President George Washington issued the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. The president wanted the nation to offer sincere and humble thanks for being enabled by God to establish a constitutional government and for civil and religious liberty that allowed the exercise of true faith and virtue.
The gratitude that President Washington wanted our nation to offer to God in 1789 is still important for us to today. Gratitude is a virtue that allows us to maintain proper alignment in our relationship with God. When we express genuine gratitude for what God has done, we can fully embrace who God is, and we can own and make known our relationship with Him.
Gratitude helps us keep God in focus. Focusing on the Lord reminds us of whom we give thanks and why we are thankful. The more we thank God for the abundant blessings He gives us, the more we become aware of His goodness, mercy, and grace. We can never repay the debt of love, but we can praise and give thanks to our Redeemer! Take time today to offer a prayer of thanks to our great God.
[Photo by Priscilla Du Preez]