Thanksgiving isn't merely being grateful for blessings. It's an attitude of humility, rather than entitlement. Because people who believe they deserved to be blessed are never truly thankful.

Psalm 107:8 "Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever."

How to pray for the desires of your heart

Have you ever prayed and asked God to give us the desires of our heart?

It's a Scriptural. David prayed these words. But let's look at the whole prayer for some context.

How should you pray for the desires of your heart?

We find this important phrase in Psalm 20. David outlines his troubles to God, and he speaks truth over his fears. Three times, David gives a humble and worshipful response to God's character of goodness. This prayer is anything but a laundry list for desires, but it is an outpouring of desire for God and from God.

Here's how it goes:

Dear Lord, you answer me when I'm in distress.

You protect me.

You send help from your sanctuary

and give me support from Zion (that's angel protection and help!).

You remember my worship

and my gift offerings.

You give me the desires of my heart.

You make all my plans succeed.

I shout for joy 

and lift up the banner displaying God's goodness.

You grant my requests.

You save me because I am yours,

and you answer me from heaven.

Some people trust their own strength and power,

but I trust in you.

You bring my enemies down,

but you lift me up.

I will stand firm in your love.

Lord, answer me when I pray.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

A couple observations:

1. David didn't pray for the desires of his heart. He thanked God for giving them to him. (That's gratefulness, not greed.)

2. The "desires of my heart" section happens in the prayer AFTER he has called for help, and God has answered from heaven.

3. The relationship between David and God is relational, dependent, and worshipful. God doesn't owe David anything--God protects and answers because he loves David. And David is confident and content in what God gives.

--from Soulspeak: Praying change into unexpected places by Sue Schlesman, 2019

free image by Pixabay

Thanking God for Christmas

Lord God of heaven,

Thank you for Christmas.

Thank you for breathing on us the Word of Life,

for pouring out your Spirit on Mary,

for empowering Joseph,

for transforming shepherds and wise men,

for sharing Jesus.

Not just as a baby or a great man,

but as the Son of God, Emmanuel.

Christmas is a heavenly gift with global proportions.

Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth to save me.

Thank you for humbling yourself to be born as a helpless infant (see Phillppians 2)

a human with frailties and limitations

so I could trust that you understand me.

So that you could take my place before God as a sinner who needs salvation (1 Peter 2:24).

You created me with love in your heart--

Thank you for designing me for a purpose.

And not just me:

you've made and loved every person

throughout human history,

regardless of their response to your love.

You offer everyone the hope of heaven.

Thank you for fulfilling your own promises on Christmas Day,

for living and dying for,

for rising again in power over death--also for me.

Thank you for forgiving my sins and interceding before God the Father on my behalf.

Lord Jesus, I could never love you like you deserve to be loved,

but I will try to worship you this Christmas season.

I will look for your glory

and reflect your glory with my celebration.

I love you.

In Jesus' name, 


All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means “God with us”).--(Matthew 1:22-23)

image by Pixabay

Why should you be thankful after a hard year like this?

Why should you be thankful after a hard year like this?

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right." (Psalm 106:1-3)


Thank you for everything you give me 

and everything you don't give me.

You bless me because you love me.

Your love never fails.

I will proclaim your goodness openly.

You always do what's right.

I will wait on you

because you are good.

I will do what's right

because you command it.

Thank you for blessing me--however you want to do it--

your way is perfect.

In Jesus' name,


Thanks, hope, & overcoming sadness

Oh, Lord,

My spirit is so heavy

I feel sad,

even while I look around at your beautiful world

and thank you for your provision.

You have given me so much.

Your love and grace isn't lost on me.

And yet...

I'm human.

Circumstances are often painful.

People are often cruel.

The future doesn't always look bright.

So how can I keep my mind in a state of thankfulness and hope?

I will praise you.

I will count my blessings.

I will remember how you have never failed me,

how you have protected me,

blessed me,

and called me.

That gives me hope,

and that drives out sadness and discouragement.

You alone are great and powerful.

Nothing in this world can interfere with your blessing and calling on my life.

Thank you.

In Jesus' name,


"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 43:5)

I'm thankful to vote

Oh, Lord, 

I could have been born anywhere--

Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea,

Argentina, Afghanistan, India, Mexico....

But I was born in the United States.

