Start prayers with thank-yous rather than requests. Meeting God in a posture of gratitude reminds us that everything we are and have is a gift from God.
Put a new twist on “popcorn prayers.” Give everyone 20 pieces of popcorn (or whatever number works for you). Invite everyone to think of things they’re grateful for. Take turns saying these things out loud. After every suggestion, everybody eats a piece of popcorn. See if you can finish your popcorn before you run out of things you’re thankful for!
Finish the day with gratitude. Use bedtime prayers to list things that happened during the day that you’re grateful for, and thank God for those things.
Tour a CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm and learn about what it takes to grow fruits and vegetables. Pick or purchase some food to take home with you. Cook it together and give thanks that God gifts people with the ability to grow food for us to eat.
If a farm isn’t accessible to you, do some research about where your favorite foods come from. Who plants it, tends it, harvests it, distributes it, stocks it in the grocery store? For example, try to fill in all the links in the food production chain for making a pizza. Find out what it takes to produce flour, cheese, tomato sauce, and your favorite toppings. Then give thanks for all those people and for God’s provision through them.
If you’re not in the habit of saying mealtime prayers, this is a great time to start! Giving thanks for our food reminds us to stop at least three times a day and remember God’s goodness.
If you live in an urban location, walk your neighborhood and try to think of a new thing or person to be grateful for every time you turn a corner.
Walk in a park or woods and note all the many different kinds of plants. Thank God for the infinite variety of his beautiful creation.
When your congregation is meeting together physically, park a few blocks from your church building and walk the rest of the way. Use the time to talk about things you’re grateful for and to prepare your hearts to worship God from a posture of thankfulness.