Thanksgiving is a time for family to gather around the table and enjoy a lovely meal filled with turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberries. Before the turkey is carved, the family is welcome to join hands to say a special prayer of thanks for the food before them.
Prayers of gratitude have been around since long before the official Thanksgiving dinner of 1620. During the historic feast, the Pilgrims said a prayer of thanks before beginning their meal with the Wampanoag Native Americans. The Pilgrims looked to the Bible to express gratitude and thank God for their first harvest. They were inspired by the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Ingathering of the Israelites and looked upon their harvest, as it is one of the most jubilant feasts still to date.
The history of giving thanks has also attributed to Samuel’s “setting” known as the Ebenezer Stone. The Ebenezer Stone was an artifact to remind the people to be thankful to God during an attack from the Philistines. This is noted in the Bible:
No matter what happens, always be thankful for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Psalms of Thanksgiving
In all early celebrations of thanks, God was at the center. Across many historic celebrations, the people were thanking God before meals as they believed that all good things came from Him, as followers of the Lord still do today. With many indications of Thanksgiving in the Bible, we wanted to provide Thanksgiving psalms that you can use at your Thanksgiving feast this year, and for many years to come.
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
I will extol the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I sing praise to you before the gods.
I face your holy Temple, bow down, and praise your name
because of your constant love and faithfulness,
because you have shown that your name and your commands are supreme.
Psalm 138: 1-2
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the name of the Lord Most High.
Decorate with Psalms
The Psalms that give thanks to God are a reminder to also give thanks to loved ones who sit beside us at the Thanksgiving feast. Print out all the Psalm wall prints to inspire you and your family to discuss your blessings during a time of thanks!
Thanksgiving Bible Verses
There are many times during the holiday season when we are overwhelmed with tasks and activities and forget to stop and think about why we are celebrating. During the craziness of the holiday season, take a moment to read these BIble verses to focus on God’s blessing, and share the scriptures with family and friends. This Thanksgiving, read our prayers to inspire you to discuss your blessings around the table.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15
And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Jeremiah 30:19
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11-12
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:15-16
With the common theme of thanking God at historic celebrations, it is important that we say our blessings before breaking bread and carving the turkey. Try printing these psalms out and framing them as a gift, or hang them in your home using one of our customized frames. They are also great for religious education for the kids to read aloud near the time of Thanksgiving.