Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
The holiday season is fast upon us! Many of us will be blessed with seeing family we may not see often throughout the rest of the year.
Sometimes, the added stress of planning and preparing for a holiday get-together can lead to short tempers and frayed nerves. Additionally, family dynamics can cause trepidation and concern over how peaceful the visits will be.
As the leaders of our families, the most important thing we can do is pray.
Especially in this season of giving thanks, we can pray prayers of gratitude. Often, our attitude speaks louder than our words. May we be so filled with God’s Word and gratefulness for all He has done for us, that it just overflows on others.
Let’s look at some great scripture passages to pray.
God calls us in Psalm 136:1 to, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever”. This is a good one to begin your journey of giving thanks.
Follow it with Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” As you lift His name up high, thank Him for His never-giving-up, ever-steady, lavish love. As you contemplate all He has done for you, may it lead you to love, give, and serve likewise.
In Jesus Name
Next, consider Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” As you plan and prepare for the holiday, remember you are doing everything in the name as well as the power of Jesus.
Ask God to enable you to speak kindly when treated unfairly. God calls us to give thanks no matter the circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Philippians 4:6). If He calls us to do something, He will give us the ability to fulfill it. Pray that the peace of Christ would rule in your hearts resulting in thankfulness in spirit (Colossians 3:15).
“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). As you plan and prepare, give generously of your resources of time, talent, and treasure. May this scripture bring to mind the result – more thanksgiving, more glory to God. Ask God to give you a generous heart and spirit. May God empower you as you enrich others’ lives so they in turn praise God.
Faithful to All Generations
Psalm 100:1-5 would be a great psalm of thanks to memorize as well as pray. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” This psalm would also be a wonderful one to pray before your meal, followed by singing a song of praise like “We Gather Together” or “Count Your Many Blessings.” What a blessing to know that God is faithful to all generations. We desire our grandchildren to know and respond in faith to this God who loves them and will be faithful to them.
Making Known His Deeds
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8) May our godly example lead our children and grandchildren to know from where our strength, confidence, joy, and peace springs.
A good scripture to end your time of prayer is 1 Chronicles 29:13, “And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” As we started with praise and adoration of who He is and what He has done, so we complete our prayer time. Yet we do not ever truly finish praying as this scripture reminds us, “May we continually offer up a sacrifice of praise as the fruit of our lips to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
May your prayers of gratitude strengthen you to be ministers of reconciliation in your families. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 states: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Keeping this verse in the forefront of our minds will help strengthen us, knowing God could use our attitudes and actions to bring our families to Himself.
We pray you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!