In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. And most of us in America celebrate with an abundance of food, family, friends, football, parades, and more.
But what if we paused and thought about this quote:
“Thanksgiving is not a day; it’s a lifestyle.”
Some days, thankfulness comes easily and other days it does not. There are many stories in the Bible of thankfulness, and Paul encourages the church to give thanks in all circumstances. How can we truly develop that level of thankfulness in our daily lives?
We can start expanding our thankfulness by spending time with God each day. Open your Bible and read aloud one of the stories of thankfulness or a favorite passage. Turn on a praise song or hymn and sing along. Pause and look around you. Thank God for His presence in all things…even when you cannot see it.
When we can’t think of anything to be thankful for, we can be thankful for Jesus – for the forgiveness of sins, for a relationship with God, and for the promise of eternal life.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! — Psalm 107:1
1. Pray for Indigenous ministry. Torre Fuerte in eastern Bolivia will be hosting the annual conference for indigenous women. This retreat has been a great space for women from all over eastern/northern Bolivia to come and learn about the Lord and fellowship together. This years’ theme will be ‘God Makes a Difference in Me.’ Please pray for God’s provision of funding, for the women in attendance, for logistics to be worked out for travel and for good weather during the weekend.
2. Pray for Angel Ballew. Angel is playing volleyball with a local club for adult women in the city of Barranquilla. Pray that this club will bless Angel with friendships and that the Lord will use Angel in the lives of these women.
3. Pray for Latidos de Esperanza. Latidos de Esperanza is a pregnancy center in Pucallpa. Pray for wisdom and creativity to move forward with the ministry after the pandemic. Praise that two volunteers were able to host a workshop for teen girls recently, and two teenage moms are being discipled.
4. Pray for SAM Board Meetings. SAM’s Board of Directors will meet November 11-13. Pray for the Lord’s wisdom, guidance and unity as they prayerfully discern God’s vision and direction for the mission.
5. Pray for Wes and Trudy Seng. The Sengs retired from SAM after more than 50 years of ministry in Brazil. Praise God for His faithfulness to Wes and Trudy and for His fruit in their lives and ministry. They will continue to live and minister to the indigenous church in Iranduba, Brazil.
6. Pray for Dana Wilson. Praise God for the marriage of SAM missionary Dana Wilson to Víctor Hugo Pinto. Pray that their marriage will bring glory to God as they love one another and those around them.
7. Pray for Pastor Jorge and Kristina. Jorge and Kristina minister in the Los Quindos neighborhood in Armenia. Pray that God gives them wisdom as they start programs back up after quarantine restrictions. Pray that the Lord would provide funding for Manos de Esperanza, the church foundation that serves the community.
8. Pray for “pup tent outreach” in Lima. Traveling from jungle and mountain provinces and unable to enter the hospital because of Covid restrictions, families are living in tents on the sidewalks while their children are hospitalized or awaiting treatment. Iglesia Biblica Gracia y Verdad is ministering to these families. Pray for the church as they offer food, prayer, and the hope that is found in the gospel.
9. Pray for Hope Church in Gaira. The church opened up for regular services and youth group meetings in June. With a new leadership group, the church is committed to Bible study, prayer, and community outreach. Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance for the new leaders and youth as they serve the church and reach their community.
10. Pray for missionaries far from home on Thanksgiving. Living cross-culturally can be hard during the holidays. Pray for peace and encouragement for our missionaries as they celebrate Thanksgiving far from their home culture and family.
11. Pray for appointee families to Bolivia. The Millers, the Ryans, and the Smiths are preparing to serve in Bolivia. Pray that God will provide the needed financial and prayer support through their churches, family, and friends. Pray that God gives an abundance of faith, patience, and joy during this time.
12. Pray for SAM Center. Praise God that the documents for purchase of the SAM Center have been finalized. Located in Igarassu, SAM Center will focus on training intensives and special events for gospel-centered outreach in the northeastern region of Brazil, as well as soul care through retreats and counseling services.