Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude to God for benefits He has bestowed on us.
Thanksgiving should be a lifestyle, not just something we do once in a while (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is not just another excuse for a long weekend, a big meal, and discounted shopping.
Even when we find ourselves overwhelmed with problems and worried about tomorrow, we can praise God for who He is and His promise to never leave us or forsake us.
Leviticus 22:29 (AMP)
When you sacrifice an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.
Components of Thanksgiving
1. Expressing gratitude and appreciation
2. Giving to God
3. Sharing with others.
Lessons from the American Day of Thanksgiving
Americans celebrate what they call Thanksgiving Day. A few other countries also have theirs but America is more popular with it. It usually takes place on the fourth Thursday of November.
It is usually the beginning of the year-end holiday. The event marks a time the whole nation gives thanks to God and share gifts with others. After that day, shopping kicks off with what they call black Friday.
Basically, lack Friday is a day that shops slash the prices of their goods in the spirit of Thanksgiving, ushering people into the season of celebration.
Thanksgiving Day in the US activates a long celebration mood in the US.
The previous year’s harvests had failed and in the winter, half of the pilgrims had starved to death.
So in recognition of the hand of God in saving them from imminent dearth and providing for them, they invited others and celebrated with them.
What we can learn from this is that the pilgrims understood that God is the one who had delivered them from their problem. They acknowledged that God is the One who kept them alive, and gave them a bumper harvest. And so returned all glory to Him.
So you see, thanksgiving is all about God. Not about the meals, not about the gifts, not about the shopping, and not about the holiday. It’s about God, who gives us all things.
So Why Should We Thank God
- It’s the will of God
In every situation, no matter what the circumstances, be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP)
- It’s commanded
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. – Psalm 100:4(AMP)
- Appreciate God’s salvation and deliverance
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints (God’s people) in the Light.
For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty]. – Colossians 1:12-14(AMP)
- It shows we appreciate the goodness of God
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34
- Prayer is incomplete without Thanksgiving
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. – Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)
- Thanksgiving perfects your miracles
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. – Luke 17:11-19
- Thanksgiving multiplies your giving/provision
– Matthew 14:13-21, Matthew 15:29-39, Mark 8:1-8.
Thanksgiving is the attitude that waters your seeds and causes them to produce
- Thanksgiving is a weapon of warfare
– 2 Chronicles 20:21-24
Thanksgiving and praise invites God to take over your battle situations.
- A thankless life is dangerous
For even though they knew God as the Creator, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. – Romans 1:21 (AMP)
- Thanksgiving opens doors shut by the enemies
See Acts 16
Read through these Bible verses to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Find some quiet time to pray and thank God, read Scripture out-loud, and find a renewed heart that is filled with peace and joy!
What to Do
Thursday, November 23, 2017 is Thanksgiving Day in the US. Use this period to bring your family and friends together for thanksgiving to God for His mighty works in your lives. Use this period to spend quality time to thank God for your everything.
Prayers of Thanksgiving
Based on Psalm 138
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I sing praise to you before the gods.
2 I face your holy Temple,
bow down, and praise your name
because of your constant love and faithfulness,
because you have shown that your name and your commands are supreme.
3 You answered me when I called to you;
with your strength you strengthened me.
4 All the kings in the world will praise you, Lord,
because they have heard your promises.
5 They will sing about what you have done
and about your great glory.
6 Even though you are so high above,
you care for the lowly,
and the proud cannot hide from you.
7 When I am surrounded by troubles,
you keep me safe.
You oppose my angry enemies
and save me by your power.
8 You will do everything you have promised;
Lord, your love is eternal.
Complete the work that you have begun.
General Prayer of Thanksgiving
The God of all blessings,
Source of all life and giver of all grace
We thank THEE for the gift of life, for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life.
We thank THEE for the past year, for Your protection, guidance, provision and preservation.
We thank THEE for the year that has come, for bringing us safely into this year, and for Your plans for us this year.
O LORD, may You be praised forever and ever.
We thank THEE for the mystery of creation: for the beauty that the eye can see, for the joy that the ear can hear, for the unknown that we cannot behold, for the expanse of the universe that draws us beyond the definitions of ourselves and fills us with wonders.
LORD, we thank THEE for setting us in communities; for families who nurture our becoming, for friends who love us by choice, for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks, for strangers who welcome us into their midst, for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding, for children who lighten our moments with delight, for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.
We thank THEE for this Year, and for this day: for life and one more day to love, for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace, for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved, for your grace and one more experience of your presence, for your promise: to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.
For these, and all blessings, we give you thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
Culled from this post
- Dear Heavenly Father, I give You thanks from the depth of my heart. You are a good Father. You have been good to me, to my family and to my destiny. Your mercy has seen me through all these months. For this I say, thank You LORD, in Jesus name. (1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 136:1-3).
- Indeed Father, this is the year You have made. Thank You for giving me joy all through this year. Thank You for surrounding me with Your peace. Thank You for delivering me from the works of darkness. In Jesus name.
- O LORD, I thank You for all the prayers I have made this year. Thank You for answering all my prayers. There is no prayer of mine that You have not answered. For this I say thank You Lord. In Jesus name.
- “O LORD, I give You thanks with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word in my life, in Jesus name.” (Psalm 138:1-2 – ERV).
- Thank You LORD for protecting and preserving my life. Thank You for disallowing the plans of the devil in my life and family this year. Indeed, He who watches over me does not slumber nor sleep. Be thou glorified, in Jesus name.
- O LORD, thank You for dividing the Red Sea that confronted us during the course of the year. I appreciate You making a way for me to walk in victory throughout this year, in Jesus’ name.
- Thank You Father for the gift of salvation. For by grace we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and helps us at all times. Thank You for the gift of Your Word, through which we know Your will for our lives. Thank You for sending your angels to take charge and keep us in all our ways. In Jesus’ name.
- Thank You O LORD for providing for us all through the year. You have not allowed us to lack and suffer hunger as You promised in Your Word. Receive our thanks in Jesus name.
- Thank You Heavenly Father for the Blood of Jesus Christ that washes us from all unrighteousness, and speaks better things for us, even when we do not know it. Thank you, Lord Jesus that by the reason of your blood, no weapon formed against us prospered and they that gathered together against us and our loved ones were scattered. Be praised forever and ever in Jesus name
- O LORD, thank You for the performance of Your Word in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones, and for doing much more than we could ever have asked for, or dream of, during the course of the year, in Jesus’ name.