A Thankful Heart

November 27, 2014
by Parise Arakelian

Colossians 3:17 – Let every detail in your lives — words, actions, whatever — be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (MSG)

Although Americans set aside one day each year in November as a day to give thanks, the Thanksgiving holiday celebration is slowly becoming less significant in the minds of millions of Americans. For some, Thanksgiving is merely a day to get a list together prior to a day of marathon Christmas shopping.

In the heart of one child who was asked to say the blessing before a Thanksgiving Day dinner, it was a very special occasion. I began my prayer by thanking God for everything in my world: the chairs, table, dishes, silverware, dad, mom, siblings, etc. Suddenly, my prayer was interrupted with my mother telling me to finish: "The food is getting cold." I opened my eyes to see that everyone was looking at me with anticipation. My prayer quickly came to an end by my thanking God for our food and saying "Amen."

Reflection on this experience led me to an important insight: God loves to hear from us; He cares deeply about everything that affects our lives; He takes great pleasure in receiving our thanks and our love. When we tell Him what is on our hearts, He understands and wants to meet our needs.

Thankful people recognize their need and the generosity and grace of God, the Giver. All truly grateful people are humbled by the amazing gifts that they have received from God. This thought is brought out so well in the words of the worship song, "Give Thanks" by Henry Smith:

    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."

At this time of thanksgiving, let us count our blessings and reflect on what God has done. Let us thank God for our food before we eat and for the clothes that we wear, and praise Him for the visible acts of creation all around us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You with thankful hearts for the many ways that You have blessed us. We give thanks for life and the freedom to enjoy it all. We pray for health and strength to keep going and live as You would have us. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

About the author:

Parise Arakelian
(deceased)

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Such a good reminder Parise.


    A big AMEN to that, Parise. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
    Blessings always.


    Wonder words and prayers. A true reflection of today’s Thanksgiving celebration. I plan to say this prayer today at our thanksgiving dinner.


    Amen!
    In Jesus name, may THANKFULNESS return in the hearts of humans!
    You have set the way how to do so!


    What a great inspiration on this Thankful Day Parise. I am also thankful for your writings.
    May God richly bless you.


    Beautiful Parise, Thank you. For those of us who are meat eaters, may we also remember to give thanks to God for the animals we eat, and the animals for their lives.
    May your Thanksgiving Day be a warm, happy and safe one.


    Dear Parise,
    Your name is so much like the word “praise” — and it fits this devotional.
    I wonder if there is a relationship in a language, apart from English, that links the meanings of “praise” and “Parise”. (Please excuse me if I dream too much.)
    Anyway, thanks for encouraging us to be thankful on a broad scale.


    Dear Parise,
    Thank you for sharing this meaningful Thanksgiving Day devotional. The song “Give Thanks” is one of my favorites because the words so beautifully illustrate the riches we have experienced through Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him we have so many blessings to be grateful for. Your childhood prayers remind me of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “in everything give thanks.”


    Dear Parise,
    Loved your devotional. It is precious.
    Blessings.


    What a sweet little thought of you as a child giving thanks! That touched my heart as you were most sincere in your prayer. I am sure that back in those years, our Father LOVED your sincerity and has blessed you in the ensuing years because of your desire to give Him thanks.
    I also love the song you added as I hadn’t sung that for some time!
    Bless you, dear friend in Christ! There will come a day when we will not be told to hurry as we praise His Holy Name!!

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