Fill this day with grateful thoughts toward God.

“Fill this day with grateful thoughts toward God.” Joni Eareckson Tada


It is not necessary for being with God to be always at church; we may make an oratory of our heart, wherein to retire from time to time, to converse with Him in meekness, humility, and love. Everyone is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less: He knows what we can do. (Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, page 47)

The agony of my physical afflictions can often wear me down. Sometimes, I can barely speak a word of worship, let alone think straight. That is when my praise is reduced to whispering one phrase over and over: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, ruler of heaven and earth.” I breathe those ten words in and out, inhaling and exhaling my offering to God. As Brother Lawrence says, “God knows what I can do – and as my little worship rises to heaven, my generous Savior makes far more of it than its skimpy nature deserves.”



When my worship seems fragile and feeble, when my heart is muddied with misgivings, Jesus does not impatiently tap his foot, fold his arms, look at his watch, and think, ”This girl better get her worship on.” He graciously remembers I am made of nothing but mud.

Psalm 103:13–14 assures me that …as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust. My soul occupies a pain-filled pile of dust, yet when I esteem Christ as worthy, He enlarges my little praise. Even when it’s reduced to ten words, He knows my intentions and that I am made only of earth. I am like Mary, whose tears quietly mingled with her simple act of perfume-scented worship. Jesus looked on her kindly and said, “She did what she could” (Mark 14:8). He graciously does the same for me and you.


Meditate: Do what you can to fill this day with grateful thoughts toward God.

[This post is an excerpt from The Practice of the Presence of Jesus: Daily Meditations on the Nearness of Our Savior (copyright © 2023 by Joni Eareckson Tada, published by Multnomah). Published with permission.]

Yellow Bubbles
Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada

A diving accident left Joni, a quadriplegic, in a wheelchair at seventeen years old. She emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others in similar situations. In 1979, she founded Joni and Friends, a ministry committed to showcasing the gospel to people living with disability. An author of more than 45 books, including her latest—The Practice of the Presence of Jesus—Joni is also a radio host and fine art painter.

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Breath Prayers

Considering its great size and power, an elephant must exercise self-control and restraint to effectively navigate and thrive. Likewise, breath prayers help us navigate and thrive through the elephant-sized gift of our breath (and the One who is with us in every breath).

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