The Bible has plenty to say about thankfulness to God, that we should praise and thank Him for all that He is. We are to sing, worship and thank Him from the bottom of hearts, overflowing to our world.
‘With praise and thanksgiving they say to the Lord – He is good..’ 1 Ezra 3:11 NIV
‘I will give thanks to you Lord with all my heart..’ Psalm 9:1 NIV
‘…overflowing with thankfulness…’ Colossians 2:7 NIV
‘ …be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.’ Colossians 3:15-17NIV
What beautiful sentiments! And there are so many more to be read. Thankfulness is a significant part of the Bible so think about it being a part of your life too. It is noteworthy that scientific research suggests that gratitude is beneficial to one's physical and mental wellbeing, health and happiness (another good reason to include it in some sort of regular faith expression). No wonder God has a lot to say about it. Numerous psychological studies have found that gratitude prayers are helpful and from the God perspective, we understand that they are powerful because we are not taking the credit for the benefits in our lives but instead we are recognising that these are God-given gifts. You could say we have so much to be grateful for, that we could be continually thanking Him!
Religious Jews pray every morning with a list of thanksgiving prayers for life itself. Many times rabbis pray over the faithful but in the Jewish faith, it is important for individuals to thank God personally. These facts set a nice precedent for us as Christians to be dependent on God for our very life as we recognise that God is so much greater than we are.
In the teachings of John Wesley, human agency was considered God-given and Wesley himself dedicated one day each week to gratitude praying. Methodist tradition recognises that by God’s grace, individuals can and do, have ownership for decision-making as He gives us the ability to choose our ways and this is something to be grateful for.
Science goes on to say that gratitude fosters more of the same. It has a ripple effect as we begin to thank others and more particularly Him, in our prayer time. Isn't that fantastic? I have found this to be true and so highly recommend this practise to you. In a practical application of this, World Vision a non-profit organisation that rescues and provides for children in poverty, have found that gratitude from the recipients creates more gratitude as World Vision's actions change their circumstances. The fascinating aspect of this is: those who volunteer are grateful for the ability to give and this creates almost a tsunami of gratitude all around. 
All in all, gratitude is learning to recognise that what we have is from God’s hand in everything, so what a good reason to prayerfully thank Him again and again!
Here’s a short prayer based on the verses above:
‘Father God, I thank You from the bottom of my heart for the Giver and the gift of Jesus Christ in my life. Help me to overflow in worship and ongoing thankfulness because You are so very good to me. Amen.
God bless on your gratitude journey.
Need to be relaxed to be able to thank others? 'De-stress God’s Way' could help you get practical strategies. Fortnightly De-stress God's Way online group coaching for ways to be peaceful about your relationships and conversations.
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