It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in our prayers. Since we are to “enter His gates with Thanksgiving” (Ps 100:4) and since “every good and perfect gift is from the Father” (Jas 1:17), expressing our gratitude is the last place we want to get plugged up. When you feel stuck, try these prayers of gratitude to get you started again and let your thanks pour forth as an unstoppable fountain.
I have listed seven areas of thanksgiving below. There are infinitely more! This is just a starting place. I tried to pick a few less-obvious areas that we may be prone to overlook.
You may want to focus on a different category each day of the week or choose one from each category every day. I encourage you to go beyond just reading the words. Think about your own life and expand on these beginnings.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 8:35-39
Your love for is perfect and utterly beyond my comprehension. Thank you that you:
never leave me
don’t give up on me
are always by my side
love me even in my most unlovable moments
remain faithful to me, even when I am unfaithful to you
don’t give me what I want when what I want is less than your best . . .
Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.
~ Psalm 77:11-12 (MSG)
I recall times past where you intervened miraculously in my life. I may not have even realized it was you at the time. I don’t want to be like the Hebrews who feared the giants of Canaan because they forgot the water-walled path through the Red Sea. Help me remember.
when you saved me
when you protected me
when you comforted me
when you healed me
when you heard me
when you saved me
when you redeemed my life
when you revealed yourself to me in a new way
Thank you again for intervening on my behalf . . .
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”#teachustopray #write31days”]”Gratitude is the mother of Joy.” -elizabeth meyers[/tweetthis]
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
~ James 1:17, NIV
I realize you are not always dramatic. Sometimes you are very subtle, hiding golden nuggets of your love and inviting me to join you in a treasure hunt. Sometimes, you like to reserve a few blessings for those who make the effort to watch for them.
These may not be as dynamic as the big obvious expressions of your love, but they are more intimate and personal. Help me pay attention so I don’t miss the myriad of ways you display your love for us. I want to look for you at work in my life and the lives of those around me.
Thank you for these common everyday things, simple blessings, and ordinary graces I can easily take for granted:
pen and paper
I found what was lost
I showed up late and meeting hadn’t started
the stain came out
the car started. . .
This I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
~ Lamentations 3:21-23
Lord, please bring to mind all the blessings in my life that I need to be grateful for. I confess that too often I am just like the nine lepers you healed, skipping off to enjoy your work in my life without even pausing to say thanks. I want to be in the 10% club. I want to be the one that returns and remembers; the one who acknowledges and thanks you.
Please forgive my ingratitude. I know that taking your gifts for granted only leads to negativity, dissatisfaction, and an arrogant sense of entitlement. How often I have done this! I don’t want to be forgetful or ungrateful anymore. It’s never too late to say thanks.
Thank you for these blessings I forgot to be grateful for . . .
Thank you for reminding me of these blessings and for the gift of a second chance to be grateful!
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.
~ 1 Timothy 4:4
Teach me to thank you for the thorns you put among my roses, for it is the thorns that remind me that your grace is all I really need. It is my weaknesses that reveal your strength. It is my failures that highlight your mercy. It is my trials that show me your faithfulness. It is my stains that reveal your cleansing power.
I thank you for these thorns:
the prayer you answered differently than I wanted
my dirty dishes—we have food to eat
what I’ve learned from my mistakes
my messy house—it is full of life, love, and activity
the noise—my children are healthy and energetic
the storm that drove me to seek shelter with you
the pain that allowed me to experience your healing touch
my chains that showed me how your truth sets me free
the trials that fortify my faith and strengthen my resolve
the rain you send to make the flowers bloom and the plants bear fruit
the pressures you use to produce diamonds of perseverance in me
my humbling inadequacy—it drives me to chase after you . . .
I thank my God every time I remember you.
~ Philippians 1:3
I thank you for the people you have brought into my life—some for a season, some for a reason, some for a lifetime.
It is often through them that I see you at work in this world.
It is my compassion for them that drives me to action.
It is their hands that hold me up when I am weak and wounded. I feel your love flow through theirs.
It is their sin against me that helps me understand the price and the freedom of forgiveness.
It is our conflict that makes me run to my Prince of Peace.
It is they who challenge me and stretch me and sharpen me.
You use them to motivate me to grow and become a better person and press closer to you.
They are masterpieces created in your image. Though many have been wounded and marred.
It is for them you died.
They are your Beloved Ones.
Thank you for bringing these people into my life . . .
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1, BSB
Father, I thank you in advance for things not yet received and prayers not yet answered because I know that you are faithful and that all good gifts come from you. . .
I don’t ever want to stop thanking you. May I never allow the river of my gratitude to run dry nor the fire of my thankfulness to be snuffed out by my own grumbling. Teach me to give thanks for everything (Eph 5:20) in all circumstances (1 Th 5:18). Since I am receiving from you a kingdom that can never be shaken, let me be thankful and worship you with reverence and awe (He 12:28).
I want to see the world in a new way, starting now. I want to look expectantly for all the thousands of ways you say “I love you” every day. And on the dark and gloomy days when the storm clouds and my own tears blur my vision of you and my feeble mind can’t think of one thing to thank you for—I will look to the cross—the ultimate expression of your love for me. You sacrificed everything for me. The least I can do is sacrifice a few measly minutes to give you thanks. Grant me new eyes to see my world as you do.
Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.
~ 2 Chronicles 20:21b
But wait, there’s more! See all the free printables to add to your prayer guide here.
Elizabeth is a military spouse, veteran, and mother of eight. Above and beyond caring for her family, her mission is to offer words that sustain the weary and equip people to live a life of faith filled with purpose.
Learn more at elizmeyers.com.