Philippians 4:4-7 NIV 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
People are often weighed down by their past or anxious about their future, preventing them from fully living in the present. That’s why God-centered thanksgiving for our past and future is important. It helps us to see our lives being centered on God by God so that we can fully live. Everything revolves around ‘The Lord is near’ in verse 5, both spatially and temporally. God’s mighty power and grace are wrapped up in his very presence in the present. Thus, thanksgiving centers on interacting with him and not inward thinking or emotions. Praying is not about what we get as the passage implies with thanksgiving happening before our requests are answered; instead, praying with thanksgiving acknowledges how we belong to God and need more of him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you know us and love us. We bring all our concerns to you and ask for your presence that brings peace today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “Yes And Amen” by Jesus Culture (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:4-9 NIV 4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“In Paul’s Christocentric gospel, acts of remembrance cannot be separated from acts of anticipation. To live ‘in Christ’ is also to live in light of his return. Similarly, the conception of the future can be found only in Christ himself. Focusing solely on Christ, one cannot separate the empty tomb from the cross. In the same way, Christ’s return cannot be separated from the past. If thanksgiving is understood as God-centredness and Christ-centredness, the future cannot be denied its place in this confession of God’s nature and deeds.” [David Pao, NSBT – Thanksgiving, 143-144]
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your grace and that my future is certain because it is found in you. May your eternal life, heavenly kingdom, and new creation come in greater measure in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “I Have A Savior” by CeCe Winans (click here).
1 Chronicles 16:8, 15, 34 NIV Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done. He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations… Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
“To give thanks to God is to remember what he has done for us. The call to thanksgiving is therefore a call to transcend the present moment as one searches for an anchor in which reality can be comprehended… how generations of the people of God understand themselves in relationship to the God who has revealed himself in their history.” [David Pao, NSBT – Thanksgiving, 60]
Ultimately, we remember because God remembers us and has made the way for us to truly live. Thanksgiving recognizes that our past has been restructured by Jesus. We’re no longer defined by a life without God; instead, thanksgiving remembers and anchors us in Christ’s salvation and healing for today. And more than private gratitude, we proclaim his name – Jesus! The good news of the gospel is meant to be shared and not contained. It’s why our personal testimonies are important. We give thanks by publicly making known God who has made himself known to us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your continued faithfulness. We praise you and remember your mighty salvation and healing for your people. You are good and your love endures forever! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s proclaim the name of Jesus as we sing “I Speak Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here).
Revelation 4:11 NIV “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
“When thanksgiving is understood in the sense of praise, it touches upon the centre of worship. D. A. Carson (1993: 13) has rightly noted that ‘biblical religion is God-centredness: in short, it is worship.’ In the context of worship, one affirms God to be the Lord of all. When giving thanks, God the creator of all is acknowledged to be the source of all goodness. Thanksgiving thus understood belongs properly to theological affirmation as well as ethical concern. It centres on who God is and what he has done and is doing for us; but it is also concerned with ways in which we can align our lives to such creedal affirmations. It is a spontaneous response in the presence of the awesome God, but it can also be ‘practised.’” [David Pao, NSBT – Thanksgiving, 33]
Biblical thanksgiving is practically synonymous with praise and worship, which contrasts the modern understanding of thanksgiving based on what we get. Thus, thanksgiving is centered around the Lord our God, who alone deserves our praise and draws us by his mercy and grace into relationship with him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving us and drawing us into your presence. You alone are worthy of praise and may you receive glory and honor and power in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “We Praise You” by Matt Redman (click here).
Let’s read and pray aloud the following scripture and prayer.
3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” [Jeremiah 31:3; 29:11-13 NIV]
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. [In Jesus’ name.] Amen. [Standard Book of Common Prayer, 1979 edition]
Let’s worship with “You Hold It All Together” by Maverick City Music x UPPERROOM (Click here).