Downloading the Thanksgiving App – Ways to integrate thanksgiving into your prayer life

Second week in our series on prayer.  This week we talked about downloading thanksgiving and gratitude into life.  Here are some of the ideas we shared in the service, and a few others to help with growing in our prayer in this area.

  • Good things, bad things, God things – Have each family member discuss the best thing of the day, worst thing, and where they saw God’s grace.  Use this to give thanks.
  • Post-it notes – put things you are thankful for on post-its and hang them around the house as reminders
  • Giving thanks over your giving – when you give an offering, don’t just write a check and drop it in the basket.  Stop to give thanks for the blessings God has given.
  • Write your story as a thanksgiving prayer – Try writing your salvation story as a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
  • Use meals as a time to give thanks – Jesus did!
  • Make a thankful scrapbook
  • Spend time meditating on the cross – this will always make you thankful.
  • Keep a gratitude journal that includes things of which you are thankful and answered prayers.  This will give you something to look at when you struggle to have gratitude in life.
  • Respond to growing ingratitude with service of people who are hurting, poor, and struggling.  At times you may find your heart hardened to God’s grace and feeling like you deserve more.  Nothing will challenge this more than going to a soup kitchen, working in a clothing giveaway closet, or getting involved with kids in an inner-city community center.
  • Set a gratitude goal and pray as you go – Make it a goal that you will notice a certain number of blessings throughout the day.  Start simple, maybe a goal of five or ten.  Then, as the day goes try to reach the goal, having at least five times when you notice a gift of grace and stop to give thanks.
  • Develop your gratitude in human relationships – Notice things people do for you, and use those as moments to express thanks to people and silently give thanks to God.  For example, do you look your waitress in the eye, call her by name, and thank her each time she delivers a drink or food item?  Work on this.  At the same time, consider praying for her, and also giving thanks to God for the ways He serves you.  Try this with the checker at Walmart, the lady at the Post-Office, your neighbors…
  • Sieze your commute – According to census information, the average American worker spends twenty five minutes each way commuting to work.  Driving to work can be the most wasted time.  If you drive fifteen minutes, half-hour, an hour a day to and from work, consider using this time redemptively as a time for prayer, praise and thanksgiving.

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