I don't know why you gave that to me;

the privilege and responsibility overwhelm me with gratitude.

My country is not perfect.

It's not the Promised Land. 

It's not heaven on earth.

But I am free.

I have opportunity.

I can speak out.

I can vote people in or out of office.

Thank you, Lord.

I'm grateful for this privilege.

I don't discount it.

I will not malign what you've given me 

or demand more, as if I'm entitled 

to this freedom, prosperity, and support.

I deserve much less.

And so many millions around the world don't have a fraction of what I do.

Thank you for my freedom.

Thank you for my voice.

Thank you for my vote.

I promise to use each to honor and glorify your name.

In Jesus' name, 


"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5:13)

Related prayers:

A prayer for law enforcement

Forgive us, for we have sinned: a unilateral confession of racism

A confession of injustice

Praying freedom for victims of human trafficking

Memorial Day prayer of thanksgiving and protection

Related articles:

Let America be America

The value of remembering 9/11

I'm not supposed to feel normal

Where are you from and why it matters

Ever been to a ghetto?

What I learned in Cuba

Thank you for my child

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for protecting my child today.

It doesn't matter how old he is--

I'm always worried,

always praying,

always asking.

I want your protection over him.

I want your Spirit working in him.

I want your blessings on his life.

I know you want that even more than me.

Thank you for creating him--for making him so unique and exciting.

Thank you for his personality, 

his heart, 

and his talents.

Thank you for the greatness you've placed in him--

for making him in your image 

and calling him to your mission.

Thank you for protecting him--

for healing,


and speaking to him.

Help him to hear you.

Most of all--

thank you for letting me be his parent.

This is an unexplainable joy.

I love you.


Other prayers for your children:

Spiritual warfare over the rebellious child

Prayer for a powerful child

A prayer for my child's safety

Prayer for a sick child

Prayer for my sponsored child

A birthday prayer for my child

A prayer for my child's wedding day

Praying success over my child

"Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord." (Psalm 22:30)

Thank you for your protection and healing

Lord Jesus, Great Physician,

Thank you for saving my husband's life last night.

Thank you for protecting him as the doctors worked on him,

and worked on him the next day.

Thank you for giving us the wisdom to take him to the hospital,

when a health problem was so uncharacteristic of him.

Thank you for sitting in the waiting rooms with us,

hearing our prayers, 

and being present in our fear.

Bless the nurses and doctors who immediately gave assistance 

and thoroughly investigated his symptoms, 

who found irregularities and took them seriously.

Thank you for modern medicine,

for safe blood tests, EKGs, Ultra-Sounds, MRIs, catherizations, 

blood pressure machines, heart monitors, and X-rays--

and everything else available to doctors and patients.

Thank you for the cardiologist who didn't say "Let's wait and see how he does during the night."

He took him in,

found the problem,

and fixed it.

He re-examined the pictures in the middle of the night and went back in the next day to fix something that was almost undetectable.

He saved him.

You saved him.

You saved us all.

I cannot thank you or praise you enough.

We will tell of your righteousness.

We will share your glory.

We will not be afraid.

Lord, heal us.

In the precious name of Jesus our Savior,


"I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort." (Isaiah 57:18)

Thank you for supportive people

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for sending supportive people around me.

Thank you for the smiles,

the compliments,

the encouragement,

the critiques,

the celebrations, 

the welcoming arms of true friends.

It's hard to imagine how I'd feel your love

if people weren't here on this earth showing it to me,

being you,

every day,

even while they're being themselves.

Letting your Spirit pour out through them,

on me

to remind me that I'm your child.

I belong to you.

You are guarding me,

guiding me,

protecting me,

loving me.

That's who you are.

Thank you for people who are Jesus to me.

What a lovely, incomprehensible concept!


"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill he law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)

"Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19-20)

"Greet one another with a holy kiss." (2 Corinthians 13:19)

Thanks in all things

1 Thessalonians 5:18--"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Oh, Lord, 

Thank you for a day that reminds us to be grateful.

Forgive me that I need to be reminded of your grace,

that I ever complain about the thousand blessings you lavish on me.

Lord, thank you for your unconditional and unrelenting love.

During this difficult year, you have never left me.

You hold me in your hands and protect me.

You sit with me in grief

and hear my prayers.

You are good and generous,

and you never leave me or forget about me.

