Rev. Dr. Paul T. Reiter

 Every morning I have a ritual in my life that sustains me.  Before anyone else is up I slip into the living room, open my IPad and begin doing Daily Prayer. It opens calling me from the silence of the night with these words: “O Lord, open my lips; and my mouth, shall proclaim your praise.” It is a wonderful rhythm that starts my day with a note of gratitude – gratitude for the rest of the night before, gratitude for my health, gratitude for the wonders of creation, gratitude for all things. Suddenly I am in a place of uttering “thank you.” The office of Daily prayer allows me to recall and pray for places I have never been and people I have never met. And through it all I am given the opportunity to add my own remembrance of others. I turn to another app on my IPad and bring up my prayer list of individuals I want to remember, which is always evolving and changing. Before I know it I am saying “thank you” again for the mystery of every life and the ways that I am touched. When this daily ritual is over I have come to notice that I am positioned with an attitude of gratitude for the entire day.  It has shaped and transformed me to notice all of the things and events and people around me in a new way.

So where did this “thank you” come from? I thank it began as soon as I started to talk, and my parents taught me to say, “Thank you.” What I have discovered over 73 years of living is that relationships grow stronger when you express gratitude. A heartfelt “thank you” makes others feel appreciated. And it reminds me of my dependence upon other people and I have discovered it is not something that I have grown out of leaving childhood. The writer of the letter to the Philippians modeled practicing gratitude best when he said, ”I thank my God every time I remember you.”May you have a gratitude filled day!

Scripture Reading:  “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.” Philippians 1:3-4

Reflection Questions:
Where did you learn to have an attitude of gratitude?
Who are 3 people that you can say “thank you” to today? Someone you know well, or someone you only meet in passing.
How did you feel after expressing your gratitude?

God, thank you for the people in my life. Give them your blessing. Help me say “thank you” for the ways they bless me. Amen.

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