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Inspiring Quotations about Gratitude and Thanks



You can use the quotations as a starting point for your own thoughts about gratitude.


For an inspiring Thanksgiving Day activity, try copying these quotations onto slips of paper and letting each guest pull one from a bowl to read aloud, sharing it with the other guests. You may also want to copy some of the short graces from the webpage Saying Grace, and add those selections to the bowl.


Another interesting activity is to read President Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation aloud, perhaps even imitating a president. You might also like to search the web to read the Thanksgiving Proclamations of Pres. Lincoln and Pres. Madison.



Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation


In 1789, President George Washington's Proclamation established the first national Thanksgiving Day in the United States.



   Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness – "

    Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be –

   That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war – for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

    And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.


Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington


The Modim Prayer of Thanksgiving


Thanks we give to thee,

O Lord, our God forever,

Our rock and our shield,

Throughout all generations.

With thanksgiving we declare thy praise,

For our lives which are in thy care,
For our souls which are in thy keeping,
For thy miracles which we witness daily,
For thy wondrous deeds and blessing,

For thy mercies unceasing.

Good One, whose kindness never stops;

Kind One, whose loving acts have never failed –

Always have we placed our hope in thee.

For all these acts, thy name shall be blessed and exalted forever.
And everything that lives shall give thanks to thee

And shall praise thy name in truth, oh God,

Our salvation and our help.
Praised art thou Lord, whose name is All-good,

And unto whom it is fitting to give thanks.



Favorite Quotations


Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness.

 ~ Robert Casper Lintner

In every thing give thanks. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18


You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.

~ The Buddha


Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so let us all be thankful.
~ The Buddha


If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily.  ~ Gerald Good


O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~ William Shakespeare


O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ~ Psalm 136:1


Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~ Aesop's Fables


A  grateful thought toward heaven is of itself a prayer.

~ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing


If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart


God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart. ~ Izaak Walton


It's a little known law of Nature the more gratitude you have, the more you have to be grateful for. ~ Elaine St. James

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. ~ William Faulkner

Lord, Thou hast given so much to me:
One thing more I ask: a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleases me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart whose every pulse may be:
Thy praise.
~ George Herbert


Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! ~ Henry Ward Beecher


Giving thanks for abundance is sweeter than the abundance itself.

~ Rumi


A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving. ~ Albert Einstein


O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. ~ Psalm 136: 1


Philipians 4:6-8, New King James Version


6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.



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