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How to Be Intentionally Grateful

November 25, 2019
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When it comes to “seeing the silver lining,” I can usually find the sparkle in snot. But for awhile last year, I was feeling down and jealous at home along with sluggish and discontent at work. Have you ever been there? We have a suggestion that can change your life, now!

When we commit to intentional gratefulness, there is a profound difference in how we see the world, how we feel, and the way we react.

This isn’t a new message to preach, especially if you watch daytime TV with Ellen, Oprah or Dr Oz. But knowing something and practicing it are very different! I know a plant-based diet is best for my body, but I like Double-Stuffed Oreos and Easy Mac too much to practice eating healthy all of the time!

Gratefulness is a muscle, that needs to be worked, just like self-control.

When you flex the "grateful muscle," there is scientific proof of reduced stress, improved sleep patterns, and the cultivation of positive emotions (here’s some research to prove it).

Count Your Blessings

I mean it, let’s count our blessings! Have you heard of the 21-day Gratitude Challenge? It’s been all over my Facebook feed and a topic of conversation for years.

It’s easy! Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day for 21 days. Statistically, if you do this, your overall happiness will increase by 5% in a month and 9% in six months! Watch this BrainCraft Animation video for more information.

So, grab a notebook or open your phone’s notepad and start recording the things you’re grateful for today! (Remember to set a specific time and/or alarm for this 21-day Challenge.)

7 Effects of Practicing Gratitude

Why intentionally practice gratitude? Here are 7 key results that occur when we are grateful:

  1. Refocuses our eyes on God and His generosity instead of thinking only of ourselves and our wants.
  2. Reminds us there are many things we can’t control, but that we serve a sovereign God who can work out all things for our benefit.
  3. Recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even all of the little things!
  4. Reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that, ultimately, God is our Provider. All blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.
  5. Removes a lot of complaining & negativity. It is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.
  6. Repels evil. Forces of darkness can't stand to be around hearts that give thanks and honor to God.
  7. Renewed spirit in Christ, which opens up the door for continued blessings.

21 Bible Verses about Being Grateful

There's no better way to intentionally focus on gratitude than by spending time with God through His Word. Here are 21 verses to help you get started!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Ps. 100:4-5
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. Ps. 118:29
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Ps. 9:1
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Ps. 7:17
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Col. 2:7
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Col. 3:15
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Col. 4:2
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Ps. 103:1-5
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:18
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Ps. 107:1
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Eph. 5:20
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Ps. 28:7
I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; ... Ps. 136:1-5
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12:28-29
For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Heb 13:14-16
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Cor. 9:15
We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. Rev. 11:17
Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen! Rev. 7:12

Related Post: 10 Bible Verses Every New Christian Should Know

A Prayer of Gratitude

Heavenly Father,

I come before you with a grateful heart. Grateful for Your love for me, Your sacrifice and goodness in my life. I’m grateful that You work out everything for my benefit - even when I can’t see it. Remind me, Lord, when I’m buried in jealousy or ungratefulness that You are my Provider. Thank You that You are always with me and will never leave me. Forgive me for when we don't thank You enough, for Who You are, for all that You do, for all that You've given. Help me to set my eyes and heart on You each day. Renew my spirit, fill me with Your peace and joy. I love You and need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy!

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Post: 8 Ways to Pray Throughout the Day


When we commit to intentional gratefulness, there is a profound difference in how we see the world, how we feel, and the way we react.

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