Thanksgiving and Praise!
There are times and circumstances in our lives when rejoicing and giving thanks aren't easy. Have you ever wondered why God says It is "good" to give thanks? Because giving God thanks readjusts our focus! When we praise and thank the Lord, everyday hardships, difficulties, and losses don't feel as heavy. Instead of obsessing over challenges, God and His goodness must become the center of our focus. Just as important, we gain awareness of our dependence upon the Lord and become more appreciative of His continued care and provision.
Friends, gratitude helps release our anxieties. We rarely feel grateful when burdened, but that's when we need to offer the Lord our most heartfelt gratitude. A remarkable physical, emotional, and spiritual change occurs at that moment. At that moment, our burdens seem lighter, the internal churning stops, and we can pause, reflect, and rejoice in the Lord. Offering thanksgiving reinforces our faith! Recalling our blessings and the times God has shown His goodness toward us reminds us of His faithfulness. Reflecting on the times God has worked in our past provides strength for today and hope for tomorrow. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, remember what occurs through offering God thanksgiving and praise.
A Thanksgiving Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments that satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he conquered death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen