The ABC’s of Praise:
a New thanksgiving tradition
Who knew the ABC’s could inspire praise? They sure did for King David when he wrote Psalm 145. Put some ABC’s around your house and do this lesson. Who knows? Maybe you will have a new tradition this year!
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The A-B-C’s of Praise:
A Conversation for Thanksgiving Season
(For your convenience, we are providing a PDF download version of the interactive lesson below. This will save to your downloads on your device, or your folder of choice on your computer.)
What Does The Bible Say?
This Week’s Memory Verse:
Psalm 145:2-3a – “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…” (ESV)
Psalm 145:2 – “Every day I will bless you and praise your name.”
What Truth is God Speaking to Us?
- Over and over, forever and ever, we can praise God because He is great!
What Can We Learn About This Truth?
This month we have a very special holiday called Thanksgiving! This holiday is believed to have started way back in 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated what is called “the first Thanksgiving.” For the next 300 or so years after that, Thanksgiving was celebrated on different dates, for different reasons, by different people around the United States. Then, in 1941, Thanksgiving became an official national holiday established by Congress for the fourth Thursday in November. And that brings us to this November’s Thanksgiving holiday!
I love celebrating Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful time for family, friends, food and focusing on gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for! And at Thanksgiving, our family wants to, not just be thankful in general, but be thankful to God.
In Bible times, one way that people were thankful was by, not just saying “thank you” to the person who blessed them, but by telling someone else how wonderful the person who blessed them was. It was kind of like, if I make a really good meal, you tell me “thank you” and then you go tell your friends how great a cook I am. In doing that, you wouldn’t just be thanking me, you would be praising me. And that’s how praise to God is in the Bible – – – it’s a huge thank you wrapped up in glorifying God.
In the Bible, one particular chapter is an extra special chapter of praise to God for all He is and has done. King David wrote this very special song of praise, found in Psalm 145. He started his psalm with these promises:
Psalm 145:1-3a – “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…” (ESV)
David was determined to thank God through praising Him every day, forever and ever. And what was he thanking God for? In this special psalm, David wrote lots and lots of reasons why all the people who love God can praise Him, and he wrote this in a really unique way called an acrostic. This basically means David wrote all of his reasons for praising God alphabetically.
Now, you know what our alphabet is: a, b, c, d and so on. David wrote his praise in a language called Hebrew, and the letters in that alphabet are: aleph, bet, gimel, daleth, and so on. Every verse David wrote started with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Letter by letter, he thought of all sorts of reasons to praise and thank God. This created a beautiful song, and it was also a really wonderful way for people to remember all the ways God is “greatly to be praised!”
We’re going to do our own “A B C’s of Praise” this Thanksgiving season, but, for now, let’s start by memorizing our verse:
Psalm 145:2-3a – “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” Psalm 145:2-3a
Psalm 145:2 – “Every day I will bless you and praise your name.” Psalm 145:2
What Questions Do We Have About This?
– How did people say “thank you” in Bible times? (they praised the person in front of other people, telling all the wonderful things about them!)
– In what form did King David write his song of praise? (it is an acrostic, or alphabet, poem)
– How often and how long did David say he would praise God? (forever and ever, every day, over and over)
– What does it look like for our family to praise God every day, over and over? Do you think that would get boring? Why not?
What Else Does the Bible Say About This?
Old Testament: One way that King David praised God was by quoting Scripture! In Psalm 145:8, David quoted Exodus 34:6, which says, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” When we memorize, meditate on and quote Scripture, we glorify and praise God! When God’s Word matters to us so much that we talk about it to others, that is how we can show God our thanks!
New Testament: The Bible says in James 1:19, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt…” One way our speech can be gracious is by being grateful to God for everything! Instead of just talking about what we want as the Christmas season begins to approach, or instead of just focusing on what is wrong in our lives or what we lack, we can be people of gratitude and praise to God for all He has done in our lives! Even in our prayers, we can have grateful hearts and words. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Let’s be a family that always thanks God through gracious words of gratitude and praise!
How Can We Live Out This Truth?
As our family prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving this season, we are going to do our own “A B C’s of Praise.” I am going to put A B C’s around the house to remind us to think about what we can be thankful for. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, we’re going to talk about these “A B C’s of Praise” as a family. (NOTE: This activity can be as simple as writing the alphabet with a dry erase marker on mirrors or windows; you can purchase letter cutouts at a dollar store; or you can totally go creative in decorating with fall-ish looking letters. Whichever way you choose, incorporate the alphabet into your Thanksgiving holiday this year.)
As you are thinking about the A B C’s of your praises, I want to tell you some of the “A B C’s of Praise” I have in my life. King David wrote in Psalm 145:4 that one generation should tell the next about the great things God has done for them. So to get you thinking about the great things God has done for you, I want to use the alphabet to tell you some of the ways and reasons I praise God this Thanksgiving season! A: (all my children), B: (my Bible, God’s Word), C: (my children/grandchildren), D: (for our great family dog), etc. etc. I’m so thankful for all God has done and is doing in our lives! He is a great God, greatly to be praised!
For Preschool Families:
You can make the A B C’s of Praise into a little song of praise, like King David did. Maybe write out your personal A B C’s of Praise as a family first, and then put a tune to it. You can sing this song through the next few weeks and on Thanksgiving Day as a family. Such a fun way for you to focus on praise and giving thanks!
How Shall We Respond To The Lord In This Truth?
Worship through Praise and Prayer: We praise you every day, over and over, forever and ever, for all You have done in our lives! “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you” – including the saints in our family! (Psalm 145:10). You are great, Lord, and your “greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3). You are an amazing God, and we are so glad to know You. Amen!
A Family Blessing
Blessings from this Lesson to Speak over Your Children…
Psalm 145 says that one generation should tell the next generation all the amazing things God has done. so just like I’m telling YOU what I praise God for, I pray that YOU will tell others all about Him, too! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Oh Lord God, You are worthy of all our honor and praise. May this child of mine live to glorify You, in everything, today and everyday, in Your Name Jesus, Amen!
Up Next: A Special Event Lesson for Advent
© 2018 Tosha Lamdin Williams, Mommy Disciple Me