here’s some hints to make it more joyfilled!
Do you think God ever thinks about the calendar?
Well if he does, I bet he likes the Thanksgiving season best of all.
Perhaps this is the set-apart time of the year in which we please God the most. No gifts expected, just family and friends and food . . . and most importantly, giving thanks to our great God. Scripture speaks of giving thanks about 75 times. When a little girl of five years old, I memorized Psalm 100; it is still near and dear to me. Take a look:
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations. I like this Bible translation too.
Ah, indeed the Lord is good, and worthy of our thanks-giving. Interesting to note, powerful research out of Harvard Medical School indicates that gratitude not only enhances our mental health, but our physical health as well.1 David got it right in Psalm 92, It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.
There is an old writer and preacher I love named George Buttrick, who wrote a most excellent book on Prayer. He writes in such a way that draws me in and makes me want to pray! Including just a few thoughts here from his Hints on Prayer.2
How I love this thought: “We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey. Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings of one day. We might begin, we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world. The attempt would remind us of our “vast treasure of content.”3
Therefore the prayer of thanksgiving should be quite specific: “I thank thee for this friendship, this threat overpassed, this signal grace.” … If we are “thankful for everything,” we may end by being thankful for nothing.4
Let's do this-- let's improve our mental and physical health and heed the psalmist's words - giving thanks to God seven times a day. At least give it a try: perhaps three times in the morning as the day is new, and
four more times throughout the day.
1. I thank thee, God, for ____________ (‘Thee’ is George Buttrick style)
2. I thank thee, God, for ____________
3. I thank thee, God, for ____________
4. I thank thee, God, for ____________
5. I thank thee, God, for ____________
6. I thank thee, God, for ____________
7. I thank thee, God, for ____________
Here is what comes to my mind to start: I thank thee God for You, dear Father! I thank Thee for relationship with You, for the hope and promise of Heaven, for the gift of prayer and answered prayer, for the Word of God to instruct, inform and encourage me, for the Holy Spirit to guide me, for my precious family, for health, for freedom, for enduring hope.
I thank thee, God, for you--my dear friend and reader, as we journey together, endeavoring to live from the fullness of joy meant for us in Christ.
I pray you have a blessed and loving Thanksgiving Day.
“Thankful” by Josh Groban: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TEqgU4LpnA
1 - “Giving thanks can make you happier” Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
2 - George Buttrick, https://renovare.org/articles/hints-for-how-to-pray
3 - ibid
4 - ibid
5 - Psalm 119.164