Give Thanks!

I'm not the most thankful person.

However, I am a follower of Jesus, and one of the lessons I've been learning this semester is that praise, thanksgiving, and gratitude are closely intertwined. Worship should involve the public proclamation of who God is and what He has done — including specific, personal declarations of thanksgiving for God's grace and good gifts.

If, like me, you have a hard time cultivating this worshipful practice of gratitude, then allow me to suggest the following prayers from the Book of Common Prayer to help get us started.

The first one is the simplest: a prayer for Grace at Meals. Perhaps this is an easily-overlooked truth, but we can ask God for grateful hearts! That is, instead of merely asking him for things…for which we will hopefully then be grateful… we can ask him for help in becoming grateful people.

"Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all Your mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

If you have time for more than just the 25-word prayer above, consider using the following prayers as a springboard for a time of gathering together as a family to give thanks to God. The General Thanksgiving is said by Anglicans during daily prayer throughout the year. Consider praying through this together as a family or group of friends.

The General Thanksgiving:

"Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen."

Finally, this Litany of Thanksgiving is a bit longer, but consider pausing after each segment to think on all the good gifts God gives to us in each area of life. If you, like me, have a hard time thinking of things to be thankful for, allow this time of prayer to jog your memory.

A Litany of Thanksgiving:

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.

We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,

We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,

We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,

We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,

We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,

We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,

We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,

We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;


To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

What are you thankful for?

~Josh

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