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God, we take a moment right now to give You thanks for all You've done for us this year. Thank You, God! You are so very faithful!

Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in America. Family members are coming in from out of town. We spend days preparing a meal fit for the king. We watch football on TV, we eat rich desserts, and we enjoy the day with our loved ones. But Thanksgiving is not just a time for eating good food. It is also a time to celebrate the year’s harvest and to give thanks to the Lord who gives that harvest. It’s a time to be generous and to be grateful for those we have in our life. This day of giving thanks is celebrated not only here in America but also elsewhere around the world. Although each country has its own unique way of celebrating the day, we all pause to give thanks. Let’s look at how this holiday is celebrated around the globe.

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The American Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1624 to express gratitude to God for their first successful harvest in the New World. Some two centuries later, President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. In many sections of our country, it also happens to mark the beginning of the winter months.

Thanksgiving celebrations haven’t changed much. Family and friends continue gathering to share a delicious meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. We come together on the fourth Thursday of November to give thanks — and we do have so very much to be thankful for.


Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving. But Canadians celebrate on the second Monday of October. One interesting fact is that the Canadian tradition began almost 50 years before ours here in America. Back in 1578, it was called Action de Grace — don’t you just love that! It began as a celebration of a safe return from a dangerous journey. It’s much like our American celebration, with family and friends and good food. Canadians also enjoy playing or watching football on this holiday.


The Japanese celebrate on the 23rd of November. The Japanese celebration is called Kinro Kansha no Hi, which means Labor Thanksgiving Day. It began as a harvest festival but has been transformed into a day to celebrate the workers who help bring in a successful harvest. I love that! We should all celebrate those who help bring in the harvest we partake of on Thanksgiving Day, don’t you think?

The Netherlands

Religious separatists of the 17th century did not like the way they were being treated by England’s King James, so they fled to a Dutch town called Leiden. Here they had freedom to worship as they wanted. The Dutch thought highly of these refugees and wanted to celebrate them. Now, they hold an annual Thanksgiving celebration at a Gothic church. They do not, however, have anything like the traditional meal we do. Instead, they enjoy coffee and cookies after a nondenominational church service to honor the Pilgrims’ perseverance.

Regardless of where or what you celebrate this Thanksgiving Day, one theme is consistent: Thankfulness for something or someone. And we want to celebrate our thankfulness with friends, loved ones, and, most often, good food.

That we should be thankful on every single day of the year is indeed God’s plan and will for us.

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will] (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMPC, emphasis added).

This year, don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to become thankful. Begin today. And tomorrow, wake up and think of all the things you are thankful for — and then give God thanks. Next week, when you look around and see things that are true blessings in your life, stop and praise God for those very things. As for Thanksgiving Day, when you glance around the table at all those you love and hold dear, give God thanks. While you are dishing out the turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, and fresh bread, stop a moment, and give thanks in your heart.

Our prayer should be:

God, create in us a thankful heart, one that is thankful day after day and in every situation, no matter what comes our way. For this, we give You praise. Amen.

Share an encouraging thanksgiving prayer of your own here below.

Kim Potter is a writer and the founder of A New Thing Ministries, which sends a daily teaching to thousands of people all around the world. Her articles have appeared on The Elijah List, in Charisma Magazine, and on Spirit Fuel and Kim’s message is one of hope. She speaks to the hearts of those who have grown discouraged or disappointed by the circumstances of life, to impart hope. Her daily inspirational writings are available at Photo Credit: AlexRaths/Getty Images Pro.

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November 22, 2023

Thank you Lord, for Kim Potter and all the other IFA contributing authors who sacrifice a lot of time and energy to inspire and encourage us in the faith . We are so thankful, enriched and blessed in the many ways you use them as a channel of blessing us and so many others. Bless them more and establish the work of their hands!

Mary Beth
November 22, 2023

Interesting info – great reminder!


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