Ways to Foster Moments of Gratitude in Worship

Being intentional about expressing gratitude can be a powerful part of any worship gathering. While there are plenty of songs that help us sing gratitude, stepping outside the song paradigm can really create some moments that we carry with us outside the gathering.

Here are three ideas to stoke your creativity and help you focus your community on gratitude.

Scriptural Meditation

Choose a single verse or a few verses out of the Psalms. Psalm 91 is a great place to start! Keep them short. Project them on the screen and play quiet music beneath. Instruct everyone to meditate on the words with an attitude of gratitude.

Don’t rush–invite everyone to read the verse out loud as prayer together. Bonus points if you can follow up with a song that pulls from the verse.

Prayer and Response

Ask the congregation to individually pray out simple prayers of thanksgiving and instruct them to respond with “His love endures forever.”

For example:

Individual - “Thank you for providing in times of trouble.”

Congregation - “His love endures forever.”

Individual - “Thank you for your faithfulness.”

Congregation - “His love endures forever.”

And so on. It’s not a bad idea to clue in a few folks beforehand and ask them to lead out with the first prayers to get the ball rolling.

Read A Communal Prayer

I love this simple reading from the Book of Common Prayer.

A General Thanksgiving

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.  We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Of course, try and surround moments like these with songs of thanksgiving that reinforce what we’ve just taken our community through.

Jason Houtsma is the co-founder and guitar teacher at Worship Artistry, where he is helping musicians of every level answer the call to worship with passion and confidence. Jason has been leading worship and writing music since he was 15 years old and currently serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA. He is husband to Alli and father to Bjorn and Asher.

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Thanks Jason, I think I'll

Thanks Jason, I think I'll use one of those ideas this week or next!