A Thanksgiving Prayer that God Might Rarely Hear

Cindi McMenamin

While we tend to look forward to Thanksgiving because it usually means a four-day holiday, getting together with family, and eating more food than we have all year, it is my sincere desire that it be more meaningful this year. What if Thanksgiving were the one day in which we over-emphasized what should be on our hearts every day of the year: a heart of gratitude in everything?

God clearly spelled out His good and perfect will for us in First Thessalonians 5:18 when He inspired the Apostle Paul to write: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? In everything. In the good times, as well as the bad. In the pleasantries of life, as well as in the pain. During difficult times, trying times and frustrating times, too.

I got to thinking about how Thanksgiving might be so much more meaningful if I focused on thanking God for the things He rarely hears thanks for. Try this with me this year. Thank Him, not just for the food on the table before you partake, and the “blessings for this past year” but for all the ways He has not performed according to your liking. For all the times He has said “no” and for all the ways He has worked in and through your life, perhaps without you knowing it. Thank Him for all the unresolved issues and the ways you are still waiting for answers. Thank Him—regardless—and see what it does for your soul as you offer Him a heart of obedience and surrender this year. Thank Him—regardless—and see how it moves the others who are around your table.

Consider praying this prayer around your table on Thanksgiving:

Thank you, God, for this food we are about to eat. And thank You for Your many blessings on us this past year…the ones we’ve seen, as well as the ones we haven’t seen.

Thank you, God for the times You have said “no.” They have helped us depend on You so much more.

Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds us that You know what’s best for us, even when our opinion differs.

Thank You for the things you have withheld. You have protected us from what we may never realize.

Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented us from going where You would rather not have us go.

Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You’ve allowed in our lives. It has helped us more closely relate to Your sufferings on our behalf.

Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in our lives. Those times have forced us to lean in closer to You.

Thank you, God, for the uncertainties we’ve experienced. They have deepened our trust in You.

Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for us when we didn’t even know we needed a rescue.

Thank You, Lord, for the losses we have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are our greatest gain.

Thank You, God, for the tears we have shed. They have kept our hearts soft and moldable.

Thank You, God, for the times we haven’t been able to control our circumstances. They have reminded us that You are sovereign and on the throne.

Thank You, God, for Your ability to take what we consider ‘tragedy’ and turn it into a treasure.

Thank You, God, for those You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on heaven.

Thank You, God, that we have an inheritance in the heavenly places…something that this world can never steal from us and we could never selfishly squander.

Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give us: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on our behalf.

Thank you, God, for the righteousness You credited toward us, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a righteousness we could never attain to on our own.

And thank You not only for our eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford us every day of our lives as You save us from ourselves, our foolishness, our own limited insights, and our frailties in light of Your power and strength.

Thank You, God, for all that You have allowed and not allowed in our lives this past year. For we commit our lives anew to You this day and ask that You would continue to remind us, throughout this next year, that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good.

Thank You, finally, that we can pray in the name of Jesus, who made our access to You—and a personal relationship with You—possible. Amen.

Cindi McMenamin is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher, national speaker and author of several books, including Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, When Women Walk Alone, When You’re Running on Empty and When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts. For more on her ministry or for free resources to strengthen your soul or marriage, see her website: http://www.StrengthForTheSoul.com
Publication date: November 15, 2012


M E M B E R S B I B L E S T U D Y – U . S . C A P I T O L
leading family devotions at thanksgiving

Likened to Christmas and Easter, what follows is a suggested outline on how to lead a devotional
at Thanksgiving with your family. I encourage you to facilitate this important ministry function in your home.

It is critical to lead your family spiritually for several reasons. First, such leadership is incumbent upon the husband. If you are obedient to Scripture in this regard, personal blessings will inure from above. Secondly it helps to assure that The Faith is passed down in your family lineage. Thanksgiving is a good time to build your family culture: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” stated Joshua in Joshua 24:17. Thirdly, this is a time to confer with your family.

You need them to be 100% behind you in order to serve most effectively in DC. Your leadership at Thanksgiving represents a sacred time to inure, assure and confer with your family. Don’t miss these special opportunities!

Click on leading family devotions at thanksgiving to download the Bible Study we could all use.

Unlikely Revolutionaries

8/9/2009 (SUN)  1 Samuel 13:1-14; 15:1-21

This audio Bible Study is about Unlikely Revolutionaries throughout the ages, yes even today.

It could be you. You’ll have to listen to find out.  Are you ready to find out?

Use the link below to hear the Bible Study: