Rick Hamlin explains how expressing gratitude can lift us out of despair.
Hi, it's Rick Hamlin, "10 Prayers You Can't Live Without."
This is the ninth prayer, "Thank you, God." Thank you, God. At our house, at Thanksgiving, we always go around the table and everybody says one thing they're thankful for. Whether they're two years old or 90 years old, everybody's always been able to find one thing they're thankful for. Their soccer team, their health, their family. Well, that's because thankfulness is something that takes you back to a good part of yourself, but also back to God, and all the good things God has given you.
For me, the time I really, really needed it was when I recovering from open heart surgery. I came home and, you know, I was feeling rotten. I was in a real down, dark place. But people had remembered me. They prayed for me. They had given me cards. They'd given me presents, books, chocolates. I love chocolate. And what transformed it-- my mother always said, write thank you notes to the people who have given you nice things.
So I started writing thank you notes. And it was, ding, almost immediately, I felt better. I felt connected to the gratitude in myself, but also gratitude to the surgeons who had fixed me up. Gratitude to God, who is the big healer. Gratitude from my family. Gratitude to my friends. Gratitude is a good attitude. When you say thank you to yourself, to your friends, to God, you're putting yourself in a great place.
Gratitude is a prayer. No matter whom to what you are connecting to, all the good things that you've got in your life. Thank you, God.