Creative Prayer Idea: A Psalm of Thanksgiving
Here is a creative prayer idea to do individually, as a couple, a family, small group or Sunday School class, etc. You can tweak it to fit your needs in many ways, as you will soon see! Here are two ways to utilize this as a means of expressing thankfulness/gratefulness to God using the Living Bible translation (feel free to use whatever translation you wish…or even multiple translations to do this on a repeated basis).
- Read through Psalm 103 and notice all of the ways David expressed his thankfulness to God. Pray through this Psalm being sure to “bless the holy name of God with all of (your) heart” at the beginning and end, as David demonstrates for us.
- Write your own Psalm based on David’s format in Psalm 103 by being specific about ways God has transformed your life and your own gratefulness for His blessings. Perhaps go verse by verse as the Psalm is laid out below.
Either of these ideas would make great family or personal activities for Thanksgiving, and year round! It’s important to cultivate gratitude for all of God’s blessings.
Psalm 103 TLB
I bless the holy name of God with all my heart. 2 Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins.
He heals me.
4 He ransoms me from hell.
He surrounds me with loving-kindness and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things!
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 He gives justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his will and nature to Moses and the people of Israel.
8 He is merciful and tender toward those who don’t deserve it;
he is slow to get angry and full of kindness and love.
9 He never bears a grudge, nor remains angry forever.
10 He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins, 11 for his mercy toward those who fear and honor him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west.
13 He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. 14 For he knows we are but dust 15 and that our days are few and brief, like grass, like flowers, 16 blown by the wind and gone forever.
17-18 But the loving-kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to those who reverence him;
his salvation is to children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant and remember to obey him!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything there is. 20 Bless the Lord, you mighty angels of his who carry out his orders, listening for each of his commands. 21 Yes, bless the Lord, you armies of his angels who serve him constantly.
22 Let everything everywhere bless the Lord. And how I bless him too!
Kim serves as the Executive Director of Harvest Prayer Ministries which she co-founded in 1993 with her late husband, Dave (1953-2022). Her ministry involves teaching/training and consulting as well as writing and developing resources. She is content coordinator for HPM's teaching platform, PrayerU.com and also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! as well as Prayer Tip Tuesday.
Kim has written multiple books and has published articles in a variety of magazines and publications. She is a member of America's National Prayer Committee and serves as President of Gospel Revivals, Inc. (Herald of His Coming).
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.
Some of Kim's Books
The Transforming Power of Pastoral Prayer
I often hear pastors speak of their desire to have a church that prays more. I certainly understand and appreciate that desire. A praying church is a powerful church in so many ways. While there are many things that can be done to help a congregation grow in prayer, I believe the first and easiest step concerns the prayer life of the pastor(s).
A praying pastor can become an amazing influence toward the church becoming a house of prayer. Let me focus today on two of the many reasons why this is so critical. The first has to do with the power of prayer itself.
When pastors, who are already in a place of spiritual authority and influence, begin to pray solid, biblical prayers for their congregations, they are lining up with the will of God. The will of God in such matters is not a mystery. God wants His church to be a house of prayer. When the pastor prays for the church to become a praying church, he is not trying to talk God into doing something He doesn’t already want to do. Because of what Scripture tells us, we must believe that prayer is powerful when we pray in accordance with the will of God.
In a real sense, when a spiritual leader begins to pray for those for whom he has responsibility, he operates as a priest before the Lord. He stands in a place of effective prayer between the congregation and God. God has committed to hear his prayers. Pastors who persistently pray biblical prayers for their congregation to become a house of prayer will begin to see significant changes in the prayer lives of their people.
Pastors who pray kingdom-focused pastoral prayers over their congregations from the platform/pulpit encourage and teach their people to pray! A pastor should spend significant time privately praying and growing in intimacy with the Father. But there must also be times when the congregation hears their pastor pray out loud in a public setting. People learn much about how to pray from hearing others pray, especially their pastors!
I have spent a lot of time reading the epistles of Paul. Over and over again I heard Paul praying for the Church. I put myself in the place of those early Christians and I realized how they learned to pray. They listened to their spiritual leader. Paul poured out his heart, privately and publicly for his people. They didn’t so much need sermons or lessons on prayer. They could just listen to Paul pray for them and found they could pray as he prayed.
One of my concerns for the Church today is the absence of the pastoral prayer and pastoral leadership in prayer. How will we know our pastors are praying for us if we do not hear them praying publicly? How can we learn from their lives of prayer if we do not hear regular, powerful, biblical prayers coming from them week after week?
My preacher for the first thirteen years of life was Neil Kuns. I know Neil preached good sermons but I confess that I don’t really remember them. What stands out in my mind was Neil’s pastoral prayers. Oh, I was a normal kid and I remember thinking about how long some of those prayers were and shuffling about as we stood for the prayer. But through the years, what has emerged from my memory is having a pastor who prayed for us. My life was and continues to be impacted by those prayers.
