I’m jumping into the holidays this weekend … prepping the kitchen for Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas.
I know I may be breaking some kind of unwritten code by putting up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving but the gratitude holiday is so late this year, I just can’t wait any longer.
Even with all planning, preparing, and doing … all the anticipation of the food and festivities, I don’t want to lose track of the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.
It’s so easy for us to get so focused on the food and the fellowship, we forget the why of the celebration.
The Story Behind Thanksgiving
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days.History.com
In 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November
Why is giving thanks important?
And maybe the more important question is…
Who is it we are supposed to be thanking?
Because generalized gratitude that simply goes out into the atmosphere seems rather pointless.
The Psalmist wrote…
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!Psalm 100:3
He made us, and we are His.
You and I are created by God. We belong to Him … made for His glory. And gratitude is an important part of giving God glory!
Today, I’m sharing verses to pray with your family this Thanksgiving. I pray they bless you…
5 Prayers that will Bless Your Thanksgiving
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.Psalm 107:1
Father, simply saying thank you seems like it falls short of the gratitude I want to offer You. You have graciously poured countless blessings into my life over the past year. And You have mercifully protected me in ways I’ve seen and I’m sure in immeasurable ways I haven’t. You have given me hope and courage when I’ve needed it most. Your love covers every area of my life! Thank you!
Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:57
Father, Your greatest gift is forgiveness through Jesus. Through Him, You have removed my sin and redeemed me from its eternal consequences.
Jesus, Thank you for living the perfect life I am unable to live, for suffering the punishment I deserve, and for the forever victory I have by trusting You and applying Your promises.
Spirit, Thank you for coming into my heart and giving me faith. Thank you for making it possible for me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. On my own I can’t, I won’t … but with Your help, I do!
Thanks and praise forever!
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.Ephesians 1:16–17
Father, thank you for the people in my life. Those around my table and those who could not be here. Please be with us all. Give us wisdom, insight, and strength that we might glorify You with our lives. May we continue to hold each other up. May we encourage each other with Your love. May we be quick to forgive as You have forgiven us. And may we grow closer to You and to one another every day.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18
Father, this feels hard sometimes! Please help me see who You are in my life … as long as I have Jesus, I have everything I need. Your Word says that You will provide for the needs of those who SEEK You above all else. May I faithfully know and follow Your will for me. May I be filled with thanks knowing that whatever is going on my life, You will give me everything to endure through Your all-sufficient grace.
Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.Colossians 3:17
Father, may my life glorify You. May everyone I meet know I love You. May I live each day as a sacrifice of gratitude for who You are and all You do. Thank you for my home, my family and friends. Thank you for food and clothing. Thank you for work and for the time to rest from work. Thank you for love and laughter, and music, and hope and the ways You fill my life with good things.
Thank you! May all I do be by Your grace and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Praying your Thanksgiving is abundantly blessed!
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