In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV). Even when we are asking God for something we are supposed to approach Him in an attitude of gratitude. We should be thankful for the blessings we already enjoy, of course. But we should also be thankful for the granting of whatever request we have just made. The reason is simple; we’re supposed to believe that it’s already happened!
We are told “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,”(Mark 11:24 KJV). In the NIV, it is said as, “…believe that you have received it…”. The point here is that we are supposed to think, speak and act as if the thing is already ours. When we are given something, what do we do? We show gratitude. We say “Thank you.”
How can we be thankful for something we don’t have yet? Well first of all, that’s the wrong question. If you are still thinking in terms of “yet”, your objective will always remain in the future. Shift your mind out of the future and into the now. This is the point where some of you say, “Easier said than done!” If you aren’t used to thinking this way, it can indeed take a bit of doing. At first it feels wrong, like a lie if not down right presumptuous and disrespectful to God. But remember, He is the one who gave us the instruction to think this way! We are following His commands! So, how do you get over that initial discomfort and line up your mind to think of your request as already granted, especially when you aren’t holding it in your hands and honestly don’t see how in the world you ever will?
Imagine a wealthy relative calls and says he has set up a trust fund for you that you’ll have access to when you turn 18 in order to help you through college. You know the money is there, and just because you haven’t reached the point where it’s actually in your hand is no reason not to show gratitude for the gift. It’s exactly the same situation. If we truly want a thing, truly desire and expect it, we have the assurance that it WILL manifest when the time is right. We just don’t have the luxury of knowing exactly what the date of maturity is on it. We do however have the assurance of knowing that it will come at exactly the right time. Don’t worry about the “how” or the “when”. Those are in God’s hands, and He has promised to take care of that part. Our job is know exactly, clearly, specifically what we want, be excited and grateful for it, and act as if we expect it at any moment.