Pastors, if you will examine your own life of prayer and commit to allowing God to transform you by spending much time in His presence, you will be a person your congregation wishes to emulate in prayer. If you will begin to pray over your people, model prayer publically, and equip your people to pray, they will learn to become a praying people…and you will see your church on a journey toward being transformed into a house of prayer for all nations.
Good Morning, Lord!
I’m often asked about my own prayer life. It’s always embarrassing to answer because I don’t feel like a great man of prayer. But the opposite is true also. I hate to answer because it looks like I’ve got it all together. So can I just say that I’ve learned a lot through the years and am praying better than I used to, but still feel like I’m on a journey with a long way to go?
With that as an understanding, I’d like to share some prayers that I pray every day, or almost every day. The purpose for sharing them is to encourage others in their prayer lives. Sometimes it seems that we just get overwhelmed with life and our prayer life shuts down. There are, though, some simple ways to pray that allow us to keep going even when things are tough. Having a good biblical pattern for prayer keeps us on the path to intimacy with the Lord and prevents a crash and burn lifestyle.
The following ways to pray do not keep us from sin. I wish they did! But they do keep us closer to the Lord and cause us to turn from sin and back toward Him. These prayers also keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within us regardless of what is going on around us. Prayer ultimately keeps us connected to God and that is the place of growth, protection, and provision.
Fixing Your Eyes on Jesus
I rarely begin my prayer time without spending time in worship. Acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus over not just my life, but over every part of the universe is critical to keeping everything in perspective. The typical prayer that opens and leads to worship is based on the command of God’s Word to “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2). As I pray, “Lord Jesus, today I choose to fix my eyes on you,” it almost invariably leads into a time of worship as I begin to recognize the awesomeness of who Jesus is.
I begin every day with a “Thank You” prayer. Gratitude is huge for us spiritually. When we realize that everything we have and are comes from the Lord, it should create a continual flow of gratitude. Simply thinking through the many blessings we have been given can spark a torrent of thankfulness within us! Sometimes it’s just standing in the shower and thanking Him for hot, clean, water. There have been times when, overwhelmed by gratitude, I find myself simply repeating “thank You”, over and over. What better way to place ourselves before the Lord than in bowing before Him with gratefulness welling up within us? Some good Scriptures for cultivating gratefulness are found in: Psalm 136:1-3, Lamentations 3:22-24, Psalm 118:28-29 and 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.
Dwelling with the Lord
Every day I pray Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on his beauty, seeking him in his temple.” Dwelling in the house of the Lord is a place of intimacy, provision, and protection. David’s great prayer is a simple way for us to keep before us the simplicity of dwelling with the Lord.
Closely tied to this is my prayer of drawing near to the Lord. It is based on James 4:8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” How simple, yet how powerful to simply draw near in prayer, knowing that the Lord has promised that He then, would draw near to us in response.
Putting on Your Armor
An important part of every morning prayer for me is putting on the armor of God. In obedience to Eph.6:10, I include this as a part of my prayers each day. It can be as simple as saying, “Lord, today I put on your armor by faith.” Of course some days I expand on that and go over every part of the armor in prayer. The important thing is that we do this. It helps us walk in awareness of the battle going on around us and of the Lord’s provision for our victory.
These are my normal, daily prayers. I offer them to you as a way to begin a life of prayer that honors the Lord and invites Him into your life in power and according to His purpose. There is, of course, much more for us to pray about, but this is my “Good morning, Lord Jesus” sort of praying that awakens my soul to the day and prepares my heart for the Lord to have His way.
Sample Post for Newsletter Articles
Great news! We have two new prayer journeys planned! The primary purpose of these journeys is prayer! Our second focus is seeing and experiencing the sites!
WASHINGTON DC: September 17-21, 2019! This trip will involve a lot of walking! Our journey will allow us to pray at key governmental sites such as the Supreme Court and the White House. We will spend time on the mall praying at various monuments, and worship at David’s Tent DC where 24/7 worship has been offered to the Lord for the past 3 years! We will also visit the American Center for Prayer and Revival and the Museum of the Bible!
ISRAEL AND JORDAN: February 17-28, 2020! This prayer journey will include praying biblical prayers at or near where they were actually prayed. Some of the highlights will be exploring the Galilee where Jesus lived, taught and ministered (Capernaum, Magdala, Mt of Beatitudes, etc.) as well as worshiping on the Worship Boat on the Sea of Galilee, visiting Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, En Gedi where David hid from Saul and wrote several Psalms…and of course Jerusalem! This trip we are adding two extra days to see Mt. Nebo and Petra in Jordan and Eilat, Israel (on the Red Sea) where we will see an amazing life-size replica of the tabernacle of Moses!
If you are interested in either of these trips, email email@example.com and let us know! We will send you more information as it becomes available. It will also be posted here, so stop back by!