Thanksgiving is good for the soul, but it also benefits the body. One author has noted, “It’s physically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same moment…being grateful floods the body and brain with positive endorphins and emotions.” Many believers know they should be grateful, but they don’t have a habit of expressing thanks. Part of the problem is that they don’t have a plan. On my daily prayer list, I have a place holder that contains the letter “T.” I know that the letter stands for “thanks.” When I pray, I like to first focus on the spiritual blessings I have in Christ. Scripture says Jesus has given us “everything required for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). I would recommend a similar practice for your own prayer life. Add these following spiritual items on your prayer list and prayer over them each day.
When I think of the way in which the Lord drew me to Himself (John 6:44), I have to be thankful. By His grace, He forgave me of my sin (Colossians 1:14), placed His Spirit within me (Ephesians 1:13), and made me a part of His spiritual family (Romans 8:15). I know there was nothing good that I did to gain His favor (Titus 3:5). He made me a new person in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) because of His rich mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5)! Do you have a similar testimony? Spend time giving thanks to God!
My Growth in Grace
The Heavenly Father has been so faithful to complete the good work He started in my life (Philippians 1:6). Over the years, He has proved His love by disciplining me and developing me (Hebrews 12:6-7). He’s been so good to keep working on me, and to make me into all that He wants me to be. I must give Him thanks!
My Spiritual Gifts
I didn’t know it when I got saved, by my salvation involved a deposit of otherworldly, supernatural, and spiritual gifts into my psyche (Romans 12:6-8). By God’s grace, He has gifted me to serve within the body of Christ. He deserves praise!
My Bible Each day I have the pleasure of perceiving the perceptions of God through the pages of the Bible. He has given me a book to lead me (Psalm 119:105), protect me (Psalm 119:9-11), enlighten me (Psalm 119:104), and help me (Psalm 119:130). I am grateful for God’s Word (Psalm 119:62)!
My Prayer Life
When Jesus died on the cross, He eliminated a barrier that previously existed between God and man (Matthew 27:51). As one of His children, I have the privilege of talking to Him through prayer. I don’t need a priest. At any moment, I can make my voice heard before the Father in Heaven (Revelation 5:8). What a blessing!
My Church Family
When I became a Christian, I became a part of the family of God. Now I have spiritual support from other saints who encourage (Hebrews 10:25), edify (Romans 15:2), and equip me (Ephesians 4:11-12) in my Christian walk. Thank you Jesus!
My Hope of Heaven
Before I met Jesus, my eternal fate was bleak. In Christ, I now have hope of living forever in a perfect paradise where there will be no sin, suffering, pain, problems, corruption, confusion, death, or disaster (Revelation 21:1-5)! God deserves my praise!
Dr. Patrick Latham