And you never hurt me.

I am safe with you.

Thank you for all of it, even the hard parts.

In Jesus' name,


Memorial Day prayer of thanksgiving & protection

Lord of heaven and earth,

We love you. 
Thank you for your unparalleled grace on us as a nation 
by giving us the freedom to pursue you and your calling to serve and worship you. 
We enjoy the blessings of abundance and opportunity 
because servicemen and women and their families 
have sacrificed comfort, protection and their lives to provide us with freedom. 
Lord, pour out your comfort and blessing on our armed forces and their families. 
Stave off the loneliness. 
Protect them from dangers, within and without. 
Fill them with your mission and purpose. 
May the Holy Spirit fill our bases, our ships, and our aircraft. 
Bring revival and comfort to these who give and suffer loss. 
Thank you for your provision for us who enjoy America. 
May we take advantage of all that you have supplied for us.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Check out these blogs and prayers for Memorial Day:

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." (Psalm 33:12)

Today I'm thankful for...

Oh, Lord,

Today I'm thankful for...

the sunshine
doing a craft project for someone
a repaired A/C
chocolate chip cookie dough (and eventually cookies)
adult kids working from home
two freezers full of food (for the adult kids working from home)
my she-shed (because adult kids working from home are not always quiet)
a computer to keep me connected
Scripture--it never gets old or irrelevant
Clorox wipes (although I don't have any)
Amazon (to get the off-brand wipes)
flowering cherry and pear trees (dogwoods are next!)
a warm bed
French toast and syrup
my childhood memories
a recently-organized garage and potting shed
verdant green grass
the smell of stained wood
trash pick-up on my street
the diffuser with lemon grass oil (to off-set the smell of the stain)
students of all ages
people who have poured into me
Friday (it's tomorrow!)
this blog.

All these things are therapy for me today.
They are reminders of your infinite goodness,
some of the many reasons you don't have to prove your love
by answering my requests
or making my life easier.

You are good.
You do only good.
You are the God of heaven and earth
from time past and time forward,
right into eternity.

Thank you, Jesus.

"For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love." (Psalm 33:4-5)

Thank you for being my Rock

Thank you, Lord.

You are so good.
All the time,
in every situation,
you have our best at heart.
Your love motivates you to move mountains
and change cultures
so that more people can search you and find you.

Thank you for your protection from this virus.
Thank you for our homes, schools, friends, church,
and virtual possibilities that much of the world can't access.
Thank you for healthcare professionals and modern medicine.

We are so fortunate.
So blessed.
And so easily frustrated.
Forgive me for my selfishness.

I want to revel in your goodness
and in the faith that you make all things whole.
You bring good out of a messy world
and glory from disaster.

I praise you and trust you.
You are my Rock.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."--Psalm 19:14

Thank you for the break

Oh, Lord,

I'm taking off for two days.
I don't want to take off from you.
I want to lean into your Spirit,
enjoy your world,
fellowship with your daughters.

I feel my heart settling down in happy silence
and peacefulness.

Thank you for creating a beautiful world for me to enjoy.
Thank you for friends.
Thank you for mental and emotional breaks.

Refresh me.
You are my majestic mountaintop,
my vast ocean,
my fragrant garden,
my lush meadow,
my quiet forest,
my rushing river.

You are in everything
and you sustain everything,
including me.

I praise you
and thank you.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul."
--Psalm 23:3

You care about the details

Oh, Lord,

Thank you for the sun.

Thank you for crisp air, new grass, sprouting flowers, and chirping birds.

I give thanks to you, Lord, for your unfailing love and your wonderful deeds!

I so appreciate the beauty of creation,
but perhaps more than that--
I am grateful that every little detail of nature and body remind me that you care about me.

I give thanks to you, Lord, for your unfailing love and your wonderful deeds!

You care when I'm sad,

You care when I'm elated,

All the minutia of my life and my world are not lost on you.
They are a million little details that you created because
you care that much.
You have that much energy and ability
as to be unrestrained by time and creativity.
You care so much,
you keep designing, giving, and blessing
with both big and little things.

I give thanks to you, Lord, for your unfailing love and your wonderful deeds!

You continue creating
for me
and for the whole world.

I am compelled to worship you
and disengage from the selfish patterns of my thoughts--
from thinking life is hard,
life is unfair,
and life is doomed.

