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Thanksgiving is Prayer and Proclamation

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Thanksgiving is Prayer and Proclamation


Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, And into his courts with praise: Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; And his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100)


Thanksgiving above all involves communication with God. This is why the psalmist specifies that our thanksgiving is to be “unto the Lord”, “before his presence”, within “his gates” and “his courts”, and expressed “unto him”.

Thanksgiving only takes place when we are talking to God.


We can try to develop a contented heart, we can express to others how grateful we – but it is not thanksgiving until we are talking to God and expressing our appreciation to him directly. Contentedness is not thanksgiving. Expressing a general sense of “being blessed” is not thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is you telling God, “Thank you!” Therefore, thanksgiving is only happening when prayer is happening.


However, it is also true that there is a public aspect to giving thanks. This is why gratitude is in the Bible constantly connected to the public proclamation of God’s glory. Here the psalmist exhorts “all lands” to make a joyful noise, to serve the Lord, to know the Lord as God, and to be thankful to him. Even while we are talking to God, there is also an aspect of thanksgiving that is public worship and proclamation as well.


So thanksgiving is first and foremost prayer. Yet it is not biblical thanksgiving if it remains only and always private.


True thanksgiving overflows in public, prayerful proclamation of the goodness and glory of God.


Thanksgiving is private, grateful prayer gone public!


Consider this public, proclamatory element of biblical thanksgiving this Thanksgiving season. Ask yourself, as an individual or as a family, “In what way can we not only express our gratitude to God for his goodness to us in Jesus Christ, but also express how good God is publicly, out loud, outside the walls of our home and church?”


The Lord is always good, the psalmist reminds us, and so the Lord is always worthy of our personal gratitude and our public proclamation.

By Justin Huffman