In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we read “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” but how often do we really give thanks and express gratitude? I think too often we are like the ten lepers that Jesus healed where only one came back and gave thanks. We often come with our requests before God but how often do we truly give thanks, and I don’t just mean saying ‘thank you for this and thank you for that’ without really meaning it or thinking about what we are saying but I mean real genuine gratitude for what God has done in our lives or for blessings He has given us.
I have recently started a habit of a gratitude journal. It is not a prayer but it does help me “be thankful in all circumstances” and forces me to think about those things that I am grateful for. I commit to writing down three things I am grateful for a day and not just ones on repeat but preferably new things every day and to be honest sometimes it can be really hard to even just get three but I force myself to think of three and I usually can come up with them with a bit of thought.
I think the reason God wants us to be thankful in all circumstances is that it also helps us practice Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” When we are grateful we are more likely to be thinking thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, etc.
Let us make a habit of giving thanks, whether it is keeping a gratitude journal or saying sincere prayers of gratitude and try to think of new things we can be grateful for because God really does bless us with so much.