3 Grateful Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

  • Julie K Gillies Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2016 9 Nov
3 Grateful Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –William Arthur Ward

Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with a genuinely grateful heart? In spite of the reality of our current national mood? In spite of current circumstances that might make us cringe? In spite of hard personal situations?

Our lives don’t have to be perfect for us to be grateful. (That won’t happen this side of eternity.) The truth is gratitude is a choice; a choice that honors God, transforms our countenance, and brings us into His presence.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name" (Psalm 100:4 NLT).

The primary key to cultivating a grateful heart is shifting our focus. Away from the not-so-pleasant and onto the good. Not in a let’s bury our heads in the sand way, but in a think about these things way, as Scripture encourages us.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).

That means in spite of any unpleasant issues we may be facing, we can choose to thank God for what we do have. And for who He is—He is the One who gets us through. Who equips us with grace and joy and peace in the middle of it all. 

When we ask God to help us recognize His many blessings in our lives, He is pleased. He loves that we want to cultivate gratitude. He will open our eyes and help us recognize all we have to be grateful for. And the truth is there is always, always something we can be thankful for.

A Prayer of Thanks for Our Many Blessings

Oh God, You are so good. You are faithful and gracious and You have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which I have become accustomed, but never want to take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in my pantry, hot showers, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in.

Thank you for legs that carry me where I need to go and hands that enable me to accomplish many things. Thank you for my hearing and my vision and for a sound, healthy mind.

Thank you my family, my friends, my job, my neighbors. Thank you for freedom to attend my church, for my pastors, and for my small group(s) and my many relationships.

Thank you for the things You are doing in my heart and in my life. I’m grateful that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I am much different today than I was 10 years ago, or a year ago. I am even different that I was at the beginning of this year, and it’s because of Your power at work in me, continually transforming me into Your image.

I love and adore You, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

A Prayer Honoring God for Who He Is

Lord, You are my awesome and mighty King. You are gracious and compassionate. You are slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness (Psalm 145:8). You are patient, Your heart is kind, and Your love for me never wavers. 

You always hear my prayers, and Your plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:11). You are my glory and the lifter of my head, and You are also my shield, my defense, and the source of my peace and joy. 

You are merciful. Thank you for fresh mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). I’m grateful that You have removed my sins as far as the east is from the west, that when I confess my sins You are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  

Lord, You know me intimately. You understand my thoughts afar off (Psalm 139:2) and You know the very number of hairs on my head. You see my coming and my going. You rejoice over me with love and You love me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

You are perfect and You are sovereign. You are holy. You are wise and just and good. You are eternal and unchanging. You are infinite and all powerful and all knowing. Lord You are altogether lovely and I bow my heart before You. 

“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving” (Psalm 28:7). In the name of Jesus, Amen.

A Prayer to Cultivate Gratitude

Lord, I want to cultivate a grateful heart. Please help me, Lord, and open my eyes so that I can see all that I have to be thankful for. Enable me to recognize Your hand of blessing in my day to day life. Help me to express gratitude to You daily, for that is Your will (Ephesians 5:19-20). 

God help me to do all things without complaining (Philippians 2:14), so that I don’t grieve Your Holy Spirit. By Your power I desire to be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Your will for those of us who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

Lord help me to devote myself to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart (Colossians 4:2). May my heart overflow with gratitude to You, God, for You are good. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Julie K. Gillies is the author of the devotional, Prayers for a Woman's Soul (Harvest House Publishers). Healed from a traumatic childhood and awed that God saved her seriously troubled marriage, her message helps women pray with boldness, confidence, and the certainty that God hears. Julie is the joyful wife of Keith, mom of three adults, and Grammy of four. She loves baking from scratch, bicycling with her hubby, and hanging out with the entire family at home, especially on days when her house is clean. Find FREE resources and connect with Julie at www.JulieGillies.com.

Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: November 9, 2016