Showing Gratitude to God Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
By Grace McCready
Fall is the season of many pleasant things, including flannel shirts, stylish boots, and pumpkin spice lattes. But fall—especially the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving—sometimes produces that very unpleasant feeling of guilt because we haven’t been as thankful as we should’ve been this year.
Don’t worry, friend. It’s never too late to be thankful. While I completely understand how challenging it is to be grateful when you’re in the midst of suffering, there are several simple ways that you can express gratitude to God. Here are just a few of them:
- Use the Quiet Time Companion.
One thing that I love about the Quiet Time Companion is that it essentially serves as my reminder to express gratitude. The section entitled “Today I’m Grateful For” nudges me to thank God for a recent blessing in my life that He has provided. Instead of journaling a quick prayer or asking for a long list of things, this little reminder helps focus my heart on God’s provision in my life.
I often incorporate gratitude into my quiet time by making lists of things that I am grateful for. This is a straightforward way to express thankfulness to God. After all, He is the One who provides every good thing in my life and your life—whether it’s a home-cooked meal with family, an encouraging text from a friend, or a breathtaking sunset at the end of the day (James 1:17). Your list doesn’t have to include a hundred things—it can be as short or as long as you want. The length of your list doesn’t matter nearly as much as the attitude you have while you make it.
- Note answered prayers and respond with praise.
I have a little journal that has my “big prayers” written inside and the “big answers” that God has given in response. These “big prayers” are prayers that I typically pray multiple times—sometimes even for months. When God graciously shows up in my life and answers one of these prayers (even when the answer isn’t what I initially wanted to get), I write it down. Honestly, I often neglect to show my gratitude when He answers, but He deserves my gratitude for each and every prayer He answers. When you look for God, you’re more likely to see Him working in your life—and you’re more likely to thank Him for the work He’s doing, too.
I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my pleas. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2 NASB)
- If you don’t already have one, check out the Quiet Time Companion and see if it could be a helpful resource as you grow in gratitude.
- Try making a new list each day this week with several things that you’re grateful for. See how many blessings you can identify and thank God for them throughout the week.
- Find a blank journal (or use your Quiet Time Companion) to write a few “big prayers” that are on your heart right now. As you see God answer these prayers, write down the “big answers” and praise Him for working—even if He doesn’t work exactly like you thought He would.
Enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like (2022). She shares her struggles at her blog, Tizzie's Tidbits of Truth.