I've mentioned it before that every day, 365 days a year, the Chaplain at the Ranch, Rev. Rick Jones, sends a devotion and prayer by email to all Ranch staff. It is always the first thing in my mailbox every morning. The devotionals are always insightful and the prayers often make me catch my breath.
I pray all the time. Sometimes my prayers look and sound like traditional prayers—memorized messages sent up to God in hopes He knows what I should be praying for. Sometimes they are much more of a conversation. I tell Him all the things He already knows and then pray to accept His will, always straining against telling Him what really should happen. Just in case He needs my direction...
I also say a lot of "thank you's." I am blessed to come from a good family and I have my own messy, wonderful brood. I am blessed to do work that I feel is my calling from Him. I get to laugh often and much. I am seldom hungry, or sick, or physically frightened. So many things to be grateful for. I don't always know if there is any way to say "thank you" enough.
In November, Chaplain Rick shared a prayer of gratitude that I have kept to intersperse into my visits with God. I think it is beautiful and gives me yet one more way to express the depth of my thanks while holding me accountable for my contributions in this world. I am sharing it here. I like to say it out loud, so I heart it as I say it. It sticks to me that way.
"Lord God, let me never forget all that you do for me on a daily basis. Sustain me with the hope of my salvation and the other countless blessings you provide with your continuous presence in my life. Lead me to live my life in testimony to your incredible blessings, that your love may be known and experienced by all those I serve, in Jesus' name. Amen."
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch