Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
These are a few of the many Scripture passages about thanksgiving or gratitude. GRATITUDE is the spiritual practice we are focusing on in October. Practicing gratitude is more than something we do for our mental and physical well being. It also is "about recognizing, trusting, and responding to God's goodness and abiding presence with us". The practice of gratitude is the foundation of every other spiritual practice.
Chris Schoon in his blog post Gratitude: Responding to God's Goodness
says thiis about gratitude:
"Gratitude forms us as a people who look with confidence toward God as the One who loves us, who saves us in Jesus Christ, and who will ultimately deliver all of creation from our entanglement with sin and its consequences. More than simply saying thank you, practicing gratitude trains us to respond with all that we are to God’s generosity in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit."
Gratitude is about noticing and naming the presesnce and work of God in our lives. There are some things we give thanks for that we can easilly name.
The spiritual practice of Gratitude asks us to go deeper than the more obvious things we are thankful for. Seeing and naming God at work in my life isn't always easy for me to do. It requires me to become still and quiet, and to be present in my life. My deep hope is that along with you I will learn to more easily notice God and give thanks.
Where does one begin? I think a good place to begin is with these Points to Ponder
- How can I practice gratitude even when things are hard?
- How might gratitude (or a lack of it) be shaping my faith?
- Who could be a “gratitude mentor” in my life? Who do I know that practices gratitude well and contagiously? How could I learn from that person?
- How might I point others toward gratitude in ways that affirm them without minimizing the difficulties in their lives?
I encourage you to take some time this week to explore these questions.
Every week I will be including different devotions and activities for you to explore. This week the devotionals are
Psalms of Gratitude Reading Plan
Gratitude Scripture Passages
A fun activity that is for kids, but I think anyone could do is Gratitude Drawing Prompts.
There even is a song list 15 Songs to Get Into the Grove of Gratitude.
What are some of your favourite songs of gratitude or thanksgiving. Let me know and we can create our own list. Here are two to start with.
The Butterfly Song
Jesus Thank You