By Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff, Crosswalk.com
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and reflect on the blessings of the last year. Many of us experience renewed hope and faith during the Thanksgiving holiday because we turn our eyes onto what is most important. What if we spent time each day in giving thanks and prayer? How could God grow out faith and trust if we lived a life of thanks through all seasons and not just Thanksgiving time? When your heart is filled with gratitude, there is little room to worry or complain.
This year's celebrations on Thanksgiving Day may look different. Your heart may be aching for family members that cannot visit or for the loss of a loved one. God wants to meet us in our pain and disappointments. Through prayers of thanks and gratitude, we are able to experience the true meaning of thanksgiving. You can still use these prayers personally or share them with your friends and family, even if you cannot share these prayers around the dinner table this year.
We would love to encourage and help you along the way toward greater hope and joy! Let this year be the year you experience the blessings of living in gratitude. Below are our favorite thanksgiving prayers you can use not only for Thanksgiving day but throughout the year. Start living out the promises of God that Jesus came “that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10.
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
O Heavenly Father: we thank Thee for food and remember the hungry. We thank Thee for health and remember the sick. We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless. We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved. May these remembrances stir us to service. That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen. - “Dear Abby” Columnist
Daily Thanks to God
Dear God, Thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you've given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day. We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
- Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com Contributor
Short Thanksgiving Prayer Before the Meal
God, we thank you for the blessing and joy of family. Thank you for those who are gathered with us today and those who are far away. May we all see the many ways you provide for us, comfort us and protect us. Bless this food to make us healthy and strong. Amen.
A Prayer of Thanks for Food and Family Before the Meal
Thank You, Lord God, for this food we are about to eat. Thank You for the hands that have prepared it, for those sitting around the table who are here to share it, and for the ability to be here together under one roof, and enjoy these blessings at Your hand. We realize that everything we have comes from You and for that we are eternally grateful. We also thank You for what we don’t have this year, for we trust that You have withheld in Your goodness and out of Your protection for us. Thank You that Scripture says You are a Good Father who loves to give gifts to Your children. We sit here as evidence of Your goodness. Thank You for the gift of today and all who are here to share it with us. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen. - Cindi McMenamin
For a Thankful Heart
Lord, teach me to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily experiences of life. Teach me to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all my circumstances. I accept them as Your will for my life (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I long to bring pleasure to Your heart daily. Break the power of the enemy in my life. Defeat Him through my sacrifice of praise. Change my outlook and attitude into one of joyful contentment with my present circumstances. I thank You for… [Name a difficult circumstance in your life presently and thank God for it.]
Jesus, I want to be like You who obeyed the Father without complaint. You embraced the chains of humanity when You walked this earth. Convict me whenever I complain or compare myself with others. Give me Your attitude of humility and thankful acceptance. I want to be like the Apostle Paul who learned contentment in every circumstance. I choose to continually offer You a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that give praise to Your name (Hebrews 13:15). I long to bring a smile to Your face. Teach me the power of a thankful heart. I know that Your truth dwells in a thankful heart.
I will give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 7:17-18:1). In Jesus’ name, amen. - Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise International
A Family Thanksgiving Prayer
Dear God, we are so grateful for every beat of our heart, every blink of our eyes and every breath in our lungs. Thank You for the life You’ve given us. We don’t want to waste one minute, so help us steward our time wisely. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For a Heart of Thankfulness
Dear Lord, help me when I start letting details of the holidays, annoying frustrations or unmet expectations distract me from all the reasons I have from You to be abundantly and eternally grateful. Help me have a heart full of thankfulness every day, but especially on the specific day set aside to be grateful for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Tracie Miles
Prayer for Attitude of Gratitude
Dear Heavenly Father, it’s easy to point our fingers at others when they forget to thank us. But You show us that it’s also very possible we are forgetting to thank You and others for the blessings in our own lives. Help us to follow in the footsteps of the one leper who remembered to come back and thank Jesus. We want to grow in our attitude of gratitude. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen! - Noelle Dey
Thank You God
Holy Spirit, thank You for being my teacher, for instructing and leading me through this classroom called life. Thank You, God, for Your enduring love and perfect peace. I remember the marvelous works You have done in my life and in the world. I give You praise for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thankful for Blessings
Heavenly Father, thank You for all the blessings You give me. During this Thanksgiving season, as I look at all You have done for me, I am overwhelmed. Most of all, I thank You for sending Your only Son to die for me. Thank You for raising Him from the dead and that He now is seated with You in heaven. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, whereby I can feel Your presence. May I always hunger to spend time with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen. - Joan Walker Hahn
God, sometimes life gets me down and I find it hard to see things to be thankful for. Open my eyes to see the gifts you’ve given me in my life. I’m going to start by thanking you for loving me enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever. Amen. - Wendy van Eyck, Contributor
Prayer of Gratitude for the Simple Things
Thank you, God, for all your blessings to me and my family; for the strength you give me each day and for all the people around me who make life more meaningful. Amen.
