12 Verses to Give Thanks & How to Meditate on Them Biblically (Part 1 of 3)

In light of tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some Bible verses you can meditate on that highlight giving thanks to our God. However, before I do, I want to explain what it means to meditate biblically. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel here, I’m going to draw on what some of my favorite pastors and theologians have to say on the subject of biblical meditation. The latter is a bit different than what is traditionally considered to be Eastern meditation, or what you might do during a yoga practice.

I personally love turning to Timothy Keller on matters of Christian beliefs and practices.  He is a pastor in New York and has authored several of the books most dear to my heart.  Keller defines Christian meditation as:

‘Not quite Bible Study and not quite prayer, but a bridge between the two’…If prayer is to be a true conversation with God, it must be regularly preceded by listening to God’s voice through meditation on the Scripture…Meditation then, is a kind of super listening in, a close reading (after the first one) that sits with the text long enough to have not just penetrating insights but a shift in our inner being, in our hearts.  

When meditating biblically, it is asking yourself, ‘How would I be different if I took this theological truth seriously? How would it change my attitudes and actions if I really believed this from the bottom of my heart?’

Timothy Keller

While prescribed meditation techniques exist, if you are incorporating the above aspects into your reading of Scripture, you are very much meditating.  

Before wrapping up this general overview of biblical meditation, here is a beautiful illustration from a seventeenth-century church leader, Thomas Brooks:

Remember that it is not hasty reading but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most but he that meditates most that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.

Thomas Brooks

Now, keeping the above in mind, find a quiet place and set aside enough time to meditate on at least 2 or 3 verses that really speak to you from the 12 verses below.  Since any time spent in God’s word is worthwhile, you’re invited to meditate on any other verses you feel led to as well. 


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17


Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2


Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6


I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 9:1


The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Psalm 28:7


I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30


Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:1-3


Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 107:1 & 1 Chronicles 16:34


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:6

To be sure, Scriptures are filled to the brim with verses on giving thanks and adoring our God.  The Psalms are especially good for reading up on praising the Lord.  If you have a long weekend for Thanksgiving, try spending some time in them as well, as you meditate.  If you open up to anywhere even remotely near the middle of your Bible you will open up to Psalms every time!

Next week we will do a deeper dive into biblical meditation. I will be sharing a simplified version of a millennium’s-old method you may wish to incorporate into your prayer life.

As always, thank you for choosing to spend your time here!  From my family to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving and happy meditating! 

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