For the next four weeks, I’ll highlight different ways we can talk to God. What better way to kick off November than with Thank-you Prayers. Be sure to check out the Sticker Dot game below to play with your kids.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1

’Tis the season for thankfulness. But when I opened up the letter from our health insurance company a few days ago, thankfulness was the last thing on my mind. For several minutes, I turned away from whatever else I was doing toward the very large premium numbers staring up at me from off the page. Thankful? Not exactly.

Scripture says we’re supposed to be thankful always,
in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18),
for everything (Eph. 5:20),
with all our hearts (Psalm 9:1).

But knowing that and executing it are two different things. How on earth do you do that? Seriously. I don’t have the answers, so I’d love to hear from you. But here are a couple of ideas that I’m finding to be helpful.

Think of thank-you prayers as turning. Thanking God intentionally turns our hearts and minds toward God and away from whatever else might be screaming for our attention. The clutter of politics. The to-do list at the office. It’s a choice to drag our feelings away from what’s drawing their attention and set them down in front of God.

I think that’s why Scripture seems to weigh thanksgiving against worry (Phil 4:6). A thank-you attitude puts God into the picture, putting everything else into perspective. When we do that we’re less inclined to worry.

Focus thank-you prayers on something other than “things.” Don’t get me wrong: It’s fine to thank God for the buy-one-get-second-one-half-off sale at Nordstrom Rack. It’s great to offer up a thank-you prayer for your spouse, who like mine, goes to the grocery store on a rainy store because you don’t feel like going out.

Most of the thank-you prayers in Scripture, though, revolve around God and what’s he’s done. In fact, the most common phrase paired with thankfulness is “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.” In other words, thanking God acknowledges that God’s character remains constant even if nothing else does.

Give thanks to the Lord when your healthcare premiums go up because…
God is still good; his love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord when your water softener breaks down and you have to buy a new one because…
God is still good; his love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord when your prayers seem to go answered because…
God is still good; his love endures forever.

A Challenge
As you head into your day, I challenge you to read Psalm 136 out loud. When you’re done, write down a few sentences that continue its theme of seeing God in the circumstances of your life. Then follow them up with that same phrase “God is good; his love endures forever.”

If you’ve found any ideas that help create an environment of thankfulness, I’d love to hear them. Please share and I’ll post here.


Thanksgiving Dots



I’ve used this game at family events, in classrooms, and at home. It’s a silly but fun way to remember the things for which we’re thankful.

You’ll need a sheet of dot stickers (Or something else that sticks e.g. Post-It Notes).

Designate one person to be the dot “post.”

As the others in the family come up with a new thing for which to be thankful, they can place a dot sticker on the “post”.

You can make this a contest between different teams and see who has the most stickers at the end of a minute or two.

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