A Devotional Prayer About True Thankfulness
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, tuned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell at Jesus’ feet giving him thanks—Luke 17:15,16 (ESV)
It’s a classic Bible story we’ve heard or read many times. It’s used a lot because it easily lends itself to a thankfulness theme. You already know it well because you were there. On your way to Jerusalem, you met ten lepers as you entered the city gates. Right away they recognized you and began calling out to you for mercy. As you always did and do, you did not ignore their need but immediately declared them healed. You did not worry about their beliefs. You did not question them or ask how they had heard about you. You did not pause to consider if you would use your power for the likes of them, but immediately declared them well. And they did not stand still wondering when it would show but started out on their journey to the priest—for it was not until they started that their healing was manifested outwardly. Even with no faith they showed trust in your word.
Jesus, we rejoice with them and are happy with their happiness, but it is the tenth leper that makes us pause. The tenth leper that makes us our heart humble. The tenth leper that makes us shout. The moment he recognized the change in his skin, saw the scales had fallen away, the open sores closed, the odor gone, returned to you. In the instant of his healing, he chose another path. He did not miss an opportunity to thank you personally, to touch you. Once he was at a distance but now, he was welcomed. He did not let his past, his ethnicity, nor religious beliefs get in his way or stop him from falling at your feet.
Lord, may we be more than moved, amused, or entertained by this man’s attitude of gratitude and may it inspire us beyond Thanksgiving Day. Let your Holy Spirit fill us and lead us. As you work mightily in our lives let our thankful heart become a worshipful heart.
By your blood you turn sinners into saints, and by your Spirit silence is turned into praise and cold hearts are set on fire. May we praise and give thanks for the wondrous things you have done and continue to do. Let the leper’s attitude of gratitude become ours also. Amen