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?

Prayer:
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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