These three go together in a very unique way.  Can we even distinguish between thanksgiving and praise?  Can they really be defined separately?

  We see them joined together over and over in the Word.  In the Psalms alone we can find songs of praise and thanksgiving for the results of prayer.


"Thanksgiving includes gratitude.   In fact, thanksgiving is but the expression of an inward conscious gratitude to God for mercies received.  Gratitude is an inward emotion of the soul, involuntarily arising therein, while thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of gratitude." 

~ E.M. Bounds~


Gratitude is:

1.) what we feel in our hearts

2.)  silent, secret, and passive

3.) arises from contemplating the goodness of God

4.) born of mediation of God's mercy and grace

5.) begets praise


Thanksgiving is:

1.) out in the open

2.) actually giving out of something to God

3.) giving to God in words what we feel for blessings received.


Both point to God and His mercy.  So, how does love fit in?  Love is born out of gratitude.  It grows as we become more grateful, and eventually can't help but break out into praise and thanksgiving to God.

Psalm 116:1

"I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy."

Psalm 116:2

"Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."


 Gratitude and love lead to growth in prayer - both in frequency and in depth.

Romans 12:1 

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."

The more we see and acknowledge God's mercies we experience gratitude and it causes us to consecrate to God all that we have and all that we are. 

Gratitude and thanksgiving always look back at the past, as well as take in the present.  They deal with things received.

Prayer always looks to the future. It deals with things desired, asked for and expected.  Prayer turns into gratitude and praise when things asked for are received from God.

  We pray for things, and as a result of answered prayer, we experience gratitude  and thanksgiving.  Praise and gratitude,  in turn, promote prayer and deeper praying.

SO, what is my point???


If we desire to conquer our complaining and murmuring spirit, then we must fill our hearts with gratitude and thanksgiving!  As unappreciative spirit cannot occupy any place near gratitude and praise.  To correct complaining and promote gratitude and thanksgiving, we need true prayer.  One thing for sure is that dissatisfaction at one's lot in life and a disposition of discontent  with things that come to us under God's direction are enemies to gratitude and thanksgiving!

Murmuring is proof of ingratitude.  If we are grateful and appreciative, we won't have the time nor the disposition to stop and complain.

The Israelites grieved God with their complaining against Him and Moses.  Only the prayers of Moses stopped God from  destroying them in His wrath.  They were not grateful - and of course could not have praise or thanksgiving.  They forgot so quickly what God had done for them and became ungrateful.  As it always does, their ingratitude gave birth to murmurings and lack of praise. 

A challenge of necessity, then, is for us to assume an attitude of gratitude. That alone will change our hearts that so easily fall into ingratitude and pity parties! 

Let us strive to daily set our minds on what He has done for us and enjoy days of praise!





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