Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:1-2


Practicing gratitude is similar to practicing the Examen. It is looking back over your day, week, month or more and noticing blessings that God has bestowed in your life and the lives of others. Yet, having a heart of gratitude does require practice.

“If we have truly known God’s heart for us, how can we not raise our hands in thanksgiving to Him?” -Ann Voskamp

“It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” -Brene Brown quoting a Jesuit Priest

“Practicing gratitude is two-fold. First, it is an affirmation of goodness. Second, it’s a recognition that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves.” – Dr. Robert Emmons, Psychologist

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” – Hebrews 12:28

Practices that Cultivate a Heart of Thanksgiving

As you enter this season of Thanksgiving choose one of the following to practice each day as a means of worship to God and thanking him for his goodness.

Pray aloud a Psalm of Thanksgiving:

Psalm 7:17, 28, 30, 44:4-8, 57, 69:29-36, 89, 92, 95, 111, 138

Practical Steps to Practicing Gratitude:

1. Make a habit of remembering: Psalm 77:11
• “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Share with others about the blessings you have received.” – Psalm 105:2
• “Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.”

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Psalm 103:2
• “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”

3. Pray for a grateful heart.

4. Ask God to help you to notice the goodness that surrounds you; to open your eyes to his blessings.

Journal your Gratitude:

Consider the following questions then journal your gratitude.

• Name a highlight in your day.
• Where did you see God work today?
• What made you smile today?
• What made you grateful today?
• What are you learning about yourself?
• What are you learning about God?
• Recall a time when you felt encouraged.
• Recount an answered prayer.
• What do you love most about your spouse? Family? Friends?
• What luxury are you thankful for?
• What challenge have you overcome?
• Recall a favorite childhood memory.
• What is your favorite song? Food? Place to find rest?
• What attribute of God is most significant to you?
• Where do you notice God?


Noticing is a far too infrequently utilized practice. Noticing draws our attention to the creation that surrounds us and the Creator who has formed a beautiful tapestry of goodness, mercy and grace right before our very eyes. Noticing takes our attention off of ourselves and invites us into the presence of the Almighty.

• Go for a walk outside. Try not to think about anything in particular – just notice.
• Breathe deeply and slowly.
• Listen.
• Smell.
• Look.
• Feel.
• Ask God to reveal himself.
• Call out names of God.
• Call out his blessings.
• Be still and know.

Subscribe to the Daily Fill