"Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving." (Psalm 107: 22)
This is a psalm of Praise. Thanksgiving is like offering a sacrifice to God. We often fail in thanksgiving because we are not God-conscious. We depend upon our self-effort and we also pray. When we get what we pray for we congratulate ourselves. This is not the way of faith. By our efforts we cannot get salvation or any merit. But only when we obey His Word, which we can do only with the help of God. No man can obey the Word of God as God wants him to without God's help. God's standards are so high that we by ourselves cannot please Him. There is nothing in us that can merit God's mercy. Man is sinful from head to foot.
"Lord I bring this offering to you", says man. But with what hands and what heart does he bring it? With hands full of blood and a heart desperately wicked he comes. Romans 3:10-15.
Such men we are. We may bring into an operation theater a beautiful cloth. But will the doctor accept it to dress the wound? Doctors are very careful not to accept anything that is not sterilized. You may say the cloth was washed. But he will tell you that neither you nor your cloth are clean enough for the operation theater. So are we with God. Our best righteousness is as filthy rags. That is God's estimate of our best righteousness. Unless a man accepts that, he can never obtain mercy. He must accept that his best actions are ill-motivated. He needs to be cleansed at the foot of the Cross. There he sees how much Jesus suffered to cleanse him from his sin and sinfulness. Saul of Tarsus who was blameless according to the law had to be cleansed at the foot of the Cross.
At the foot of the Cross is cleansing. Man has to be grateful to God for the great sacrifice Jesus made for his sinfulness. Do we start our prayer with this sacrifice of praise? Do we start out the day with this sacrifice? Many Christians start their day with Holy Communion. But is there real gratitude? Where there is grateful praise, heaven will come down.