Thanksgiving in Worship
A devotional by Kay Pflueger
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”
–1 Chronicles 16:8-11 (NIV)
The month of November naturally seems to beget thoughts of gratitude. In the United States of America, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day in just a few weeks. It’s our tradition to gather with friends and family to share a meal and to give thanks to our Lord.
Expressing our gratitude should not be limited to just one day in the month of November. Our personal and corporate worship should always include moments and thoughts of thanksgiving. Is it possible to speak of the love and adoration we have for God all the while ignoring what He has done for us? I don’t think so.
How do you react when you have gone out of your way to do something for someone, and they neglect to say “Thank you?” It is possible to feel taken advantage of and that is not a comfortable emotion. If we feel that way, how might God feel when we neglect to thank Him for His provisions?
But, before we can truly be thankful to God, we need to have a relationship with Him. We need to trust that He is looking out for us. Once we recognize that we are dependent on Him, we can begin to develop an attitude of gratitude. An outgrowth of that attitude is the desire to worship Him with our whole life—our everyday life, our devotional life, our work life, our home life—and with our whole being. If we choose to worship Him in this way, then our corporate worship in church on the weekends becomes a culmination of the time we have spent worshipping Him all week long. It is a time to celebrate our blessings with our church family.
Gratitude keeps us centered. It takes the focus away from us and places it on the source of our blessings. In our corporate worship, in our private prayer time, in the small and mundane tasks of our daily lives, and in the most earth-shattering moments of life, we always have a reason to be grateful to God for what He has done and what we know and trust that He will do.
If you are at a loss for words of thanksgiving, I encourage you to read Psalm 100 (ESV) and focus on what He, our Lord, has done for you. Let’s read this song of praise together:
“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.”
Let’s Pray: Dear God, we give you thanks for all that you are and for that all you have done for us. It is easy to praise you when life is good. Help us to praise you even when life becomes difficult. Thank you for your never-ending faithfulness to us. You, and you alone, deserve to receive our praise. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty.
Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.
When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.
Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.
She is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego, California.
Kay enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.
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