The week of Thanksgiving always stirs up conversations about the people and things in our lives that we are the most grateful for. We can all recall memories of our families sitting around the Thanksgiving table and sharing thoughts of gratitude. But how often does that scenario pan out during the other seasons of the year? For many of us ‘thank you’ has become a subconsciously passive comment.
As christians we are commissioned to live lives of gratitude. Thankfulness is brought up in the New Testament of the bible over 70 times!! And even though we were given the bible to use as a tool to live out holy and virtuous lives, we tend to ignore this important theme.
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
~1 Timothy 4:4-5
According to a student author from Harvard Health Publishing “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.”
Can you see the direct correlation between gratitude and goodness? It turns the focus outward towards others and relieves our hearts from selfish motives and mindsets.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
It can be hard to be grateful for the little things in our lives, especially when times are tough. But, wouldn't you agree there is a desirable trait found in people who do not take things for granted? They genuinely recognize the goodness found around them! Thankfully, gratitude is not hard-wired! It is a virtue that can be practiced and even the smallest amount can cause a ripple effect.
I have made it a habit to begin almost every prayer with “Heavenly Father, thank you for this day and for the gift of life.” It is written over and over again in my prayer journal, it is my opening line when I lead closing prayer at my women's group, and has been said before meals so often that my husband has adopted it! This small change has transformed my prayer into authentic gratitude. My heart has opened the door to thanking God for my blessings before interceding to Him with prayer intentions.
My prayer for you is that whatever you call to mind with a grateful heart this Thanksgiving holiday is remembered and rippled out for the rest of the year! Let us truly become people of thanksgiving!
"An attitude of gratitude is a never-ending prayer."
Until next time~your sister in Christ,