Enter his gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4).
What does the psalmist mean when he tells us to enter the gates of God with thanksgiving? If I might put it so simply and colloquially, it means “Don’t even think about coming into God’s presence without praise on your lips.” God’s goodness is infinite, and God’s blessings are abundant, and so thanksgiving is the only appropriate response.
Every time you come to God in prayer, include purposeful and explicit gratitude in your prayer.
Scripture everywhere continues this emphasis on the gratitude that is due to our God. Daniel’s prayer for deliverance in Daniel 2 is not even recorded, but his prayer of thanksgiving afterward is included word-for-word. Hannah’s prayer for help is summarized in one verse (1 Samuel 1:11), but her doxology of gratitude is given 10 times as much space within the pages of Scripture (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Jonah, in the belly of a whale, vows to be more grateful and the Holy Spirit makes sure his testimony is recorded for us to read. Paul, in a storm and about to shipwreck, give thanks for his food and Luke makes sure to tell us that (Acts 27:35). And in every gospel account of the miracle of the loaves and fish being multiplied, we are specifically informed that Jesus gave thanks for it beforehand.
While a special Thanksgiving holiday is certainly appropriate, it should not be the only time you come to God with your expressions of gratitude.
Every day, every prayer ought to include an appropriate response of praise to God for his abounding goodness to us. Every time you come to God in prayer, include purposeful and explicit gratitude in your prayer.
Enter his gates, every time you come to him in prayer, with thanksgiving.