I give thanks to you, Lord, for your unfailing love and your wonderful deeds!

You are enough.
You are excessively remarkable.

In Jesus' name,

Take a minute and read Psalm 107. It presents 4 problems (vv. 4-5, 10-12, 17-18, & 23-27). Each problem is followed by a promise from God and praise from the person praying. Each section contains this refrain:

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men."(vv. 8, 15, 21, 31)

Thank you for friendships

Dear Lord,

Thank you for friends.
Thank you for the blessing of community and connection,
for designing us to respond to one another's pain and joy.
I'm so grateful.
I don't know how I would be able to survive 
if I couldn't process, vent, and pray with friends.

Mold me into a loving and patient friend.
Help me to see what you see in everyone,
but particularly in those close to me.
Particularly when they hurt me
or misunderstand me.
Help me to be a real friend, not a social friend.
I want to be responsible for my friendships.

Bless them and use them.
May they follow you whole-heartedly.
May our friendship accurately represent the kingdom of God.

I want to be sacrificial,

I want to carry the Holy Spirit into every encounter.
I love you.
Thank you for befriending me
and for surrounding me with people who love you.

In Jesus' name,

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command." (John 15:12-14)

A month of thankfulness

Dear Lord,

How great is your love!
How numerous are your blessings!
There are too many to count.

But this month, I counted 30 simple blessings.
They were:

old friends
the Psalms
autumn weather
computer files
the theater
an evening at home
kind strangers
a surprise visit from my son
a sunny day
letters from friends
chocolate and peanut butter
small children
my church
fall colors
the ability to buy want I want and need
my sons coming home
my country's heritage
my future daughter-in-law
sleeping in
not working on Mondays
my students
Thanksgiving decorations
Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends
online shopping
Christmas decorations

You are so good.
All the time.
In the little things and the big things.
I love you.
In Jesus' name,

Psalm 100 
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Prayer for a giving spirit

Lord God in heaven,

We've entered the holiday season of giving.
Thank you for giving Jesus as a Savior to save my soul.
Thank for you for
Thanksgiving and Christmas,
for this season of peace, hope, gratefulness, and love.

Fill me with your Spirit so I radiate your love during the next month.
I want to be like you--completely generous,
compassionate toward the poor and needy,
thankful for your generosity,
full of contentment and grace.

Show me where and how to give of myself,
my resources,
my patience,
my compassion,
and my faith this season.
May I not hoard the blessings you've given me.

Make me a cheerful giver!
In Jesus' holy name,

For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

A Thankfulness Journal

It's November now. The month of Thanksgiving.

In honor of the upcoming holiday and because how to be more thankful came up in discussions I had this weekend at both my books events, I am committing to you and to God that I will keep a Thankfulness Journal for the month of November.

Every day, I will note what I am thankful for and print it. I'm attempting to stay away from the obvious things & people that find their way into all my prayers and take note of the million little details that make the human experience--and the Christian life--so worth living.

I recommend reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts to help you with this process. It's breathtakingly beautiful.

I'm also willing to guarantee that an intentional process of thanksgiving will change how to think about everything and will probably keep your Christmas spirit from digressing into consumerism (a side benefit).

So here we go--

Nov. 1--old friends
Nov. 2--the Psalms
Nov. 3--crisp mornings

What are you thankful for today?

Lord God,
You are amazing. I'm awed by your grace and splendor. Thank you for this beautiful fall weather. What an incredible delight this season is. Such artistry is hard to absorb. 
In Jesus' name,

Thank you for remembering me

Oh Lord,
You have perfect memory.
You remember me,
even though you have so many more important things to remember.

You don't forget what makes me grieve,
feel lonely,
or embarrassed.

You know what makes me fill with pride,
shrink in fear,
and weep with gratitude.
(Click here for a prayer called "Only You.")

You made me.
You know me.
And nothing about me makes you pull away,
feel disappointed
or annoyed.

You have infinite love, patience, and grace.
For me.
Even when I'm horrible.
Even when I think I'm wonderful, but I'm really not.
You have designed me,
and therefore, you intend to prosper me
no matter how much I mess up.
(Cick here for a prayer about design: "Thank you for my children's struggles.")

Thank you for remembering that I'm so so fallible.
Thank you for remembering me enough to die for me.
Thank you for everything.

