It’s important to express gratitude. A simple “thank you” shows that we recognize we’ve received something that the giver was under no obligation to give. It guards against an attitude of self-centeredness and entitlement. And it contributes to an atmosphere of goodwill in the relationship. When there is no gratitude, the giver feels unappreciated and may become discouraged and reluctant to give again.

Gratitude is not only important in human relationships, it’s also important in our relationship with God. David, the Psalmist, knew this. He took note of the wonderful things that God did and continually expressed appreciation for them. David said, “Let us thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of men! And let us offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy! (Ps. 107:21–22)

I remember singing the hymn “What Can Wash Away My Sin” in church. The first verse says, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Are your prayers full of thanksgiving? Prayers of thanksgiving are somewhat different than prayers of praise or adoration. In praise and adoration, I extol who God is—His wonderful attributes of holiness, love, righteousness, justice, and so forth. But in thanksgiving, I personalize it. I acknowledge how I benefit from what God has done. I remember His gifts, and I let Him know that I know where all the blessings in my life have come from. And His greatest gift to me is my salvation through my faith in Jesus. “But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.” (Eph. 2:13)

All the things I enjoy—life, health, friends, family, and even the beauty of the sun rising on a new day—have come from His hand. Today I am thankful for the blood of Jesus that gave us the opportunity (through our faith) to be cleansed of our sins and to be justified. His blood washed me pure as snow. He poured out His love through the shedding of His blood for all of us. “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.” (Matt 26:27)