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The Hansen Report: A Thanksgiving Meditation

Surely I'm the only person in the land of Ur whose prayer life occasionally runs aground on the rocks of ministry demands. But just in case I'm not, I thought Thanksgiving might be the right time to explore a few ways Scripture shows us how to give thanks to God in prayerful worship.

More often than not, I struggle to stay focused during prayer, so it helps me to follow the pattern of biblical examples, especially the Lord's Prayer taught by Jesus (Matt. 6:9–13). After each line I pause to praise God for some element of his character and bring specific requests to the Lord. It's natural at Thanksgiving to praise God for providing our daily bread. But this aspect of the Lord's Prayer almost always brings to attention material goods I thought I needed but realized I could live without. So as I thank God for providing for my family, he reminds me of my neighbors' needs.

There is no greater act of thanksgiving than returning to God the honor and glory due his name. In Psalm 96, the psalmist ...

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