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Giving Thanks Means Speaking Thanks

By Barbara Rainey

First posted on

Only two days remain before the day which annually reminds us to express gratitude.

Have you ever thought it’s not just an attitude of gratitude that’s important?

What are you doing to make sure you and yours find ways to actually verbalize thanks to God for all He has given us?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,” declared James the brother of Jesus, who then adds, “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). That means God never changes. Period. So all good gifts in your life come directly from the hand of God who is ever the same in His goodness toward you.

Giving thanks to an unchanging God is what I need in this ever-changing world.

Here is a common scenario that helped me understand the importance of putting my gratitude into real words and speaking them out loud to God in prayer or in thanksgiving around our table every year.

Imagine sending a wedding gift to an engaged couple who live in another state and never getting a thank you note. I’ve experienced this and I wondered if the gift got lost in the mail or if the bride was too busy, too self-focused or maybe she hated what I sent. I’m sure there was a good reason she forgot to send a thank you for the gift I spent time and money buying to celebrate their happy day. Or maybe the new bride had an attitude of gratitude. Perhaps she thought that was enough. I didn’t give the gift so I’d get a note in the mail, yet there is some expectation that a gift should be acknowledged, right?

Because we know God is perfect and possesses all the big “omni” attributes—like omniscient, omnipresent, etc.—we overlook the fact that He is a Person of emotion. He feels love, sadness, anger, and more just as we do, or rather we experience those emotions because we are made like Him, in His image.

But the point in only having an attitude of gratitude is that our lack of verbalizing our thanksgiving might feel to God like neglecting to send a thank you note for the kindness of a gift. Except the neglect needs to be multiplied by six billion people who don’t say thank you for much at all relative to what we’ve been given. Point taken?

On Thanksgiving I want to reflect the words of Revelation 7:12, which says, “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!” Let’s express gratitude by verbally thanking God for everything you can think of.

Will you join me in making a list of ways you can thank God? Strive to do this every day. Every month. All year long!

And to help you and all you gather with this week actually put this into practice, go to our ETSY store and download one of our Thanksgiving gratitude cards. Print them on your home printer and invite all who will share your table to put into words their gratitude. You still have time!

Be courageous and try it. Yes, there may be some discomfort doing this with your family, but it’s good for us and God more than deserves our words of thanksgiving on this annual holiday.


My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women (NEW from Barbara Rainey)

As we search for meaning in our world of shallow online relationships and glamorized selfies, many are returning to traditional and liturgical churches. The repeated words, benedictions, and historic hymns connect us to saints who have gone before, giving us a sense of belonging, richness, and transcendence. Written prayers, once cast off as archaic, are now welcomed as guides to tune our hearts to the heart of God.

In My Heart, Ever His Barbara Rainey shares 40 prayers for women. Readers can read and meditate on one prayer throughout the week or read a prayer a day for 40 days as a way to express the longing of our hearts to our Father who loves us even as he sees who we truly are. Like the psalms of David, these prayers are honest, sometimes raw. Barbara uses these transparent expressions of common female experiences to encourage us to surrender to Christ and help us see God as he is, not as we assume him to be. My Heart, Ever His provides a stepping-stone to help you become more transparent with God and discover his welcoming embrace.


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