Prayers of thanksgiving are a necessary part of the believer’s life, not just during a season of the year. It is a spiritual discipline for everyday life.
The Bible offers examples of prayers of Thanksgiving, spoken in many different situations. It’s interesting to discover about the specific prayers of thanksgiving.
The Pattern for Thanksgiving prayers
In the Old Testament, the Lord established patterns of thanksgiving through the priesthood and sacrifices. Leviticus 7:11-15 is the first time thanksgiving is mentioned in the Bible, with specific instructions for the thank offering.
The sacrifice of thanksgiving was a voluntary offering between the Israelite worshipper, the priest, and the Lord. It was a type of peace offering, bringing them together in fellowship.
Old Testament priests thanked God each morning and evening.
They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening. 1 Chronicles 23:30
We can learn from their example that offering thanks to God is important at the beginning and end of every day. Do you have a gratitude journal? By recording the prayers of thanks, we can see God’s hand at work.
Types of thanksgiving prayers
In the Psalms, the writers thank God for many reasons, often recalling God’s goodness and deliverance to the people.
Thank God for acts of redemption and answered prayers for protection.
Psalm 107 is an example of recalling the story God’s protection in hard times, and offering thanks for redemption.
“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts. Psalm 107:21
Thank him for his presence in the circumstances, not for the circumstances. When we do, it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Thank God for Who He is.
In Jeremiah 33:11, the prophet recalls God’s goodness in spite of the destruction of Jerusalem. Even in the difficult times, God is with us. We have hope and can be thankful when the future in uncertain.
many Psalms also express thanks for God’s character.
Thank God for wisdom.
Daniel gives a prayer of thanks for the wisdom and insight for the king’s dream. in Daniel 2:23.
We can learn to thank him for enlightening our minds to God’s word.
Thanksgiving for provision.
David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10-19 is spoken after the people generously gave toward the work on the temple. He wouldn’t see it in his lifetime. In this final prayer of David, he reflected on his life with praise and thanksgiving for God’s provision. We can learn to reflect on God’s goodness and provision throughout our lives, too.
Thank God for progress in the work.
When the foundation of the temple was laid, the priests led the people in praise and thanksgiving as instructed by David. We can learn to thank God for progress in the work God has called us to.
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: he is good; his love to Israel endures forever. And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Ezra 3:11
Thank God for healing.
Ten lepers were healed, but only one returned to thank the Savior. Luke 17:11-19
“He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.” (vs. 16)
I personally am grateful for God’s healing from surgery this year, and for his continued strength. I never want to take it for granted. The one leper reminds me to thank God for his healing.
Thanking God for the memories of people who partner with us in faith.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy, because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the first time you heard it until now.” Philippians 1:3-6
Think about the people who worked with you on a ministry project, spreading the gospel. Thank God for people who stood beside you when teaching youth group, Vacation Bible School, or doing outreach projects in the community.
Thanking God for those who help us grow in faith.
“Let me say first of all that your faith in God is becoming known throughout the world. How I thank God through Jesus Christ for each one of you.” Romans 1:8.
God created us for fellowship, where we learn and grow together. We can learn to thank God for those who are role models and mentors in our lives.
Thanking God for everything.
“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
We can choose how we respond to all things in our lives, the good and bad. When it’s hard, it becomes a sacrifice to look beyond the situation to God’s perspective. God sees the beginning and the end, while see only a moment of time.
Knowing God has an eternal perspective produces a heart of thanks to him for everything.
God works in many ways, through a variety of people, for His purposes.
Looking at the examples of prayers of Thanksgiving stirs me to cultivate a heart of gratitude every day, and I hope it does for you, too.