Devotion: We Are Thankful

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Day 1: WHY Should We Be Thankful

Psalm 136:23 (NIRV)
“Give thanks to the One who remembered us when things were going badly for us. His faithful love continues forever.”

Over the last few years I have had some trying times. A few years ago during a challenging time, I observed a colleague posting things he was thankful for each day. I decided to follow suit and ended up posting things I was thankful for, for the 27 days leading up to Thanksgiving. Reflecting, each day, on blessings in my life helped change my perspective through that challenging time. 

What can you be thankful for today? I encourage you to develop a daily habit of reflecting on the blessings God has placed in your life. Write down what you are thankful for. Start a thankful journal, try posting things you are thankful for everyday for the next few days, or spend time telling God, out loud, what you are thankful for as part of your daily prayer time.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for this opportunity to pray to you. There are so many things I am thankful for. Thank you for...


Day 2: WHEN Should We Be Thankful

Ephesians 5:20 (NIRV)
“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

"When should we be thankful?” Only when times are good? Or during challenging times when life seems bad and ugly, too? Yes and yes! It’s best to cultivate a lifestyle of thankfulness, choosing to be thankful. Here are some specific times when you could get started:

  • During the month of Thanksgiving (October for Canadians, November for Americans).
  • At the beginning of a new year or month. A resolution could be to think about something to be thankful for, for the first 21 or 31 days of the new year.
  • When you are in the midst of culture shock. Maybe you are over the honeymoon stage and are frustrated with the new country and culture.
  • When you are experiencing a challenging time at work or in life.
  • When a new chapter is beginning (marriage, job, child, etc.).
  • Today!

As we begun asking yesterday, what are you thankful for today? Write it down in a sentence or two. You can always look at the bottom of this devotion for some ideas to get you thinking.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for today. There are so many reasons to be thankful. Thank you for... 

Thankful ideas: Health; Safety; Peace; Comfort; Family (Spouse, children, parents); Friends; Employment; Opportunities to travel and revitalize; Opportunity to go to college or grad school; Reliable transportation; Having enough; Mentors; Freedom of religion; Being literate


Day 3: Thank God for His Provision

John 6:11 (NIRV)
“Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks. He handed out the bread to those who were seated. He gave them as much as they wanted. And he did the same with the fish.”

We know the story: 1 boy, 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. God provided a meal for thousands of people. God provides for us. He provides our basic needs on a daily basis: shelter, food, clothing and much more.

What basic needs has God provided for you? Potable water? A warm jacket for the cold? 

What are you thankful for today? Write it down in a sentence or two.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for everything you provide. I am thankful for every breath I will take today. Thank you for... 


Day 4: Pray and Thank God for Keeping Us Safe

Colossians 4:2 (NIRV)
“Spend a lot of time in prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.”

As a parent and educator, safety is always a top priority. I often find myself praying for a safe day. It’s easy to take our safety for granted. No matter where we are, bad things can happen to good people. Thank God daily for keeping you and your family safe.

Besides praying and thanking God for safety, you can thank good for other intangibles. For example, thank God for the peace He gives you in uncertain times. Thank Him for comforting you during an emotional circumstance.
What are you thankful for today? Write it down in a sentence or two.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for keeping me and my family safe. Please continue to watch over us. Thank you also for... 


Day 5: Thank God for the Little Things

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIRV)
"Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever."

When we think about being thankful we often think of the big things in our lives. We sometimes neglect to say thank you for the little things such as goodbye kisses, hugs and high-fives, a warm meal, and good light to read. I challenge you today to make a list of all the little things you can be thankful for.

What little things are you thankful for today? Write them down.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for all the little things you provide. I am overwhelmed with how much I can be thankful for. Thank you for... 


Day 6: Thank God Always, Not Just on a Day of Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIRV)
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”
Have you ever sat around the Thanksgiving table and been asked, “What are you thankful for?” I remember a Thanksgiving with friends where the host asked everyone to go around the table and describe something we were thankful for.

We can extend this activity past just a day. You could answer the “what am I thankful for?” question for several days, weeks or even a month or two. You could do it individually or with your family at the dinner table each evening. Make thankfulness a habit and not just a once a year thing.

What are you thankful for today? As always, write it down in a sentence or two.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for everything, the big things and the little things. Please help me develop a lifestyle of thankfulness. Thank you for...


Day 7: Praise and Thank God for the Work He Did on the Cross

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIRV)
“But let us give thanks to God! He wins the battle for us because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done.”

It’s our final day together. Of all the things we could be thankful for, none could ever compare with what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf. He won the battle for us. “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John3:16, NIRV). What a gift God has given us!

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, thank you for your gift of eternal life. I cannot thank you enough for sending Jesus to Earth to die in my place. Thank you!

One last time: What are you thankful for today?

God bless you and yours!