“It is good to praise the Lord, and make music to your name, O Most High. . .” Psalm 92:1
“I say grace. I’m a big believer in grace. I happen to believe in a God that made all the food and so I’m pretty grateful for that and I thank him for that. But I’m also thankful for the people that put the food on the table.” Alton Brown, Cooking Network Chef and Author
- Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying with a friend regularly will truly change your life!
- It’s time to meet with your precious Savior! He is the Light of the world, the Lamb of God, and loves you more than you could ever comprehend!
- Settle in to spend time with your Lord. Sing “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” as a prayer to gain an attitude of thanksgiving. Then read David’s song of thanks in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. Write the action verbs in your journal and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can take them to heart.
- Then, read Psalm 92:1. Write this beautiful verse in your journal.
It Is Good to Give Thanks to the Lord
Thanksgiving Day is upon us! This might be the only holiday that has not been totally commercialized. I was thrilled to see that departments stores in our local mall decided to be closed on Thanksgiving and then to see that the whole mall followed suit—We can have a day set apart to give thanks to the Lord as a country.
The Psalmist says it is good to give thanks to the Lord. Why is it good? According to sacred and secular studies, there are many benefits to giving thanks. Here are a few:
1. The Lord commands us to give thanks for our own well-being. Gratitude helps us focus on our blessings. We see the glass as half full, not half empty. Food tastes better when we are thankful for it. Relationships are better when we are thankful for them. These are some of the reasons to teach our children to say “thank you” and be appreciative. It trains them to stop and notice the good gifts of others.
Maybe this is why the Scriptures tell us, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Isn’t it amazing how God’s commands are always for our benefit?
2. Thankfulness curbs our desire for more because it breeds contentment. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am,” says Paul in Philippians 4:11. Personally, I am thankful for our attached garage in the winter because I remember when we had a garage that was not attached. But I was thankful for that garage because before then we didn’t have a garage at all.
When I start to envy the homes of others, I try to give thanks for mine. I have all that I need. And, having traveled to other places in the world, I realize I have exceedingly more than I need.
Studies show that we spend less when we are grateful. I need to stop and give thanks more often while shopping! Seriously, I often pray before going into my favorite stores. I remember all that I have, and I ask the Lord to help me not squander away the resources he has given me.
3.Thankfulness encourages charity. What do you tend to do when you are grateful? You share. The holidays provide a great picture of gratitude and sharing. Thanksgiving is a day set apart to truly be thankful for our blessings and to share those blessings with others. Thanksgiving leads us into the season of giving. Years ago some friends gave me a baby shower for the birth of my second child. I had always thought you only got a shower for your first baby. I was so grateful for this that I started to host showers for women expecting another baby. A friend who attended one of these
said she was reminded that every child is worth celebrating. When we are grateful, we share.
What about when it’s difficult to give thanks? When life is hard? Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. This is what he says about gratitude:
“It is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.”
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- What keeps me from giving thanks? Can I be thankful without feeling thankful? Can I act my way into a new way of thinking?
- Why is it good to give thanks to the Lord? In addition to the reasons listed above, add a few reasons of your own.
Let your children participate in saying grace. Don’t make it a performance for everyone else to watch and admire. Let your child engage in the moment of being grateful and expressing it even if it’s one thing for which they are thankful. My niece once said while praying grace, “Thank you, God, for the mashed potatoes and gravy. Amen.” Encourage your children to say thank you routinely. Be a good model by saying thank you to them and to other members of the family. Saying thank you indicates you noticed something. Manners are simply a way of loving one another as God would have us love.
Thanksgiving Day Games:
- Set the timer for five minutes and encourage your children to name as many things as they can for which they are grateful. Get creative. Thank God for all the dirty dishes—they show you have food to eat. Thank God for dirty laundry—it means you have clothes to wear. Thank your guests for coming. Express how you are thankful to God for them.
- Make a squash family. Glue eyes and mouths from a craft store onto a variety of winter squash. Let your children find ones that represent the different members of your family. They can add hair and color. When finished, your family can say something they are thankful for about each family member.
- Make inexpensive decorations for your table using objects from nature. Tree twigs, pine cones, squash, pumpkins, Indian corn, and colorful leaves can all be used to make a stunning centerpiece. Layer a glass jar with dried corn, peas, and lentils and set a candle inside. Invert wine glasses over small pumpkins and set candles on top of the bases of the glasses. This is a great reminder of God’s creativity and love.
- Let your children make place cards for each person at the table. A glue gun and some candy corn makes for great fun! Write a short verse about thankfulness on each card for your family and guests to read before grace.
Mostly, be thankful yourself. Long after the leftovers are put away and the football game is over, the sweet fragrance of a thankful heart and home will linger in the hearts of your loved ones.