Prayer for Thanksgiving Day
Father God, today I thank You for the provisions of my life... I thank You for the people in my life... I thank You for the opportunities You have given to me in my life... I thank You for the acceptance and forgiveness You have lavished upon me in spite of my sinful actions and choices... I thank You for the healing You have brought into my life—physical and emotional... I thank You for the way You have brought me back from the darkness that lurks in my soul and the choices I could have made that would have landed me in a pit—or the choices I have made that did land me in a pit... I thank You for the desires of my heart that You have satisfied with good things... And the desires that I have not yet seen satisfied. Help me to be confident because of the grace You have given to me in so many others ways, that even my unmet desires would be something I could be grateful for...Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Day 31 of Prayers for Today (Moody Publishers, 2011) by Pastor Kurt Bjorklund.
Child's Prayer of Thanks
God, I thank you for the family and friends you surround me with. Thank you for another day to wake up and celebrate life. Thank you for strength to play and food to nourish. Most importantly, thank you for your love for me. Amen.
Thank You Lord!
Dear Lord, today I want to say thank You for my life. Thank You for the chance to feel sunshine, to taste fruit, to swim in water and to watch lightening. Thank You for my home and family, my church and friends. Thank You for the chance to know and serve You, now and eternally. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
We Thank Thee
For flowers that bloom about our feet, Father, we thank Thee. For tender grass so fresh, so sweet, Father, we thank Thee. For the song of bird and hum of bee, for all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee. For blue of stream and blue of sky, Father, we thank Thee. For pleasant shade of branches high, Father, we thank Thee. For fragrant air and cooling breeze, for beauty of the blooming trees, Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
For this new morning with its light, Father, we thank Thee. For rest and shelter of the night, Father, we thank Thee for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee. - Ralph Waldo Emmerson
To Teach Kids Thankfulness
Lord, I pray that the message of Christ and his sacrifice is the root of gratitude in my heart. That His gracious gift leads me to thankful living, setting an example for my children. That they will have their own relationship with Jesus one day, and that You would grow gratitude in their hearts out of the acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. Lead us to do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to You through Him. - Marie Osborne, Contributor
Prayer for Mealtime Fellowship
Father, Praise You for friendship and family! Thank You for bringing us together today to share a meal. The people in our lives bring us such joy, and we are grateful for time spent in fellowship together. Help us use this time to bond closer as a group, and learn to love each other more. Bless our appetites, both physical and spiritual, to honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Meg Bucher
For Being Thankful
Lord, forgive me for focusing more on the negatives in my life than the positives. Thank You for Your blessing of love, grace, mercy and eternal life. Fill my heart with Your spirit this Thanksgiving so I can be thank-full. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table. From far and near we travel home, blessed that we are able. Grateful for this sheltered place with light in every window, saying welcome, welcome, share this feast come in away from sorrow. Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend and friendless; all together everyone in the gift of loving-kindness. Grateful for what's understood, and all that is forgiven; we try so hard to be good, to lead a life worth living. Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend, and friendless; all together everyone, let grateful days be endless. Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table. - Mary Chapin Carpenter - Thanksgiving Song Lyrics
Thanks for Our Many Blessings
Oh God, You are so good. You are faithful and gracious and You have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which I have become accustomed, but never want to take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in my pantry, hot showers, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in.
Thank you for legs that carry me where I need to go and hands that enable me to accomplish many things. Thank you for my hearing and my vision and for a sound, healthy mind.
Thank you my family, my friends, my job, my neighbors. Thank you for freedom to attend my church, for my pastors, and for my small group(s) and my many relationships.
Thank you for the things You are doing in my heart and in my life. I’m grateful that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I am much different today than I was 10 years ago, or a year ago. I am even different that I was at the beginning of this year, and it’s because of Your power at work in me, continually transforming me into Your image.
