A few years ago our family went to Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park on Thanksgiving Day. It was soon after Carolyn’s dad died and we wanted to just escape a little.
I snapped this photo of the stencil over the kitchen sink in our kitchen–a great reminder!
We also found an advertisement for a “Black Friday” sale at a store nearby. It would open at 10 PM on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump start on Black Friday. So at about 8:30 PM we got in the line which by then wrapped around the store with customers eager to get incredible deals.
We had our eyes on just one item: a flat screen digital TV. Normally we are not happy to spend our time standing in line for two minutes, let alone an hour. But this deal was just too good to pass up. So there we stood, waiting in line with dozens of others.
Finally, at 10 PM the doors opened and everyone rushed in. With ad in hand we went hunting for the TV. The place was so packed we could hardly move through the aisles. Bumping into people and trying to avoid traffic jams in the aisles, we searched and searched but found no TV.
We asked a store employee who looked at the ad and said, “I think they’re over there somewhere.” We went “over there” to no avail.
We asked another employee who pointed us in another direction and said, “I think there are just a few left.” So we hurried as best we could.
At last we found it: the pot of gold under the rainbow! The flat screen digital TV we came for with the incredible price marked on it. But when we looked a little closer, we saw that it was marked “sold” and it was the only one on the floor.
We found a third employee who said there were no more to be sold. There had been a very limited number and tickets were given to people in the front of the line for the 10 digital TV’s that they had available. Wow—our 2 hour quest was a bust! What a disappointing way to end our Thanksgiving Day.
So what did we do? We laughed at the ridiculous situation. We looked around the store a little more and left totally empty handed. Then we laughed some more. It was all so silly. We had fun with the absurdity of it.
Thankfully, we were even thankful for our ridiculous experience on that Thanksgiving Day, since it gave us such a good laugh.
I am also glad for what we didn’t do that Thanksgiving Day. We didn’t complain to the management. We didn’t gripe and fuss to each other. We didn’t moan about missing out.
One of the most important things we can do, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day, is thanking. An attitude of gratitude sets the tone for who we are, what we accomplish and how attractive we are to others. It helps us overcome setbacks.
Sure there are legitimate gripes, trials, and tragedies. We can complain, lick our wounds and mourn. Which we should to some extent.
But the sooner we return to a thankful mindset, the more powerful our lives will be.
Here are 3 reasons why thanking prayers are so important:
01. Thanking prayers help reset our attitudes.
There are days when I get up and my heart is heavy with challenges, difficulties, problems, and heartaches.
Sometimes they are immense: a family member’s death, a major illness, a financial setback.
But most of the time my problems are just the normal trials of life.
So I find it extremely helpful to reset my attitude each morning with thanking prayers.
Scripture says “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1 ESV)
What happens when we do what this verse is saying?
The world begins to look like a much better place.Things start looking up as I start looking up in thanksgiving.I start to move from “My life is so bad” to “My life is so blessed.”
Scripture repeatedly tells us to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving:
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:2 ESV)
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4ESV)
“And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!” (Psalm 107:22 ESV)
My eBook “10 Prayers to Unlock Heaven on Earth” has a whole chapter on thanking prayers. Get a free copy HERE when you become a blog subscriber.
02. Thanking prayers please God.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
Thanking prayer pleases God. And as a little girl said, “If there is anyone you want to make happy it’s God.”
We might ask why God is so adamant about this issue.
I think there are at least 3 reasons thanking prayers please God so much:
a. Gratitude makes for a great relationship.
Thanksgiving is the opposite of contempt and criticism. Tell someone how grateful you are for them and see how it builds your relationship.
b. Grumpy Christians are bad “advertising” for Christ.
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17 NLT)
c. If our mouths are not filled with gratitude, they are often filled with ungodly garbage.
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:4 ESV)
03. Thanking prayers open the door for more blessings.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Asking prayer requests of God is important. But it is even more powerful to make requests along with thanking prayers.
We must practice “supplication with thanksgiving” as this verse says in order to experience the greatest power in our prayers and more blessings.
I have a friend who asks and asks for favors but never expresses thanks. Guess what—I started ignoring that friend’s requests for help.
It seems God is saying the same thing: ask for your prayer requests, but you’ll get more prayers answered when you also offer thanking prayers.
For more information on the importance of thanking prayers see my articles: