Praise differs from thanksgiving, which is offered for a specific reason or a particular gift. Praise does not depend on any single deed or gift of God. It is a prayer, chorus, or hymn directed to God out of endless wonder from our endless discovery of who God is.
Praise goes beyond thanksgiving to express our amazement at God’s concern for us that exceeds our expectation, merit, or imagination. Thus, praising God begins in surprise. God provides more. God is more than we had hoped or dared to imagine.
From: P. Joel Snider, The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions, reading for June 3, 2015, p 166
(Check Discipleswalk.org for a some additional thoughts.)
Thanksgiving makes you whole by helping you notice things that you overlooked before. You will see evidences of God’s blessing and love that were always present, but somehow you just rushed by them. You will begin to see your family in a different light, not in terms of the trouble they cause you, but in terms of the joy they bring you. Nature becomes a resplendent and enduring testimony to God’s beauty and intricacy. You become “aware,” in the deepest spiritual meaning of the word.
From: Terry Ellis, “Made Whole Through Thanksgiving,” http://gracewavestoday.com/?p=1523
“Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way. Your faith has made you whole.” Luke 17:18-19
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.
Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
From: Henry Van Dyke
I believe that gratitude is a spiritual discipline on the order of prayer, study, service, etc. God wants us to be thankful, not for His benefit, but for ours! The more grateful we are the closer we draw to God who is the source of all blessings. Our annual celebration of Thanksgiving should be a time when we strengthen the bond between what we are, or what we have, and God’s blessing in our lives. We should become more deeply aware of how greatly God has blessed us.
From: Terry Ellis, “Forever Thankful,” http://gracewavestoday.com/?p=1349
“O give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
The General Thanksgiving
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 our selves 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.
From: Office of Morning Prayer, Book of Common Prayer (1979), p 101
(Go to Disciplewalk.org for a few thoughts about this prayer)
In Thanksgiving, Let Us Praise Him
From the first bright light of morning
To the last warm glow of dusk;
Every breath we take is sacred,
For it is God’s gift to us.
In thanksgiving, let us praise Him;
In thanksgiving let us sing
Songs of praise and adoration
To our gracious Lord and King.
In the season of our plenty,
In the season of our need;
We will find His grace sufficient,
We will find His love complete.
Safe within His hand that guides us,
Hidden in His healing wings;
Day by day His love provides us
Every good and perfect thing.
Source: Celebration Hymnal #796
“Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.”
From:A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 181
“…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)