In Jesus' wonderful name,

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:13-14)

Thank you for family and friends

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for your love 
and for demonstrating it through the love of a human family.
What a beautiful concept!

Thank you for creating each person in this world so carefully.
Each is unique in personality and purpose.
Thank you for the overwhelming blessing of children, parents, siblings, extended family.

Thank you for everything--
for the struggles and the pain that living in community brings.
Thank you for the joys and the surprises,
the disappointments and the hope.
Thank you for all of it because you use all of it to make us better and to prepare us for your purpose.

Thank you for the love of my spiritual family,
for friends at church,
for mentors, teachers, and leaders,
for all the people I'll never meet 
who preached a sermon or wrote a book,
or started a non-profit,
or wrote curriculum
that formed me and challenged me and changed me.
Bless them for their service to me because they loved and obeyed you.

I just need your Spirit to help me remember that
everything is good in your hands.
People are not terrible. They're people.
We all need you, and without you, we really mess things up.

So often, I forget when things get difficult how much I am truly blessed.
So thank you for the good you put into my life;
it helps me realize how gracious you truly are
and how gracious you have called me to be toward everyone else.

I love you.
In Jesus' name, 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must loveone another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Click here for related blogs and prayers:
"Thank you for my children"
"Why love hurts"
"I believe you love me"

Thank you for fathers

Dear Father in heaven,

Thank you for creating fatherhood
and for men who are courageous and sacrificial while they do it.
Praise God for men that take on the challenge of fatherhood,
who grow into it,
adapt to it,
love it.

Thank you for my dad,
even though I have no significant memories of him.
Even though he died at 33,
he left a legacy.
He had already started building something that would last.

He left big shoes to fill
and a wife determined to fill them.
Thank you for my mother.
For their marriage.
For their commitment to you.

Thank you for all parents
who love their children
and raise them to be responsible,
caring, giving, and God-honoring.
You leave your legacy on all of us.

What a tribute a good father is to you,
the greatest of all fathers,
the one and only.

I praise and thank you for who you are.

A Christmas Prayer of Gratitude

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for the opportunity and ability to Christmas-shop.
I love this season, and I love choosing gifts for people I love.
This is a luxury not enjoyed by most people in the world.
Keep me mindful of my blessings and thankful for the wealth you've given me.
Help me to share generously and remember that everything I have is yours!

Most of all, I want to be always cognizant that you are the perfect GIFT. You're all I need. May you be all I want.

I recognize that I celebrate this amazing holiday because of your humility--
your decision to enter the world as a helpless baby,
to live your life for other people,
and then to die a cruel, unjust death so that I could enjoy your presence forever.

How shocking and horrific that we often make the Christmas holiday
about what we get and what we do.
How blasphemous that we make it about snow, winter, and baking cookies.
If we're not remembering you, sharing you, and honoring you, then what's the point?

Thank you for your overflowing kindness and blessing.
And Happy Birthday!

In Jesus' name,

Isaiah 9:6

Thank you for the hard things

It's Thanksgiving week!

Dear Lord Provider,

Remind me of something each day with week to thank you for,
and not just the normal things, like family, friends, food, and health.
Thank you for the hard things.

I want to be thankful for my failures because you are doing something even greater in me than I can anticipate.
I want to be thankful for my time--may I use it to worship you rather than worship the things I want or the attention I crave. And may I not stress about the time I don't have.
I want to be thankful for the waiting--this state I keep finding myself in, when I believe you are working but I can't see what you're doing.
I even want to be thankful for times of pain because you use my pain to showcase your love; you heal my pain because you love me.

Thankfulness reminds me of who I am and what you do for me.
It reminds me to praise you for you who are.

You are grace, mercy, love, hope.
You are my past, my present, and my future,
my All-in-All.

Thank you!

Thank you for rescuing my friend

Dear Father in Heaven,

Thank you for working powerfully in my friend's life.
You have rescued yet one more person from self-destruction and certain derailment.
You showed yourself powerful, just, and loving.

I never doubted you would,
but I wasn't sure how you would do it.

I am always amazed by your love and grace.
Your timing is marvelous.
You remind me that you are sovereign--
your will is perfect--
and you are not rushed by human anxiety or human deadlines.

And why would you be?
You are God Almighty.

Thank you for that, also.

Psalm 44:6--Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.

