An Antidote to the Noise: Thanksgiving

I've written a good bit on the noise that's cluttered my mind over the last few weeks. The news, the false news, the social media feeds, and the innumerable op-eds have wormed their way into my inner ear and have disrupted my sense of balance. Thanks a lot, American Politics.

In the last week, though, I've tried a new practice to quiet the mind--prayers of thanksgiving. I've found that when I practice gratitude and thanksgiving in prayer, gratefulness crowds out any lingering worry, fear, or distraction. And though I suppose that makes some sort of intuitive sense, before I began the intentional practice of prayerful gratitude, I never understood this truth.

Maybe I'm a bit slow on the uptake.

Over the last week, as I've pushed into the practice of thanksgiving, I've created a five-day reading plan--"The Practice of Prayer: Thanksgiving." (As a caveat, this plan is not all about pilgrims and cornucopias.) The plan was inspired by the writings of George Buttrick, as excerpted in Renovaré's book, Devotional Classics. I'd like to invite you to join me and others in this community of readers as we explore the daily practice of thankfulness in prayer. Maybe you'll find it helps quiet your mind.

Come along?

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Thanks like Jesus

“The process of spiritual formation in Christ is one of progressively replacing… destructive images and ideas with the images and the ideas that filled the mind of Jesus himself… Spiritual formatting in Christ moves toward a total interchange of our ideas and images for his.”  ~Dallas Willard (as quoted by James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God)

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant…”  Matt. 26:27

When Jesus raised the cup and declared it his blood, he knew how it would end.  Nails and spears. Thorns and gall.  Mockery and a set of dice.  He was listening to the executioner’s song that night.

And he gave thanks for the cup.

When he chose the twelve, he knew he was choosing them for death.  So when he raised his glass and the disciples smiled “cheers,”...

***Continue reading at Deeper Story.