A Prayer for Thankfulness in Times of Pain

aprayerofthankfulness aprayerofthankfulnessThanksgiving is approaching, but the feeling of thankfulness doesn't always come on schedule. If you are in deep grief or pain and struggling to express a heart of thanks before God, join us in praying this prayer this year.Father God,

We acknowledge that you are the giver of all good things. We live and breathe because of you. From your hands, You supply all that we need and so much more. But we confess that sometimes we are: ungrateful…unthankful…selfish…sinful…hurting people…

I confess that at times I don’t see all the gifts you have given, are giving, and continue to give in my life. I confess that my ungratefulness at times has left me angry, bitter, and wanting. My unthankfulness has made me blind to all that I have. And even as I approach this Thanksgiving, I know my heart needs radical change.

Some of us are unthankful because we’ve experienced a great amount of pain and suffering this year. We’ve lost loved ones and unborn children. Our marriages and relationships are broken. We’re dealing with sickness, injustice, and depression. We’re struggling financially and need a miracle. Circumstances don’t seem to be in our favor. Ever. Some of us wonder why in the world you work the way that you do. Some of us carry indescribable burdens.

I confess that at times I have caused my own pain and have projected that hurt onto other people.

God, help us to lean into your grace when we’re weak and feel like giving up because Lord we are so frail apart from you. Help us to give you thanks because when we choose not to we know that our wounds and pain only grow deeper.

Will you teach us and show us that you are good regardless of the pain and hurt we feel in this life? You are worthy to be praised in the valley and on the mountaintop. Remind us that you still: Turn ashes into beauty. Instill life into dead bones. Give the oil of joy for mourning. Soften the hardest of hearts. Change sinners into saints. Transform brokenness into wholeness. Wash our sins and make them white as snow. Redeem and restore the years the enemy has stolen.

And let us remember that you have already endured the ultimate shame and suffering on the cross for your glory and our good. Help us to persevere to the end until we see you face to face.

In the meantime, may today, this week and the rest of November give us a renewed sense of genuine Thanksgiving in each of our hearts regardless of our circumstances.

In Jesus’ name,


by Samantha Krieger


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One Comment

  1. We would do well to learn the difference between
    thankfulness and gratitude. Thankfulness and its expression to God,
    thanksgiving, rise from our disposition of gratitude toward Him. We often
    regard our thankfulness as giving rise to a somewhat blind expression of
    thanksgiving. This is because we are
    often consigned to understand so little of what we have been actually given in
    our lives by God, both in peace and in suffering. Gratitude, on the other hand, has no such
    blindness and is always entirely mindful of the benefit and our Benefactor and
    is always genuine. Gratitude knows the
    true nature of what has been given and by it we are compelled to the presence
    of God because of it. As I look back on
    my life, there were a couple of imprisonments, a divorce, life long depression,
    devastating family illness and a whole lot more I am not the least bit thankful
    for and quite frankly would rather forget if not for one thing. I would
    not for their own sake ever consent to live through them again any more than I
    would expect Jesus to express thankfulness, even after the resurrection, for
    the opportunity to be tortured and crucified on a cross. It is the salient point though that He knew
    full well that His being so afflicted was the very means which ultimately enabled
    our salvation which was the desire of His heart. And that’s just the point. He
    was not at all thankful for the suffering He endured but immersed in gratitude
    toward the Father for creating the most magnificent of good, our restoration to
    our Father who loves us without limit, from the cruel suffering of His
    death. It is this gratitude toward the Father alone which compels our
    Savior, even today, in acting on our behalf. In this manner our gratitude
    transcends even our suffering an leads us without impediment to the embrace of

    Twenty or so years ago, I was allowed the opportunity to
    view many of the past difficulties of my life as they were seen by God as they
    occurred. Before that time, I regarded my life as a progression of ups
    and downs, highs and lows with regard to my pursuit of what I hoped would
    ultimately become personal sanctity. At times, even as a result of my
    acting out of a desire for obedience to God, my life and the lives of others
    around me were thrown into utter chaos because of some inexplicable and unexpected difficulty which arose from it.
    These events, when they occurred, often left me in genuine embittered despair
    of my ever becoming aware of the real purpose for my life. I found myself
    pondering my treacherous path to salvation one day as I had done many times
    before but this time I was enabled to actually see the events of my life as God
    saw them. I could see far back, even into my childhood how my somewhat battered
    upbringing had caused me to hate even the thought of vulnerability to anyone.
    After a rather dramatic encounter with God a young adult, I had tendered a
    daily petition to God that I would someday become sustained in the sanctity
    required to be possessed by God. Now I was able to see for the first time
    in my life how I had literally been driven as a result of that prayer into the
    plethora of difficulties I had passed through in my life for the sole purpose
    of enabling and accomplishing that sanctity. I was then able to recognize
    that the sanctity I so desired and seemed to always elude me in the end was the
    direct result my becoming consummately vulnerable to God. For the first time I could actually observe
    that the sanctity required of us to enter into eternal life is not a
    disposition initiated by us and nor is it accomplished by our actions, or even by
    our desire to please God. The gratitude that
    welled up within me was itself the result of the free gift of God of Himself to
    me enabled by my surrender to Him. I was
    driven into the arms of God by the continuing difficulties of my life, and
    although I was not in the least thankful for the suffering imposed upon me, I
    was overwhelmed with gratitude in having received the desire of my heart
    because of it. I was finally aware of
    the manner in which every crushing difficulty allowed by God drove me into a
    brokenness which would eventually crush my defenses and lead me into the desire
    of my heart which is Him, and Him alone. Mine would eventually become a
    vulnerability to God which would countenance no defense, not even of my life, other
    than that provided by Him, and only if and when He chose to defend me. In
    this manner, I have been defended against assault and misfortune more times
    than I am even aware. What arose in me because of having been imparted that true
    vision of my life with God which He so graciously provided me was not mere
    thankfulness, but a sustained and indescribable gratitude toward Him for having
    honored my desire at whatever cost was necessary to please Him.

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