You make me shake my head

Oh, Lord,

You astound me and make me feel grateful.

When I look around my world--my house and work and family--or when I behold your natural creation of mountains and oceans and fields, I just shake my head with wonder.


Thank you.

Thank you for my family, my home, my church, all which sometimes frustrate me.
Thank you for my freedom, which I take for granted.
Thank you for life and health, which I really take for granted.
Thank you for my mind, which isn't as quick as it used to be, but it's a blessing nevertheless.
Thank you for the beauty of the world, for all its variety:
for the marvelous expanse of nature
and also for the cities and countries filled with people, who I misunderstand or don't think about at all.
Thank you for your living Word, which I don't read as much as I should, although it inspires and changes me.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you through the church, which I often make about fulfilling me instead of about honoring you.

Thank you for your love, grace, patience, and encouragement while I wrestle with my humanity, my self-centeredness, and my fear.

You make me shake my head.
Why do you love me?
Why do you even bother?
I must be so aggravating to watch.
I keep struggling with the same lessons, the same problems, the same habits.
And yet you wait, you love, you remind, you cheer.

Thank you.


"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep . . . How priceless is your unfailing love!" (Psalm 36:5-7)

It's raining

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the rain
and especially for not flooding my basement.
Your mercies never fail.
And apparently, the rain doesn't, either.
But you know best.


Thankful for America

Dear Lord God,

I am blessed to live in America,
a free country,
even though I chafe under the ambition and corruption so often present in public officials.
I am proud of our soldiers and civil servants,
even though I read stories of their brutality and injustice in the news.
I appreciate the protection I have to believe, write, live, and worship,
even though I recognize our country's moral decline.

We are a sinful people and a sinful nation,
and yet you choose to love us and use us.
You have blessed us with opportunity and responsibility,
and so much good has been accomplished in the world through our nation.
Because of your love and mercy.

Thank you for the men and women who have served our country,
faced danger,
missed loved ones,
endured trauma,
fought to recover,
and came home.

Thank you for the ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives
so we could enjoy freedom.
Bless their families and cover them with your loving care.

Thank you for trusting us with your message of hope
and the resources to help other people.
May America be a country that reflects your love and compassion to the world!

In Jesus' name,

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.--Psalm 33:12

Thank you for the blessings I understand and the ones I don't

Dear Lord-Provider,

Thank you for answering my prayers.
I'm grateful for your blessings,
even when they happen in your timing and not mine.
(Your way always seems way too long in coming.)

I'm trying to believe that your timing is perfect,
even when I can't see that it is.

I know I need patience
and faith to trust you.
I'm glad you're working on this in my life,
even though I hate it.

I love you.
In my feeble, pathetic, human way,
I love you.
And I desire to love you more all the time,
not just when you bless me.

Until you make me wait another time
and then bless me again after I've waited,
I just want to say--

I believe in your timing.
I'm grateful for the blessings I understand and the ones I don't.
I trust your will for your gifts that are coming,
no matter what they look like at the time I receive them.


Thank you for my children's struggles

Dear Father,

Thank you for my children.
Thank you for their imperfections and their struggles.
Thank you for walking through life with them,
speaking into their lives,
using every hardship and every conflict to re-orient them to you.
And you don't hurry or panic when they don't learn the lesson
the first or second or hundredth time.

You keep loving and showing yourself to them
by bringing influencers across their paths,
by painting nature all around them,
by making your Word alive and powerful in their hearts and minds.

Thank you for being their God,
as much as you are my God.
You have a future and a hope for them,
a destiny of your design.
You will use all their mistakes,
all their experiences,
all my failings and my influence
to mold them into the people you want them to be.

I am in awe of your goodness and your sovereignty.
Why do I worry?
My children were your children first,
your perfect, unique creations,
an expression of yourself,
with a little bit of us parents mixed in.

Your work is remarkable!
Thank you for letting me experience them
as their parent.


Praise and thanks for using me

Heavenly Father,

Why do you bless me so much?
I am in awe of your perfect ways and the grace you give when you let us become involved in the work you're doing around the world.

Today you let me meet a child I've sponsored for 15 years, halfway around the world.
We share love and appreciation for one another, even though we had never met or talked before today.
You have knit our hearts together in the Lord.
Even though we don't share race,
economic status,
or interests,
this relationship has enriched and changed our lives.

