Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
This afternoon my family will join millions of others around the table to share a feast. We love Thanksgiving, mainly because it involves turkey, stuffing and potatoes, and some amazing desserts. But we should also remember that this is a day set aside for us to show our gratitude to God and Christ for all of the great gifts. James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. We have so much for which we should be thankful and are even commanded to be thankful. In Romans 1, Paul reminds us that the lack of thankfulness is a core issue in our humanity that leads to God’s wrath. Being thankful is a reminder that we are dependent creatures and owe our very existence, forgiveness and salvation, and even the ability to enjoy the pumpkin pie to God.
Yet, what so often happens is that we begin the meal with a question, “For what are you thankful?” What then often follows is a very narrow range of answers, often including family, health, good times, and the food before you. Now, don’t get me wrong, we should be thankful for all things, so these are not wrong answers. Rather they should be celebrated. But I think we can go deeper, and maybe the way to do that is to ask different questions that will help you and your family to think in deeper ways about things we can and should show our gratitude to God. I want to encourage you to take this list and choose at least five or six of these, and let everyone answer. Then be sure to pause and pray, lifting prayers of thanksgiving to God for the wonderful blessings, both physical, relational, and spiritual in our lives. You can close by singing Philippians 4:6-7 – find the link at the bottom of this page.
- What is the most amazing thing you have seen in creation in the past few weeks?
- What is the most difficult thing you have endured in the past year that either you have gained victory or experienced peace in the midst of it?
- What is your favorite thing about your family right now?
- What is the best gift you have because of Christ and His love right now?
- What is the most important lesson God has taught you in the past year?
- How has God recently answered your prayers?
- Who is your favorite and most enjoyable friendship?
- What is the hardest thing in your life right now, and how can you be thankful in the midst of it?
- Where have you felt most loved by God and felt His presence?
- What has been your best family experience this year?
- What person has God used to inspire you?
- What is your biggest God thing in the last year?
- How has God provided for you and your family in the past few months?
- How has God spoken to you through His Word recently?
- What is the best blessing about your church?
- What has made you laugh or given you joy in the past week?