I've been really meditating on the power of singing Thanksgiving. "Thanksgiving" is a verb, it is action. It requires movement from the heart. It requires movement from the mouth. I mean, I think your heart can be "thankful", but the "action" of thanksgiving requires physical movement.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4
Why is physical movement important?
I remember several years back when my husband and I did some couples inner-healing ministry together with Transforming Hearts, one of the tools we learned was to look one another in the eye and offer "verbal appreciation" to one another's hearts.
Verbal appreciation, or thanksgiving, is an action that doesn't require the heart to feel the emotion behind the words. It's a choice to state the truth, even when you don't feel it.
The truth is my husband does a lot for me, and I can recount the ways in which he takes care of me and blesses me and tell him, "I really appreciate how you take care of me"... etc. See, I don't have to feel gratitude for my husband in order to offer thanksgiving and appreciation. However, when I do speak it, then the emotions are stirred and the feelings begin to arise.
Brain science behind thanksgiving?
Recently I discovered there is actually a scientific, biochemical reason for this. When you offer verbal appreciation, or recount memories of appreciation your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin. Do you know about Oxytocin? It has bee also referred to as the "love hormone" or the "bonding hormone". When you release "appreciation" or "thanksgiving" you emotionally are bonding, or connecting, with the object of your affection, or gratitude.
So as you enter into this thanksgiving season, don't just think about what you are thankful for. Take time out to physically offer thanksgiving and appreciation to those in your life. Take time to sing songs of thanksgiving. Are you thankful to the Lord for His character? For His redemption? What is it about the Lord that you first fell in love with when you met Him? What are the qualities of our savior, the Lord Jesus, that makes Him so special to you? Begin to sing thanks about who He is, how He has revealed Himself to you, and what He has done in your life. See what happens in your heart toward Him and how your relationship with Him grows and flourishes.
Here is place to find more verses on thanksgiving for you to meditate on! Blessings to you!