Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6).
The cute little girl ran up to her granddad with open arms. The granddad leaned down and welcomed his grandchild into his arms for a great big “bear hug”. Nestled in her granddad’s arms the little girl leaned into her granddad’s ear and whispered, “Granddad, I love it when you hug me. Do you think Grandmother has any ice cream in her freezer?” Guess who got ice cream that day?
God cannot be manipulated by insincere compliments (He knows exactly what is in each heart) but He is almost always moved by genuine gratitude and positive praise. That is why when Paul told the Philippians to “be not anxious about anything but pray about everything” he told them to add Thanksgiving (gratitude in the Greek) into the “grant me these needs” requests. Gratitude is an attitude of appreciation for God’s amazing Grace, astonishing Love, and constant care. It is not disingenuous platitudes or pious pronouncements (“O great God who exists somewhere up there”). It is a child saying, “Our Father which art in Heaven” from a heart grateful for a Father’s love and with a firm belief that their heavenly Father always wants the best for them.
Gratitude is simply a way to “hug God’s neck” and express your love for Him. And it often results in “ice cream!”