Have you ever thought about making a reverse bucket list of all the things you’ve already accomplished instead of making a bucket list of places you want to go and things you want to do? (A grateful heart is a happy heart!)
You may not have a daily prayer life or be familiar with how to talk with God. Here are a few gratitude prayers from different faith communities. You should always feel comfortable coming up with your own prayer text as well. Think of gratitude prayers as similar to reading a thank you note to God for all your blessings.
1. “For Joy in God’s Creation” from the Episcopal Church
The text of this prayer begins:
“O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works.”
The ability to see God in nature puts everything in perspective. It’s hard to be stressed about trivial matters when you see the vastness of God’s creation.
If you're looking for more Episcopal traditions, read our guide on Episcopal funerals and graveside services.
2. “In the Evening” from the Episcopal Church
“O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last. Amen.”
There’s no one perfect time of day for prayer. Even though this is titled “In the Evening,” it would also be appropriate to pray these words at the beginning of the day as well.
3. “A General Thanksgiving” from the Episcopal Church
This is the first part of a rather lengthy prayer. It lists items for which we should be thankful. Included in the list of blessings is this one:
“We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.”
4. “For the Beauty of the Earth” from the Episcopal Church
“We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea, for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers.
We praise you for these good gifts and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity.”
Even if your life isn’t going as planned, you can still thank God for the gift of the natural world.
5. “For the Restoration of Health” from the Episcopal Church
This prayer is one of thanksgiving and gratefulness for when someone you love recovers from an illness. Sometimes facing a severe illness gives people a different view of life.
You can learn to live in the moment and acknowledge that death will come someday. This way of thinking can be described as being “death positive.”
6. “Morning Service” from the Jewish Faith
This is the beginning of a prayer from the Standard Prayer Book for being thankful for God’s eternal existence and holiness.
7. From Psalm 24 from the Jewish and Christian Faith
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For it is he that hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods.”
This Psalm can be used to reflect upon the abundance of the earth. Those who are thankful for God’s creation work to sustain it.
8. Amidah from the Jewish Faith
“We give thanks to you, for you are the Lord our God and the God of our fathers forever and ever. Through every generation, you have been the rock of our lives, the shield of our salvation. We will thank you and declare your praise, for our lives that are in your hands, for our souls that are entrusted to you, for your miracles that are daily with us, and for your wonders and your favors that are with us at all times, evening, morning, and noon.”
This is a small portion of the “Thanksgiving” section of the Amidah prayer. There are 18 sections in all.
9. “Du’a From the Sunnah” from the Muslim Faith
This prayer of thanksgiving offers appreciation for all blessings.
“Oh, Allah! Whatever blessings I or any of your creatures rose up with are only from you. You have no partner, so all grace and thanks are due to you.”
10. “Thanksgiving Prayer” from the Lutheran Church
This is a prayer written specifically for the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. This is only the first section of the prayer. The full text can be found in the Lutheran Book of Prayer.
“Most gracious God, by whose unspeakable mercy we are again permitted to present the annual tribute of our thanks and praise, we bless thee for the continual manifestations of thy goodness to us and to all the children of men.”
11. “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart” from the Christian Church
“Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the holy one
Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son.”
Sometimes songs can be used as prayer. These are the beginning two stanzas of the song by Don Moen. Moen has said that 1 Corinthians 8-9 inspired him to write this song.
12. “A Prayer of Gratitude for God’s Blessings” from the Catholic Church
“Blessed are we, O Lord, because we have known you!”
This is a snippet of a prayer from the Catholic church, but you can be from any Christian faith background to appreciate it.
13. “Prayer for a Good Husband or Wife” from the Catholic Church
What greater blessing is there than a good spouse? Here is a prayer of thanksgiving for someone who wants to express gratitude to his or her soul mate.
14. “Night Prayer” from the Catholic Church
This prayer is designed to be said at night. A portion of the text reads: “O my God, I thank you for having preserved me today and for having given me so many blessings and graces.”
15. “Du’a Said Upon Returning from Journey” from the Muslim Faith
Traveling enables you to feel God’s abundance. If you are a follower of Islam, this prayer of gratitude may be of use to you.
16. “Prayer of Thanks After a Thunderstorm” from the Lutheran Church
Have you ever been frightened by a violent storm? After the wind is over, you may feel great peace. Here is a prayer for the occasion.
17. “Thanksgiving Upon Completion of Work” from the Lutheran Church
Are you finished working for the day? Have you completed a big project? Offer a prayer of gratitude for having the ability to work. You may feel the drudgery of it from day to day but it’s important to remember to be thankful that you can work.
Think about starting your end-of-life planning if this discussion about thanksgiving and gratitude helped you put your life in perspective. You’ll only truly understand the gift of each day once you realize your days are numbered. Reflect upon the end of your life and make plans for your final arrangements today.
- “A Lutheran Treasury of Prayers.” American Lutheran Publication Board. 2019. www.lutheranlibrary.org/163-lutheran-treasury-of-prayers/
- Catholic Online. www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=836
- “Du’a From the Sunnah.” www.islam4theworld.net/dua/hadith/dua-from-Sunnah-index.html
- Kohn, Daniel. “The Amidah.” My Jewish Learning. www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-amidah/
- Moen, Don. “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart.” genius.com/Don-moen-give-thanks-lyrics
- Singer, Simeon. “Morning Service.” The Standard Prayer Book. 1915. www.sacred-texts.com/jud/spb/spb05.htm
- The Bible. www.biblica.com/bible/
- “The Online Book of Common Prayer.” The Church Hymnal Corporation. New York. www.bcponline.org/Misc/Prayers.html