As God's children, we're fortunate to receive countless blessings daily.
However, the 'busyness' of life often makes it hard to appreciate those blessings. While you may be endlessly thankful for your life, it's hard to feel and express gratitude when you have things to clean, places to be, and an endless to-do list to complete.
So how can you effectively say "thank you" for blessings, even as the distractions of life fill up your time?
In this guide, we share five prayers of thanks and some guidance for Christians looking for practical ways to cultivate thankfulness in their daily lives.
Just as we say "thank you" when a loved one gives us a gift, we should say "thank you" to our Lord and Savior for our blessings on Earth.
As God's children, each of us was lovingly designed and created by our Heavenly Father. This gift of life is the most precious gift we will ever receive, so we should be eternally thankful for it.
We know that this gratitude is also one of God's commandments. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us:
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
But thanking God for his blessings isn't just about the act of verbally praising Him. Cultivating gratitude and thankfulness can make you a happier and more loving Christian, as it'll help you to:
So how can you cultivate thankfulness in your everyday life?
It's easy to judge ourselves for not being thankful enough in our daily lives — but we shouldn't be so harsh on ourselves. It can be challenging to cultivate gratitude every day, especially when we feel tired, overworked, busy, and unmotivated.
But that's the beauty of gratitude. It is a state you can nurture through simple actions.
As Christians, there are many ways we can practice gratitude daily that don't include overhauling our entire schedules or adding more stress into our lives.
For example, when doing a mundane task like making tea, you could make a habit to identify two things you're grateful for today.
You can also cultivate gratitude by creating an environment of thanks in your home or office. For example, you could make a collage of the things you're grateful for, put a sticky note on your fridge reminding you of your blessings, or carry a gratitude journal in your bag.
Here are three other ways you can cultivate gratitude in your life:
Reading the Bible can inspire you to be grateful, as God's word is a powerful reminder. We find the words of Psalm 100:4-5 particularly useful as it calls us to:
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
If you struggle with anxiety, which can affect your ability to feel gratitude, you might also draw comfort from Philippians 4:6-7:
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Holidays are the perfect time to give thanks, as they are a unique occasion in which you're blessed with the presence of your friends, family, and loved ones.
Cultivating gratitude on these days will help you stay thankful through tough times, as you can call on the memory of the holiday to renew your spirit.
To practice gratitude on these busy days, gather your loved ones and take a minute to pray together. You could also choose a bible verse for the occasion. For example, if you were celebrating Thanksgiving, you could choose one of these scriptures.
Prayer connects you to God and allows you to verbally say "thank you.” But prayer is also a powerful thought tool for you, as it's a great way to remind yourself of your blessings.
To help you connect with God through prayer, we've written five prayers of thanks to inspire you.
Here are five different prayers that you can use to thank your Heavenly Father for the blessings He has given you:
"Oh Father, let us take a minute to say ‘thanks.’ On this day, we live in your spirit, on your planet, and amongst our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of today. Amen."
"Dear Lord, we rejoice in our gratitude, for the gifts you have given us today have enriched our lives beyond measure. We thank you for the love you show us and the sacrifices you made to support us. May we continue to appreciate your love each and every day. Amen."
"Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love. Thank you for caring for us in our daily journeys. Thank you for guiding us in our decisions, thank you for giving us wisdom when we stumble, and thank you for leading us to support one another. Oh Lord, the love and care you show us blesses our daily lives, and we are better for it. We praise you for your love through this prayer of gratitude. Thank you, our Heavenly Father, Amen."
"Almighty God, today you have blessed us. You have given us the gift of life, good health, food, and shelter. We have been blessed with warmth and sunshine, peace, and a thankful heart. While today may not be a special day, o God, we have enjoyed it as another day full of blessings. Let us not forget the beauty of the gift you gave us. In Jesus' holy name, Amen."
"Dear God, today we stumbled and walked with weight on our chests. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for guiding us through a tough day, and thank you for giving us the strength to make hard decisions. O Lord, may you give us the wisdom to approach tomorrow with gratitude and humility. We thank you, Lord, for your blessings have pushed us forward in our lives. In Lord Jesus Christ's name, Amen."
You don't need to wait until you are blessed with a generous gift to say a prayer of thanks. Showing gratitude to our Heavenly Father through daily prayer will help you appreciate life and God's beautiful creations better.
Remember, God's blessings come in all shapes and sizes — from the blessing of fresh flowers to the blessing of life. While it can be tough to say "thank you" after a rough day, every day we're given on Earth is a privilege and a gift from our creator.