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Psalms to pray when ungratefulness comes your way

By: emily becker

Ever have one of those mornings where you feel off from the moment you get out of bed? 

As soon as your feet hit the ground, you’re snapping at your family, noticing everything that’s wrong, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get your heart right. 

Ungratefulness is part of our human condition. When ungratefulness strikes, and it does, the best way to redirect our emotions is to redirect our thoughts to our heavenly Father. The book of Psalms is a beautiful picture of what this can look like. 

The psalms are songs written over a 900-year period that cover a full range of human emotion.  Memorizing and praying the psalms can give us a place to start when we’re feeling discontent.

Psalm 118:24

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). 

If you’ve ever read Genesis 1, you may recognize the pattern that everything God has created is good. Today is the day the Lord has made, and it is good. 

If nothing else, we can rejoice that God has given us another day of life. He created another morning full of opportunity to get tasks done, to spend time with others, to rejoice in Him. Let’s be thankful for that.

Psalm 136:1

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1). 

Maybe you haven’t felt loving toward others. Or, maybe you haven’t felt loved by others. One thing remains true: God loves you, and His love endures your crankiest of days.

Take a moment to thank the Lord for loving you today. Let those words sink it and really believe them. It may just change the posture of your heart.

God loves you, and His love endures your crankiest of days.

Psalm 103:1-5

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:1-5). 

What are some ways the Lord has blessed you recently? List out what He has forgiven you for, the ways He has healed you or loved ones, how He has given you compassion, the ways in which He has renewed you. 

It’s hard to be ungrateful when we take time to recognize the gifts the Lord has given us through each season. When you feel gratitude slipping away, be intentional to remind yourself of God’s goodness in your life.

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7). 

How often do worship songs refer to God’s strength and protection over our lives? He is our shield, our rock, our provider. Without Him, we wouldn’t survive. He provides us food, water, land, a home, clothing, the company of loved ones, and so much more.

Take a moment out of your day and reflect, even sing, your favorite worship song to the Lord. Even when you are not feeling grateful, allow your soul to rejoice in Him.

Psalm 141:3-10

“...But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge- do not give me over to death. Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evildoers. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety” (Psalm 141:3-10). 

Maybe you’re having a hard time feeling grateful because it seems like the world is against you. Maybe you lost your job. Perhaps, you are having problems within your family. Maybe you’ve experienced issues with your health or finances. However the enemy may seem to be attacking you, keep your eyes fixed on the Lord.

God has rescued you before and He will do it again. If Jesus can conquer death, He can conquer anything. He is sovereign, meaning He is the ultimate ruler. If you feel defeated, don’t give up. Turn to God, and He can change your heart through the toughest of seasons.

When we struggle to feel thankful, we can shift our heart toward gratitude and contentedness by choosing to focusing on how the Lord has loved us, protected us, blessed us. If we can practice giving praise even when it’s hard, He will change our hearts.

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