A few years ago, I started a gratitude journal. It was tiny, fit in my pocket, and I took it with me everywhere. Throughout the day, I would take a few seconds to jot down little things I was grateful for, with the aim of getting to 1,000. It was such a simple practice, but it started to make such a big impact on my life and my attitude.
These little notes became little prayers to God throughout the day, each one expressing thankfulness for the many blessings he was showering on me. Some were significant and deeply meaningful, like a powerful prayer from a close friend or a breakthrough in a dark season, but some were as small as a smile from a stranger or a butterfly landing nearby. All helped me pause and praise God.
Here’s my advice to us all: Just try to slow down a little today. Keep your eyes open. Look around you, look up, look into the eyes of the people you pass, look at the grass growing or the flowers blooming or the autumn leaves falling. Take time to notice and appreciate the beauty of the world around you, and take a few extra minutes to write it all down. You’ll be surprised how gratitude can change your whole perspective on life and give you reason upon reason to praise the Creator of it all.
5 Verses of Thanks
“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Ps. 95:1-3
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Ps. 100:4-5
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” Ps. 118:29
“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Ps. 9:1
“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Ps. 7:17
A Prayer for a Heart of Thanksgiving
Lord, teach me to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily experiences of life. Teach me to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all my circumstances. I accept them as Your will for my life (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I long to bring pleasure to Your heart daily. Break the power of the enemy in my life. Defeat Him through my sacrifice of praise. Change my outlook and attitude into one of joyful contentment with my present circumstances. I thank You for… [Name a difficult circumstance in your life presently and thank God for it.] Amen.