A Thanksgiving Prayer

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

1 Chronicles 16:34

Father in heaven, we thank you that you have poured out many kindnesses upon us—all the blessings of this life, our creation, preservation, and above all, your inestimable love in the redemption of the world through our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you today for the means of grace, for the hope of glory, for the many kindnesses, the good things that you have done in forgiving our sins, in healing our diseases, in redeeming us from the pit, in crowning us with steadfast love and mercy so that we would soar as on eagles’ wings.

We thank you, our Lord, that you utterly understand our plight. You know that we are but dust. You know that we are vulnerable. We are weak, mortal, prone to sin, prone to blindness, easily baffled. We thank you for invading our lives with light and life. You’ve come to make us new. You strengthen us for the battle. You give us the grace we need in our time of need. You shield us, you grow us, you do not give up on us, and you will complete what you have begun. We are grateful and we pray that you would look even this very day on us one and all. That we, as your children would grow in wisdom in favor with God and man. We would learn to love you more steadily, to hold in our hearts the struggles of other people, that we would be people of genuine kindness. People who are patient, people able to endure, people able to forgive by the mercies of Christ himself. And we do pray in the name of this great Messiah.


Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6–7

“Thank you.”

Simple to say, profoundly significant. And strangely hard to do. When we don’t say, “Thank you,” it’s extremely revealing. Of all the valid things that might be said about the ignorance and waywardness of our hearts, Paul singles out ingratitude for special mention: “They didn’t thank God” (Romans 1:21). It’s as if “You never said thank you” is the transgression that clinches the case against us.

Thankfulness is a jewel in the crown of life. Colossians is a short letter but being thankful pops up seven times. “Thank you” is one of humility’s core instincts.

Why wouldn’t I say thank you? Perhaps I don’t feel thankful. I feel entitled. I don’t recognize who’s giving me every good thing. I don’t want to need help or depend on anyone. I want to take all the credit for myself, thank you very much, and no thanks to you. But when I awaken to who gives me good gifts, I’m grateful.

And gratitude is a primary expression of sanity. First Corinthians 4:7 teaches us to say, What do I have that is not a gift?! James 1:17 teaches us to see that every good gift is from above, coming down from our Father.

So what are you thankful for? Think about that.

Excerpted from Take Heart: Daily Devotions to Deepen Your Faith by David Powlison ©2022 by Nancy Powlison. Used by permission of New Growth Press. May not be reproduced without prior written permission.

Take Heart front cover

Take Heart: Daily Devotions to Deepen Your Faith

Drawn from David Powlison’s many decades of writing, teaching, and speaking, Take Heart is a yearlong devotional journey into the process of biblical change, where truth becomes clearer and our ears hear and our eyes see what God tells us about himself. 


About the author

David Powlison

David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken, God's Grace in Your Suffering, Safe and Sound, and Take Heart. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.

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