Your Spirit accomplished that.
Thank you for using me and blessing me in the process.

How awesome are your ways, O Lord!

I want You

Dear Lord,

I want so much.
I want happiness and success and impact.
I want friends and family.
I  need to stop a second and thank you, because your generosity has exceeded my wants.

Thank you for using me.
Thank you for saving me and filling me and hanging with me even when I stop hanging with you.
Thank you for gifting me, even though I don't always appreciate the gifts you choose for me.
Thank you for my family, for our home, for our opportunities,
for all the things I grumble about that are incredible blessings.
May I complain less, argue less, pout less, despair less, give up less.
Because all things are possible in Christ.

I want your will.
I want what you want, in the way that you want it for me.
I just want You.


Counting my blessings

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all the beautiful, ordinary blessings that are not so ordinary.
Thank you for my home (which has issues),
my vehicles (even when they don't work),
my food (even when I complain about cooking),
my family (even though I take them for granted).

I am so blessed.

Thank you for my country (even though it angers me),
my freedoms (even though I complain about not having more),
my work (even though I want more and want to be more).

You have blessed me beyond measure.

My world is gorgeous, and I live in it.
My home is loving, and I live in it.
My dreams are attainable, and I live them.

Why do I forget how blessed I am?

Everything I have is yours,
and it's all extra.

Lord, teach me to number my blessings, as well as my days.


A Prayer to a Good Father

Dear Father in Heaven,

That's a strange concept to me. A heavenly father. Who are you, and how can you love me like a father loves his child when there are 7.5 billion people in the world today? People you want as your children?

You require holiness, but I am so unholy.
You created me, yet I complain about this creation. (Why did you design bodies to change with age???)
You have compassion and patience with me, even though I fail the same faith tests repeatedly.
You are probably annoyed with my whining and entitlement, yet you don't lose your temper or say things you shouldn't.

You don't work too much or fall asleep in your chair or forget birthdays or feel helpless when I'm despairing. (I don't know if earthly fathers do those things, but I've heard that some do.)

This is why Father's Day is hard,
why the concept of a Heavenly Father is hard:
I don't know what good fathering feels like.

But I know what love feels like.
I know what the Holy Spirit feels like when He's speaking through me.
I know what peace feels like when the world is hammering me hard,
what hope feels like when there's no logical reason to hope.
I know what confidence feels like, even when I am painfully unqualified.

Perhaps that's fathering at its best, on earth and in heaven.
Good fathering covers you, protects you, accepts you, directs you, loves you.

So thank you.
Thank you for being a Father to the fatherless.
Thank you for fathering the fathered.
Thank you for being whatever kind of father all 7.5 billion of us need.

We just need to talk to you, to find out Who you are,
what kind of Father you are.
We have to decide not to be afraid to know you.
Because you won't disappoint, leave, die, or hurt us.
And you only do good things.

I love you, God. You are my Father.


image by axelle b

Thanksgiving for the Cross

Dear Jesus,

Because of the cross,
you understand pain;
you can erase suffering--
your healing I'll gain.

Because of the cross,
you can understand sin;
your gift of forgiveness
will grant peace within.

Because of the cross,
you drew your last breath;
in becoming mortal,
you freed us from death.

Because of the cross,
my debt has been paid;
no longer I'm guilty
a daughter you've made.

Because of the cross,
I have access to you;
you hear all my prayers,
you make dreams come true.

Because of the cross,
I will live saved and free;
no longer I'll struggle with
whom I should be.

Because of the cross,
I'm changed every day;
I live life with purpose,
for you've shown me the way.


image by Suzy Dubot

Thank You for spring

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord of Creation,

How do You do it?
Year after year, spring astounds me.
Thank you for the beauty of the flowers, the budding trees,
the singing of birds as they flitter through the branches,
gathering twigs for their nests.
Thank you for creating such incredible details
and weaving the world together in a tapestry of majesty.
Your love is boundless,
and I am awed by You.


image by Bobby Mikul

A prayer for Thanksgiving 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the harvest. I get to live in a plentiful land.
Thank you for family. I get to live with people I love, who love me.
Thank you for my church. I get to worship You without opposition.
Thank you for my country. I get to pursue anything I want.
Thank you for my faith. I get to grow in a relationship with You.
Thank you for everything. You made it all and shared it with me.


image by Petr Kratochvil

Thank You for my heritage

Dear Lord, Jehovah Jireh,
the God who provides--

Thank you for providing me a heritage.
No background is perfect,
and no family is without pain and suffering.
Yet regardless of present circumstances,
my heritage is a provision from You
to shape me and direct my attention
toward You
and toward Your never-failing, no-strings-attached love.

