A Weekly Column
Joseph Walker


A good friend of mine, a minister in his church, told me recently how to make my prayers more meaningful.

ďIf you feel like your prayers arenít going anywhere,Ē he said, ďtry being thankful.Instead of giving God a laundry list of things you need Him to do for you, go to Him on your knees and thank Him for what Heís already given you.

ďLet that be your entire prayer,Ē my friend said.ďDonít slip in any, ĎOh, and by the ways . . .íDonít ask for anything.And donít rely on generalities.Be specifically thankful for things that have meaning to you right now at this point in time in your life.Youíll be surprised how much of a difference it will make in your attitude and your relationship with God.Ē

So I tried it, and Iíve got to tell you Ė it worked.Which is why Iím wondering: if an attitude of gratitude can help my prayers, how about my column?

Hey, itís worth a try!

Iím thankful to live in a country where people are free to speak their mind Ė even when what they are advocating is diametrically opposed to everything I believe and value.

Iím thankful for skilled medical professionals who staff hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units.They work long, hard hours, usually with peopleís lives depending on their actions and responses.Which reminds me...

Iím thankful I donít have a job where people die if I make a mistake.

Iím thankful for technology that allows me to communicate with loved ones instantaneously Ė like when weíre hundreds of miles apart and weíre watching the same football game on TV and our teamís quarterback THROWS ANOTHER INTERCEPTION and I need to have someone talk me out of throwing the TV remote at the screen.

Iím thankful that there is room at the megaplex for a gentle love story about vampires Ė and that my wife and daughters donít expect me to go with them to see it.

Iím thankful no one has announced the start of their campaign for the presidency in 2012 Ė yet.Still . . .

Iím thankful for those who are willing to give them time and energy to represent me at City Hall, the Statehouse, in Congress and in the White House.I may not agree with everything they do, but for the most part the system works.

Iím thankful for the wondrous mix of chemicals that make Diet Dr Pepper possible.

Iím thankful for M*A*S*H reruns.

Iím thankful for a talented and dedicated high school teacher who seems to be able to reach my son at a time in his life when my influence is waning.

Iím thankful for laptop computers and wireless internet, both of which simplify my life by doing incredibly complicated things . . . simply.

Iím thankful for oldies radio stations.

Iím thankful that I was able to fill up my little car yesterday for half of what I filled it up for two months ago (I donít really understand why it was up so high then or why it is down so low now Ė but hey, Iím not complaining!At least, not now).

Iím thankful for all of the smart people who are working so hard to try to figure out how to fix our fractured economy (and Iíll be even more thankful if they can figure out how to fix it without pushing the gas prices back up).

Iím thankful to have so much for which to be thankful.

Without even asking.

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ó © Joseph Walker

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Click to find out more or order your copy of these uplifting collections:

ďLook What Love Has Done:  Five-Minute Messages to Lift Your Spirit.Ē

"How Can You Mend a Broken Spleen?  Home Remedies for an Ailing World."