]
Thanksgiving walks with praise, gratitude with adoration, through the door to rich communion with God in prayer.
So how do we cultivate this?
Law gives one helpful instruction above—and also lists expressions of who God is that evidently helped open up his adoration when he prefaced prayer with them, such as…
Savior of the world,
God of God
Light of light,
Thou that hast destroyed the power of the devil,
O Lord God most holy,
O Lord God most mighty,
O holy and merciful Savior,
Fountain of Mercy,
Thou Who was scourged at a pillar…
Thou Who didst cleanse the lepers [or, fill in the blank with any appropriate example from scripture]…
and the like. Thus Law invites us to “…meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God’s goodness, as if you had seen it… new created on your account: and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator.”
I keep a little heart-shaped basket filled with such names of God and scriptures telling of His love and holiness and power and other attributes, to draw out one after one at times, like when my heart is distracted or dull toward God.
What a way to begin each morning! Reveling in all He is, drawing near, giving thanks and adoration. What better way to set the pace for any day?