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Give Thanks

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

These lyrics express in simple terms a thankful heart. It tells us what to do (give thanks), how to do it (with a grateful heart), whom to thank (the Holy One), and why (because of the gift of Jesus Christ). The second half celebrates the reversal of the old order – the poor are rich and the weak strong in Christ.


Sing!  A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Voicing our thankfulness is the theme of this songs and the theme of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2, which professes that God’s children can “live and die in the joy of this comfort,” when we know our sin and misery, know how we are set free in Christ, and especially know “how I am to thank God for such deliverance.”


Similarly, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86 leads us to confess that our whole lives will “show that we are thankful to God for his benefits.”


This spirit is reinforced by Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 6 with its personal profession, “We rejoice in the goodness of God...”


Give Thanks

Introductory/Framing Text

These lyrics express in simple terms a thankful heart. It tells us what to do (give thanks), how to do it (with a grateful heart), whom to thank (the Holy One), and why (because of the gift of Jesus Christ). The second half celebrates the reversal of the old order – the poor are rich and the weak strong in Christ. 

Words of Praise

Let us give thanks to the Lord,
our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer.
Let us remember his mercy, for he is gracious and compassionate.
We thank you for calling us to faith in Christ,
for putting your Spirit within us,
for giving us the mind of Christ,
for gathering us into your church.
We thank you, Lord, for extending your grace to us,
for calling us to a life of gratitude,
for calling us to service in your kingdom.
Thanks be to God!
Let us give thanks to the Lord,
for he satisfies the thirsty, he fills the hungry with good things,
and he heals the afflicted. Let us celebrate his abundant goodness.
We thank you, gracious Father,
that you provide for all our needs,
for the food on our tables,
for the clothes on our bodies,
for the beds we sleep in,
and for the dwellings that shelter us.
We praise you for all your gifts that go beyond our basic needs,
for the things that make our work easier,
for the conveniences of modern life,
for the beauty and pleasure that you bring into our lives.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Almighty God,
do take care of all our physical needs
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts can do us any good without your blessing.
And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and trust in you alone.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 125
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Let us give thanks to God our Creator
for all the blessings we share this day.
For all of those who have gone before, people strong and brave,
willing to put their lives on the line for the causes they believe in,
we give you thanks.
Grant us, our God, the courage
to step out in faith for that which is true and right.
For freedom of speech and of the press,
for the avenues open to expressing ourselves,
for opportunities to effect change,
we give you thanks.
We pray for those who are voiceless victims of unjust governments.
For fertile soil, abundant rain, and seasons of refreshment,
we give you thanks.
We pray for those whose land is parched and whose wells are dry.
For our families, friends, and the church,
who provide us with food and drink for our journey,
we give you thanks.
We pray for those who are hungry and tired,
hopeless and wandering, finding no place to rest.
For strong bodies and minds,
for opportunities that encourage us to grow
and become more the servants of thanksgiving you call us to be,
we give you thanks.
We pray for the sick,
as well as for the stagnant who are unwilling to dream or change.
Help us, O God, to be responsible stewards of your blessings,
people who care for the earth and all its people.
Keep us connected with all humanity,
even though miles and cultures tend to separate us.
May we always respond to your call
with a true spirit of thanksgiving. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Give Thanks

Tune Information

F Major


Musical Suggestion

This popular song is reflective and personal, though it is to be sung corporately, fostering a spirit of thankfulness. Sing at a fluid pace with a simple accompaniment. Don’t “overproduce” the song or allow it to become syrupy. Introduce with a single voice to be joined later by the congregation. 

Song Combination

Sing in conjunction with a hymn or other song (for example, after “When I Survey” or before “Father I Adore You”). 

Give Thanks

Hymn Story/Background

In 1978, a young seminary graduate named Henry Smith was struggling to find work and coming to terms with a degenerative eye condition that would eventually leave him legally blind. Despite those hardships, Henry found hope in 2 Corinthians 8:9 and penned “Give Thanks,” one of the most beloved songs of our time. And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong’; Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’ because of what the Lord has done.
Following the introduction of the song during a worship service at the Williamsburg New Testament Church in Virginia, a military couple reintroduced it to a congregation in Germany. The song eventually caught the attention of executives at Integrity Music. When Integrity's Hosanna! Music copyrighted the song in 1986, the author was unknown.
Years later, singer-songwriter Don Moen recorded the song on an album entitled Give Thanks, the song was brought to the attention of Smith, who contacted Integrity with authorship information. Integrity later included songwriting credits on all subsequent releases, along with a writer-publisher agreement. As of 2010, the song has been recorded by over 50 companies and published in songbooks around the world.
— Wikipedia

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