Pray Like Jesus This Thanksgiving

Follow Jesus's example by expressing gratitude to God for his provision

Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude. It is a time to meditate on the Lord’s provision and honor him with thanks. Traditionally, family and friends gather together to enjoy a special meal. For many of us, we say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Gratitude was an important part of Jesus’s prayer life. Let’s turn to him for an example of how to bless our meals.

Jesus gives thanks

The Bible tells us of several occasions where Jesus broke bread and gave thanks—like when he fed thousands:

He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. (Matthew 14:19 GNTD)

Jesus also gave thanks during an intimate meal with his twelve disciples, what we refer to as the Lord’s Supper:

While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take it,” he said, “this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them; and they all drank from it. (Mark 14:22-23 GNTD)

After his resurrection, Jesus met two followers on the road to Emmaus and shared a meal with them:

He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. (Luke 24:30 GNTD)

Jesus recognized that all things come from the Father—even the bread he held in his hands. He took time to stop, look up to heaven, and tell God “thank you,” setting an example for us to follow.

God takes care of all our needs, too. We can thank him for the “bread” in our lives: food, clothing, and shelter. We can also be grateful for how he provides for us spiritually. He has given us unlimited access to spiritual “bread.”

“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus said. “What Moses gave you was not the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.”

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:32-35 GNTD)

This Thanksgiving, let’s meditate on the ways God nourishes us through his bountiful provision. As we reflect on Jesus’s prayers of gratitude, let’s follow his model by lifting our eyes up to heaven and saying, “Thank you, God!”

Pray with us

Father, we celebrate this Thanksgiving season with you in mind. We thank you for your bountiful provision and for faithfully meeting our every need. Thank you for Jesus and his example to us. Thank you for satisfying our hunger and thirst with the bread of life. For all things, we look up to you and say, “thank you.”

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