I love and adore You, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
excerpt from 3 Grateful Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving by Julie K. Gillies
A Prayer of Gratitude
Let us, therefore, proclaim our gratitude to Providence for manifold blessings–let us be humbly thankful for inherited ideals–and let us resolve to share those blessings and those ideals with our fellow human beings throughout the world.
On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace, justice, and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist. – John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day, 1963
To Cultivate Gratitude and a Grateful Heart
Lord, I want to cultivate a grateful heart. Please help me, Lord, and open my eyes so that I can see all that I have to be thankful for. Enable me to recognize Your hand of blessing in my day to day life. Help me to express gratitude to You daily, for that is Your will (Ephesians 5:19-20).
God help me to do all things without complaining (Philippians 2:14), so that I don’t grieve Your Holy Spirit. By Your power I desire to be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Your will for those of us who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Lord help me to devote myself to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart (Colossians 4:2). May my heart overflow with gratitude to You, God, for You are good. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen. - Julie K. Gillies
Thanks for Blessings Past and Present
Lord God, we gather around this table to humbly thank You for all that You have given us this past year – not just what is on this table, but who is sitting around this table. Thank you for life and laughter, for health and happiness, for relationships and memories. Thank you, too, for the lessons learned and the tears we’ve cried because of Your ability to grow us through them. Thank You for Your comfort and Your presence, in light of good days and bad. Thank You for what we have now, for what we had yesterday, and for what You will continue to give tomorrow. Let us never take that for granted, but to always be grateful for every good and perfect gift that comes from You. May we have hearts full of thanksgiving not only today but every day of our lives. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Amen. - Cindy McMenamin
Thank You for Blessings
Lord, Jesus, I praise You and love You. Thank you for the countless ways that You have blessed me. Amen.
God, You Are Good
Dear Lord, You are so good to us. Often we forget how good You are. Draw us back to You, Lord, and give us the grace to remember You in our days, our weeks and our years until we are with You forever in heaven. We love You, Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Jessica Smartt
Prayer to Grow a Heart of Thanksgiving
Dear Jesus, You are worthy of my praise even when we don’t understand Your ways. Turn our gaze from our frustrations to Your faithfulness. Shift our sights from our hurt to Your hope. And grow in us a heart of thanksgiving as we seek to know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
We Praise You Lord
Lord we praise You and all that You are. You are the Lord of lords and the King of kings, the one and only True God, our Savior, Provider, Counselor and Friend. You are our all in all and we love You and Praise Your Mighty Name. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Statements of Gratitude
Thank you, God for the times You have said "no." They have helped me depend on You so much more. Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds me that You know what's best for me, even when my opinion differs from Yours. Thank You, Lord, for the things you have withheld from me. You have protected me from what I may never realize. Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go. Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You've allowed in my life. It has helped me more closely relate to Your sufferings on my behalf. Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in my life. Those times have forced me to lean in closer to You. Thank you, God, for the uncertainties I've experienced. They have deepened my trust in You. Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for me when I didn't even know I needed a rescue. Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain. Thank You, God, for the tears I have shed. They have kept my heart soft and mold-able.
Thank You, God, for the times I haven't been able to control my circumstances. They have reminded me that You are sovereign and on the throne. Thank You, God, for those people in my life whom You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth keeps my heart longing for heaven. Thank You, God, that I have an inheritance in the heavenly places...something that this world can never steal from me and I could never selfishly squander. Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give me: forgiveness through Your perfect Son's death on the cross on my behalf. Thank You, God, for the righteousness You credited toward me, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It's a righteousness I could never earn or attain on my own. Thank You, Father, that You know me, You hear me, and You see my tears. Remind me through difficult times that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good. And thank You, Lord, not only for my eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford every day of my life as You save me from myself, my foolishness, my own limited insights, and my frailties in light of Your power and strength.
- Cindy McMenamin, Author
Thanksgiving Prayers from Scripture:
Psalm 95 - "Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods..."
Psalm 100 - "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 118:29 - "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."
Psalm 103: 1-5 - "Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."
Psalm 136:1-5 - "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. "
For even more prayers for Thanksgiving visit:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
This article is part of our larger Thanksgiving Resource Library. Learn about the first Thanksgiving, what Thanksgiving means in the Bible, how to get along with your family, and ways you can make this celebration more meaningful.
Listen to our FREE Christmas Podcast: The Characters of Christmas - The Surprising People in Jesus' Family: