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I didn’t expect jail to be a place where thankfulness was commonplace.  You wouldn’t think women in that difficult environment, facing difficult circumstances, working through the guilt, shame and regret from bad decisions would have hearts that overflow with gratitude and thankfulness… but many of them do.  I have learned so much from them, and I am grateful for how they minister to my heart.

Here are some excerpts from prayer requests from the last couple weeks.  And in case you are wondering, I did not prompt the women by asking them to write what they are thankful for or even bring up Thanksgiving.  These are just sincere prayers of gratitude from thankful hearts.  I pray they bless you as you read them.

“You have opened up my eyes to so many truths.  You have given me everything beautiful about myself, and I am so thankful that You met me at my brokenness.  Tonight, Father, I ask you to strengthen my mind.  I want to think Your thoughts and see through Your eyes and live the way that You do.  I cannot imagine having the ability to be as loving and forgiving as You are, but Lord I ask You to give me the overwhelming desire to be just like You.”

“Thank You for filling me with Your peace!  Thank You for helping me forgive.  Thank You God for these teachings.  Thank You for loving us and always sharing Yourself.”

“Lord, thank You for another day, regardless of where I wake up.  Thank You for the miracle of today.”

“Praise God for this good Bible study”

“God is good all the time!  Thank the Lord for all His blessing and all His help in my life.”

“God never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself (Romans 7:15-25).  I give thanks to God who saved me.  He saved me through Christ Jesus.  Now I am blessed to sit and bloom where I am planted.  I’m blessed to be here in my ‘pit’ and see his love and grace being poured into the hearts of these women.  Women who, like me, had given up on themselves.  It is such an encouragement to see that He loves us, even in our brokenness.  more grateful I could not be.  He loves me enough to redirect my path.  Along the way He placed read women with real hurt, who are being transformed and refined with His love.  God is so good!”

 I think of Paul and Silas, singing and praying to God from the Philippian jail (Acts 16).

May we all have hearts overflowing with gratitude to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all He has done for us, and may others be drawn to Him through our thankfulness to our Lord and Savior.