As Christians, we are expected by God to walk in gratitude. It is His perfect will that His children overflow in thanksgiving, appreciation, and gratefulness even for the smallest blessings in life because such is the culture and atmosphere of heaven. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
As you think about God’s daily blessings in your life and the people who love and care for you, you can make a good prayer of gratitude daily as you acknowledge the Almighty Father’s doings. Here is a prayer of gratitude:
Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing my family with godly friends and community. As I think about their love and kindness toward us, I am deeply touched by Your Holy Spirit’s presence. I also declare blessing and peace upon their lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.
You can also check this article (A Heartfelt Sincere Prayer Thanking Jesus) to help you say a prayer of gratitude unto the Lord.
Gratefulness matters to God because it is the awareness and acknowledgment of one’s love, effort, and kindness that deserve to be praised. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
If we look at the Gospel story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed, only one of them made an effort to return and give thanks to the Lord for His healing. They were healed as they walked on the way to present themselves to the priests as instructed by Jesus.
It wasn’t stated why the nine lepers didn’t choose to head back to Jesus to thank Him for their healing. Maybe they were thinking, It was tiring to return only to give thanks, or perhaps they didn’t give a thought that thanking the One Who healed them would matter. Or maybe they were so preoccupied and overwhelmed by being healed that they forgot the One Who healed them. There are many reasons, and we can only assume. But the one who stood out was the man who returned to thank Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ particularly looked for the nine who did not return to give praise to God, but he spoke wholeness to the one who did return.
“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 17:17-19
As you release and express gratitude to God and the people you know who deserve it, you are honoring and blessing lives with the goodness of God, for such is His will.
How can I practice gratitude each day?
As discussed earlier, a lifestyle of gratitude is God’s will, and it matters to Him. It matters that we make every effort to express our gratitude to Him and the people in our lives that deserve it. Here is a list of the things you can do to practice gratitude each day:
1. Say a daily prayer of gratitude to God
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
As you say a prayer of gratitude to God, remember that this is already a good start to practice gratefulness for the Lord each day. Philippians 4:6 reminds us that while we ask God for the requests of our hearts, we must do so with thanksgiving. So, as you pray to God daily, start by thanking Him first and praising His name.
2. Practice saying “thank you” for the smallest things
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Verbally express your gratitude even for the smallest things people do, such as doing you small favors, letting you walk ahead, opening the door for you, etc. Even if they don’t do anything particularly special for you other than offer their services – such as a security guard, the cashier at the counter, the bank teller, etc. – saying “thank you” can make someone feel appreciated and noticed. Such words are sweet to the soul, as Proverbs 16:24 describes pleasant words like “thank you.”
3. Write in a journal about the things you are grateful for
“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
Even though Habakkuk 2:2 isn’t particularly related to gratitude, the fact is that God is into writing important things; you too can write a journal of gratitude and list things you are grateful for each day. It is especially effective and powerful whenever you can’t find a reason to be thankful for the day. Sitting down in your quiet moment and asking the Holy Spirit to show you the things you can be grateful for each day will be useful and powerful in stirring up gratitude as you read through your journal during a difficult day.
4. Communicate to people who matter most to you; tell them how much you love them and are thankful for their lives
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another…”
Expressing your gratitude and love to the people who matter most in your life shows how much you honor and highly value them. Such a Christlike attitude pleases God as you obey His Word in Romans 12:10. By doing this, you impart love and appreciation to your loved ones, who are God’s gifts in your life.
5. Appreciate nature’s beauty and thank God for His creation
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
As you look at the beauty of the sky and appreciate nature, animals, trees, and flowers, you can thank God for such things each day because it is His blessing for us to learn from nature how magnificent His works and goodness are. As you go to your office, your school, or outside your house, it helps to be grateful each day as you look up at the sky and give thanks to God for such a magnificent canvas of His glory.
Do this every day and you’ll soon make a habit of thanking God and the people that glorify God. Gratefulness thwarts the arrows of the kingdom of darkness in people’s lives.
How can I stay grateful in difficult times?
Staying grateful during difficult and stormy times of life can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. The enemy has a way of putting negative thoughts into our minds, which affects the emotions and perceptions in life that hinder us from being grateful to God and others.
We can learn this from the Israelites, who wandered in the wilderness for forty years because of their murmuring and complaining. After what God did for them – releasing them from slavery in Egypt and performing signs and wonders for their sake – they forgot to thank Him and focused instead on the hardships they experienced in the wilderness. Thus, their journey in the wilderness was prolonged, and most of them were not permitted to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of repentance (See Exodus 16:1-17 and Deuteronomy 1:35).
So, to stay grateful in difficult times, here are some things you must do:
1. Take every negative thought captive to the obedience of Christ
2 Corinthians 10:5
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
You must not allow negative thoughts to fill your mind in a difficult season, as these things will hinder you from seeing the blessing of God in all situations and being grateful for it. The moment the enemy tries to whisper lies and negativity, take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
2. Fix your eyes on Jesus
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
You can fix your eyes on Jesus instead of the things that are making life so difficult; you will still be grateful, for your mind is set on Christ. You won’t stumble during difficult days because your mind is focused on Jesus Christ and what He is saying and doing amid the challenges.
3. Constantly meditate on God’s Word
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God’s Word is a weapon against the lies of the enemy. Since the enemy uses difficulties and struggles to perpetrate lies and overwhelm you with negativity, running to the Word of God is your best weapon. By constantly reading and meditating on God’s Word and promises, your mind is so filled with Scripture that there is no room for lies.
4. Think about wonderful things
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
And similarly, as you take negative thoughts captive to Christ, start thanking and praising the Lord Jesus for the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, noble, and worthy of praise. Think about what Jesus Christ did on the cross and how God shows how much He loves you by sending you His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Meditate on these things, and you will always overflow with gratitude no matter what.
May God bless you and strengthen your inner man as you live a lifestyle of gratitude and fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.