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If you are not sure how to begin your thanksgivings, perhaps you could reflect on a psalm, or read a prayer, or listen to a song, or share an encouragement from our Inspire family. Read on to find some wonderful insights that have been shared to remind us to give thanks every day, not just at Thanksgiving.

We will be updating this post throughout the week, as people send us their thanksgiving contributions. Send us a song, prayer, poem, reflection or a story from your own life so that we can share them and encourage one another to give thanks to God in all circumstances

Send your Thanksgiving contributions to Sam at: [email protected]

The annual day of feasting on Thanksgiving did not become a holiday until the 19th century but it’s origins are harvest meals shared by the Wampanoag people after the English Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower in the USA in 1620. Today most Americans will pop down to the store for their turkey and pumpkin pie, but the first Thanksgiving feasts were hard earned harvests with huge and humble thanksgivings to God in the midst of great hardship. Sometimes it feels like we are missing the point when the festival is all about excessive eating and drinking, and extravagant consumerism (like Black Friday).

Maybe this year, whether or not you are somewhere that celebrates the feast of Thanksgiving, you could set aside time in your week to fast, pray and earnestly give thanks to God. The last Friday of each month is usually our day to fast and pray for Inspire and this year that is the day after Thanksgiving Day. A timely reminder! 

If you would like to try fasting, or press into the practice, we recommend the book: A Practical Guide to the Discipline of Fasting by Philip Meadows, available from the Inspire Book Shop. 

Giving Thanks to God

Reflect on Psalm 136:103

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

From our Inspire Family – Stephen

Our family is grateful this year for God’s provision of a house for us! I wasn’t sure we’d be able to afford anything in this current housing market, but he gave us the perfect home for us in our preferred neighborhood within our price range! We’re set to close on Wednesday and can’t wait to move in soon.  It’s been such a blessing and a real “Ebenezer” for our family (not to mention a catalyst for being able to witness to everyone about how God came through!). We hope you all have a happy and restful Thanksgiving!

Sing/Listen to Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son
And now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us

Listen on YouTube: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart by Henry Smith

From our Inspire Family – Judy

I feel like I could write pages on all the ways God has blessed me! In a snapshot, I’m blessed with children (including their spouses) who are growing in their faith journeys, all of our grandchildren know Jesus. I’ve had a physically healthy year. God continues to transform me spiritually and emotionally. I’m married to a wonderful man who also loves Jesus. We have everything we need and plenty to share. I have two awesome fellowship bands that I know I can call on at anytime, and I feel blessed to have a world-wide family of INSPIRE brothers and sisters with whom I can share prayer, worship, and learning—I guess that means I should also be thankful for technology! As an act of thanksgiving, I wrote a little song for the prayer written on the Messianic Prayer Shawl and find myself singing it throughout the day (one of these days I’ll get brave enough to sing it for you!).

Read a Liturgy (Prayer) for Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us. 
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.
For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.
For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.
For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.
For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.
Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

From the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

From our Inspire Family – Anthony and Kylie

We are thankful for the hand of God in our recent move and the way were served and cared for by our community. We are excited and thankful for the missional opportunities in our neighborhood and for the way God is speaking and building up members in our church community.

Sing/Listen to Praise My Soul

Praise my soul the King of Heaven
To his feet your tribute bring
Ransomed, healed, restored forgiven
Evermore his praises sing
Here we stand at heaven’s open door
Choirs of angel help us to adore
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
O my soul, praise the King of Heaven
Praise him, praise him, praise him,
Earth and heaven sing praise with us
The God of grace

Listen on YouTube: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven sung by Graham Kendrick and Michael Smith

From our Inspire Family – Jerry-Ann

I was privileged to be a part of a community thanksgiving service on Sunday night. Our minister brought it to the attention of our congregation and I’m glad I got out on a misty night and went. The music was uplifting and the message was powerful. It was heartening to see what God is doing across denominations. I encourage everyone, if they have opportunity, to participate in such a gathering. Praise be to God! I just had to share about that service.

From our Inspire Family – Brian and Misty

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