The Gratitude Devotional Series – Day 1: Give Thanks. Always.
Gratitude has long been one of my favorite spiritual practices. It keeps me motivated and it feeds my soul. So much so is gratitude a part of my daily practice, my nightly prayer before I go to sleep is simply a recitation of everything for which I’m grateful for that day. As I lay my head down on the pillow and close my eyes, I simply begin, “God I’m grateful for…” and I enumerate each of my items for which I’m grateful until I fall asleep.
I used to feel guilty about falling asleep as I prayed to God. Then I came to the realization that it was really quite a wonderful thing both for my soul and for my relationship with God that the last words and thoughts in my head are words of gratitude to God for the many things for which I’m grateful. It helps me to sleep. It calms my heart. It sooths my soul. It fosters gratefulness daily. My other daily prayers offer up intercessions, petitions, and confession but my nightly prayers are simply gratitude.
To be honest, I’m not sure how or when I began this practice. I just know it has enriched my prayer life, my relationship with God and my appreciation for life and creation. When I reflect on Psalm 136, it reminds me that God is good, all the time!
Almost every verse of Psalm 136 (all 26) begins with “Give thanks…” and every verse has this antiphon— “His faithful love endures forever.” When I consider God’s faithful love—never ending, never contained, never conditional—it truly endures forever. And that is something worth celebrating.
In this national season of giving thanks, I encourage you to consider God’s faithful love that never fails and to give thanks without ceasing for that wonderful gift. Maybe try a thanksgiving prayer before you go to sleep tonight, that simply thanks God individually for everything for which you’re thankful.
- For the next few nights, practice thanking God for blessings.
- Look around. See the blessings you receive daily.
- Quietly and slowly read Psalm 136.
- Jireh – Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music
- O Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship
- What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship, Brooke Ligertwood
Pastor Daniel Humbert
Senior Pastor at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound