Maybe you know this: You prayed for something that was very urgent and your prayer was answered. Or you simply asked Jesus for help, and somehow you got it? In such moments the Lord is full of gratitude.
And you want to return this gratitude to God. You want to show him how grateful you are – you know that he knows how grateful you are… but how can you show it to him? Or in short: How can I thank God!?
In this article, I want to give you practical approaches on how to thank God! Take these suggestions for what they are intended: Suggestions. If you want to thank God by baking Him a cake – do it! If you want to dedicate a book to him – do it! The relationship with God is a personal one, so your thanks should be personal as well.
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Approach 1: Just thank him directly!
This approach is so simple that it is almost embarrassing to say it: Just say thanks to God! You don’t even have to make big words or say long sentences.
A simple “Thank you, Jesus,” as long as it comes from deep in your heart, is quite enough. God knows what you feel and knows how grateful you are – and also knows that you have nothing better to thank Him for at that moment!
If after the simple “Thank you, Jesus” you still feel that you “need” to thank Him further: Say it again. And then again. And when in doubt, say it again. I know it sounds like a grinder: it all depends on your heart attitude!
You can also combine your thanks with what God has done for you. Give thanks for the exact deed. Did God heal a person? Then give thanks for that very thing. Did he help you with a difficult test?`Then thank him for that! Did he help you to understand a difficult situation? Then thank him for that!
Open your mouth and say that you are grateful to God! By the way, it is perfectly okay to assume any posture – how about kneeling?
Approach 2: Make a “thank offering”
Don’t worry: You don’t have to build an altar to slaughter an animal there! It’s not even technically necessary for you to make any sacrifice – Jesus has already done that job for you. But you can still detach yourself from something in order to give thanks to God.
The Bible says that God will provide you with everything you need. I.e. (for me) if you give away something with a good background, you don’t really have a loss. Yes. As humans, we feel stupid when our favorite socks are gone or that bar of chocolate can’t be eaten… but we still have God.
That’s why this article, in its third approach, answers the question “How can I thank God?” in a thoroughly unconventional way: give something away or give something up.
Do you have a pile of old clothes that are actually quite good but you don’t wear anymore? Donate them to the Red Cross or a department store for the needy. Do you have a lot of chocolate at home and find it hard to give it up? How about giving it up for God? The same goes for cigarettes or alcohol. Do you have a guilty conscience because you prefer to watch a series in the evening instead of reading the Bible? How about sacrificing the series in gratitude and spending time with God?
Of the three points presented, this one is the most individual: it depends a lot on you. There is no hard and fast rule for this. It also doesn’t matter what other people think – if you do it for God, it will be okay!
Note: I strongly assume that you don’t want to hurt yourself! If you cause yourself pain (on purpose), that will not please God!
Approach 3: Be a witness for God
Often there is a reason why you want to thank God. Either he did something for you or corrected a situation that you could not have done on your own. Everybody has his own story. Everyone can tell something about God. These little stories, and the recognition they bring to God’s work, honor God.
By giving testimony of what He has given you (i.e. telling about the things you have experienced with Him), the more you thank Him for it. That you also evangelize a little bit certainly does not hurt.
Approach 4: Sing God a song!
God loves songs! In the Bible there is a whole book dedicated to ancient poetry (The Psalms) Even one of the most famous kings of the Old Testament, King David, was constantly singing to God. In addition, at pretty much every church service, the worship time is set to music… so for now, it’s nothing out of the ordinary to sing to God!
In these songs, of course, you can and may thank God. One way to express your thanks is to choose a psalm that matches your inner attitude. And then sing or rap it as best you can! Put your whole heart into the text and thank God!
“Of course, you don’t have to stick to the psalms! If you feel like it: write your own song and use your own words to thank God. Keep in mind that the choice of words is not the most important thing in giving thanks, but the attitude of your heart.
Another option: Sing any song you want to thank God with! There are certainly people who get upset about the fact that not every song is laid out in a theologically perfect way – but in this case, that really shouldn’t matter!
Conclusion “How can I thank God?”
Everyone has their own way to thank God. You have free choice in how you thank God. It is a relationship between you and not a machine. If you don’t know how to start, start with a prayer and give thanks.