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  • Writer's picturePamela

Why Your Worship Requires a Thankful Heart

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

I don’t want to be an ungrateful person – especially toward God. I’m sure you don’t either.

I was reminded this week how dependent my worship life is on the condition of my thankful (or not) heart when I read this:

“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).

There are several ingredients in having a true worshiper’s heart, and the Bible says an important one is thankfulness. Worship is the fruit of our thankfulness to God – it requires a thankful heart. In fact, (and, yes, I’ve mentioned this before) we must . . .

*“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and [then] His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).

You have to go through the gate to get to the courts. I believe that we sometimes miss out on intimacy with God in His courts, simply because we’re not thankful enough to get through the gate. It’s important to God. We need to approach His throne remembering and being thankful for His goodness, His lovingkindness, and His faithfulness.

We get the same encouragement from Psalm 95:2- 3a:

“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God . . . ”*

I believe this is important because a thankful heart recognizes the relationship between the blessings of this earthly existence and the incredible goodness of God. A thankful heart is aware of God’s power at work when life’s limitations don’t rule the moment. A thankful heart acknowledges God is still who He says He is even when things don’t go the way hoped for. And a thankful heart knows none of this is about me, but He. (Yes, I could go on and on.)

Every time we stop to give thanks to God – to acknowledge His hand at work in, through, and around us – it fertilizes the soil that worship grows in.

And it makes the worship-filled “fruit” of those “lips that give thanks” more lavish and abundant. God is glorified!

Here’s more encouragement:

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me” (Psalm 50:23).

“Willingly I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good” (Psalm 54:6).

“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Psalm 106:1).

“I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name” (Psalm 138:2).

“O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness” (Isaiah 25:1).

“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly” (Psalm 111:1).

“That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:12).

To neglect to show God the gratitude due Him – even offering a flippant thanks – is being Unthankful. Ungrateful. Unappreciative. And shows no real understanding of who God is.

It’s like saying, I deserved this. I earned this. I made this happen.

Or even subconsciously – I don’t need God.

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21).

And a “foolish heart” = no true worship.

I don’t often do this, but would you to you join me in this simple prayer for a thankful heart?

Lord God, forgive me for all the times I haven’t been truly thankful – when I haven’t acknowledged Your hand, Your goodness, Your faithfulness, or Your blessings that go WAY beyond what I deserve. I don’t want to be an ungrateful person. You have given me eternity with You, and if that were the only benefit of salvation, that would be an unearned, undeserved, lavish gift. But You pour out MORE Every. Single. Day – Your presence, Your power, Your help, Your guidance, Your love, Your empowering gifts, Your grace (oh, your grace!) in times good and hard, and on and on and on. How can I NOT be thankful? May I never take a moment of this life with You for granted – not a single breath of air, not a beat of my heart, not each new day, not any opportunity to sing Your praise. I. Am. Thankful. For Your are holy. You are mighty. You are faithful to all generations. You are above all. Your love never fails. Your mercy never ends. And for all of these things and more, thank You. May my heart never be foolish, but stay set on, humbled before, and thankful to YOU. May I always worship You as you deserve. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Portion between ** is from my book, Worship and the Word.

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