Handwritten thank-you notes have almost become a forgotten art. When was the last time you received one? Can you even remember? Quick e-mails seem to suffice in some instances. After all, it is the thought that counts. Right? Well, that is debatable. Demonstrating a grateful heart to those around you and to God, in particular, should not be a casual matter. The thanks you offer to someone is an encouragement to them, and everyone needs encouragement and appreciation. In the following passage, the apostle Paul urges fellow believers to give thanks to God for everything, and that means regardless of circumstances:
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thess 5:16-18
Thanks: euvcariste, eucharisteo = “to be grateful, to feel thankful, to give thanks”
The Greek definition of the English word “thanks” or “thanksgiving” is rooted in the beautiful term, eucharisteo, the root of the English word “Eucharist,” the covenantal ceremony that Yeshua instituted with the elements of bread and wine at the Last Supper. Communion, as the ancient ritual is known today, reminds the faithful to give thanks to God for His sacrificial death on the cross, a selfless act of chesed (ds,x, loving kindness, covenant love, mercy, favor) that He offered for the sins of the world. For this sacrifice, believers must be truly grateful at all times of the year, not only at Thanksgiving.
On the subject of giving thanks to God, I recently came across a prayer of Thanksgiving that my mother prayed over my family nightly. It is an Irish prayer that offers a unique perspective for giving thanks for the unseen blessings in our lives. I hope it will bless you as much it has blessed me. Happy Thanksgiving!
A Prayer of Thanksgiving from My Childhood (Anonymous)
We thank thee, Father, for the cares,
That did not come to try us,
For the burdens that we did not bear,
For the troubles that passed by us,
We thank thee for the blinding storm
That did not lose its swelling,
And for the sudden blight of harm
That came not nigh our dwelling.
We thank thee for the dart unsped,
The bitter word unspoken,
The grave unmade, the tear unshed,
And for hearts tied still, unbroken.
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