Thank you for providing me a life,
imperfect and filled with pain,
yet bursting with opportunities for growth.
You stretch me and challenge me
because You love me.
You have plans for me.

These are just some aspects of Your unimaginable provision.
Thank You, Jehovah-Jireh.
Let me never forget or minimize the depth of your care,
even when I don't understand it.


image by K Whiteford 

Why should I thank God when I'm grieving?

Dear God of all comfort,

Thank you.

I'm grieving, but I thank You for everything.

Thank you for creating the church, which functions like a family. I can't explain how people I've never met or hardly know can send me a prayer or encouragement, and I instantly feel loved and no longer alone.

Thank you for making prayer a way to express grief, joy, fear, and frustration. I don't know why it works, but it does.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve You by serving other people. I don't know why loving someone else when I need to be loved fills an emotional hole, but it does.

Thank you for growing my faith through trials. I don't completely understand how suffering can produce joy in my life, but I see it happen all the time.

Thank you for asking me to be generous. I can't explain how we can give away so much and still pay our bills, but remarkably, it's true.

Thank you for a million other blessings--for every sunset, for every flower, for every smile, for every laugh. For exquisite tastes and smells. For the bliss of cuddling a child and kissing a spouse. I am astounded by the richness of life.

You are truly remarkable. There is no other explanation for the joy of life, except to say that You are God. You are holy, righteous, just, wise, fierce, and tender. I am in awe of You.

Thank you for that, too.


image by MALIZ ONG

Thank you for my children

Lord of mercy and love,

Thank you for my children.
Thank you for their successes.
Thank you even for their hardships
because it builds the character that I want them to have
and the character you want me to have.
(Because parenting always leads me back to you.)
I can't love them without your love
or lead them without following you.
I need you more than they need me or I need them.
Just you.
Help me to trust you with their lives,
through joys and sorrows,
triumphs and pain.
You have already shown yourself to be trustworthy--
They are your love language to me.
Your whispers of hope, healing, and heaven.
They are my greatest blessings.
Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you.
And loving them gives me a glimpse of who you are.


Why am I afraid?

Dear Lord,

Why am I afraid of the things I can't control, when You are all-powerful?
Why am I afraid of failure, when You've promised give me a future?
Why am I afraid to defend the truth--when You have called Yourself the Truth?
Why am I afraid I won't be happy submitting to Your will, when lasting joy can only be found in You?
Why am I afraid to share the gospel, when Your good news has the power to set everyone free?
Why am I afraid to worship You, when I know that pursuit of success will never satisfy me?
Why am I afraid to forgive others, when You let me live in grace?

Why do You even put up with me?

It makes no sense. But You are patience and mercy and love. Thank you! 
Thank You for power, purpose, joy, salvation, intimacy, forgiveness, and grace. You amaze me!

I love You!! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Psalm 56:11--"In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?"

image by Piotr Wojtkowski

A Lack of Thanksgiving

"The real problem of life is never a lack of time. The real problem of life--in my life--is lack of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks--take the just one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks--and He miraculously makes it more than enough."--Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 72.

What areas of lack frustrate you?

Could the struggle associated with your area of frustration be a deficiency of thanksgiving, rather than a deficiency in God's provision?
Could prosperity be a decision of the heart rather than a product of the will?

image from

A Thankful Heart

You can't fake a thankful heart, even if you say "thank you" or send a "thank you" note, (which, by the way, is still an excellent idea, even in the age of technology). Thankfulness permeates why you do things and how you do them. It emanates from a spirit of contentment rather than entitlement.

Thankfulness makes statements like--
"You are so thoughtful!"
"I can't believe you did that!"
"You make me feel so special!"
"I'm the luckiest guy in the world!"

Thankfulness and humility go hand-in-hand. They expect nothing, appreciate everything, and value everyone. Thankfulness comes from the heart, creating pure joy.

Col. 2:6-7--"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."



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