Has it ever seemed to you that as human beings we veer between “in everything give thanks” and in everything whine? Do you know some people who are whiners? Nothing goes right for them. Even when they are sharing good news, a little whining slips in. There are others who pay lip service to being thankful. They say all the right words but you catch the tendency to complain lurking just below the surface. Yet, in the Bible you are enjoined to give thanks in all circumstances, including the inexplicably difficult ones. What difference would in make to those situations if you started with the Thanksgiving prayer?
The difference of the thanksgiving prayer
What difference would it make? Well, for starters starting with a thanksgiving prayer will shift your perspective. You will focus on and remember God.
- Remember who God is.
- Remember all that God has done in the past in general, and for you specifically.
- Remember that God’s resources are infinite.
- Remember that there are times when God is teaching you in the moment, if you would be a good student.
Sometimes you can easily change your circumstances. There are other times when you cannot do so. What makes the difference in both types of situations is your attitude and your focus. A thankful attitude that focuses on God in a thanksgiving prayer will make it impossible for you to whine. As you remember as stated above,
- You will have a more positive outlook.
- You will gain invaluable life lessons to aid you and others on your journey.
- With your mind cleared of complaining you’ll be better able to discern the way forward.
- You will move forward with clarity and peace as you rest in who God is and what God has.
In the United States, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Families and friends will gather on Thanksgiving Day. Some will lose precious time thinking about what is missing and what isn’t done right in their eyes; time that could have been spent enjoying each other. They will be looking for things to complain about. Others will be preoccupied with being perfect—the perfect host, the perfect cook, the perfect guest, etc. Some will never enter the space and stay connected to their devices, a poor substitute for the richness of the gathered company. Any of these would rob you of the joy and peace of thankfulness.
When you gather on Thanksgiving, and each day of your life, why not start with a thanksgiving prayer? Why not start with a thanksgiving prayer that focuses on God and helps you live more abundantly and freely?
Pray a thanksgiving prayer
While there are many thanksgiving prayers, I offer you this one. Let’s pray it together:
Eternal God, who was, who is and who is to come,
We thank you for your faithfulness throughout the ages.
We thank you for the hope we have in you,
through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Dear God, you have given us much—
Family, friends, places to meet others, places to worship you,
Food and clothing, and so much more.
Yes, there are things that we do not have,
Sometimes things that we wish we had.
Many of us have enough and to spare and share.
Forgive us our whining.
In our times of need, may we look to You,
Our Source, and present our needs
With Thanksgiving, for you are,
and always will be—Eternal God.
Thank you, God. Amen.
I pray that your Thanksgiving is filled with joy and peace and that your life itself is a thanksgiving prayer. May you: