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Thanksgiving Activity Guide

No matter what’s going on in your life and the world around you, Thanksgiving is a time to pause and point our hearts in the direction of thankFULLness. We’ve put together a great resource for families full of inspiring stories, conversation starters, and activities to calibrate our hearts to a biblical attitude of gratitude.

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Enjoy this great FREE activity guide that helps us focus on what we DO have instead of what we don’t.

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Download your Thanksgiving activity guide here!



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Help kids go from complaining to content in 60 seconds

Recently my fashionista daughter was struggling with her outfit for church. And by “struggling” I mean complaining that she did not have shoes that “matched” her outfit.

My hippie child is morphing into a hipster daughter…the one who NEVER matches. She is fearless in what she wears–loud colors and prints mish-mashed together, even layered to achieve her intended look. So when she complained that she had no shoes to match her outfit, I was truly at a loss.

I cocked my head and looked at her hard for a minute. The issue wasn’t with the matching; the “issue” was something deeper.

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We lined up the four pairs of summer shoes she had to choose from and picked the “least awful” pair–some plain black flip-flops.

Then we sat down and had a chat:

me: Look at your flip flops. Can you think of three things about them that you are thankful for?

her: <haughtily> I have shoes.

me: Yes. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve seen in poorer countries who don’t have a single pair of shoes, much less four pairs to choose from. What else?

her: <a tiny bit less haughtily>They aren’t broken yet.

me: That is something to be thankful for. Do you know that in some places, you are not allowed to go to school unless you have a uniform and shoes? Some kids want to go to school so much that they wear broken flip flops or shoes that are too small and hurt their feet. It’s a privilege to have shoes that are not broken and fit you perfectly. Can you think of one more thing?

her: <begrudgingly> They are comfortable.

me: Who gave you those shoes?

her: God.

me: How do you think it made God feel that you complained about the good shoes He gave you?

her: Sad.

I was proud that she had come to a solid conclusion and could see the effect of her actions. By turning situations where we are prone to complain into a time to practice observing at least three ways we can be thankful instead, we are teaching our children to live out Ephesians 5:20:

“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Don’t miss:

Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.

31 Prayers for Children

Being a parent drives us to our knees often. We know we need to pray for our children when they’re hurting or in a challenging phase, but are there other prayers we ought to be praying for them on a regular basis?

Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of, recently preached a series on “Why We Pray”. Citing James, he challenged believers to replace rote, vague prayers with big, bold, specific prayers. Not only “because general prayers do not move God to specific actions”[1], but also because when these big, bold, specific prayers are answered, they can only be attributed to and bring glory to Him.

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. James 4:2b

Here are some big, bold, specific prayers you can pray daily for the c31 Days of Prayer-07hild/ren in your life. Don’t limit your prayers to your own kids, begin to expand out and pray over all the kids you know—your neighborhood, friends of your kids, young people in the news, even the children and youth of the world.

  1. Salvation— My most earnest prayer is that child/ren will hear the Gospel and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:9)
  1. Spiritual growth— Grant my child/ren hunger to know more about You. As they read your Word, pray, fellowship, and serve with other believers, may they grow and mature in devotion to their Savior. (2 Pet. 3:18)
  1. Love— Let my child/ren feel, know, and accept God’s love and love the things God loves, especially others. (Eph. 5:2)
  1. Love for God’s Word— Every day I pray that my child/ren fall in love with your Word. May they grow to find Your Word more “precious gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (I John 2:5)
  1. Prayerfulness— Grow my child/ren into the habit of praying without ceasing, and in every situation, may they take their requests and concerns to you as well as intercede on behalf of others. (1 Thess. 5:17)
  1. Service—God, please help my child/ren develop servant’s hearts. May they be the first to say, “I can help!” then to do so wholeheartedly knowing it brings you great joy. (Eph. 6:7)
  1. Faithfulness—Let love and faithfulness never leave my child/ren. May these virtues go with them wherever they go because they and permanently written in their hearts. (Prov. 3:3)
  1. Honesty and Integrity— May the promptings of the Holy Spirit help my child/ren choose to tell the truth. Even if it is hard to make right choices and especially when no else knows about the choice they made, may integrity and honesty be their virtueand their protection. (Prov 28:18)
  2. Mercy— May my child/ren develop hearts of compassion for others, mirroring their Father in heaven who is merciful to them. (Ps 86:5)
  1. Respect—Father, may my child/ren show an exceptional measure of respectto everyone they come into contact with, as Your Word commands. (Rom 13:1)
  1. Self-Control— Let my child/ren stand out from others around them. May they bealert and self-controlled in all they think, say and do. (Prov 25:28)
  2. Courage—May my children be strong and courageous both in their character and actions. (Deut. 31:6)
  1. A Heart for Missions— Give my child/ren God’s missional for others who don’t yet know Jesus Christ. May they be uninhibited, bold witnesses for you. (Ps. 96:3)
  2. Purity—Daily create a clean heart in my child/ren and let that purity of heart continue all day long carrying over into theiractions. (Ps. 51:10)
  3. Kindness— May my child/ren always choose to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (Heb 13:2)
  4. Generosity—May my child/ren hold onto the things they “own” loosely, allowing them to be generous and always willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:18)
  5. Peace—No matter how hard it is, let my child/ren do everything they possibly can to create peace no matter who they are with or what situation they are in. (Rom. 12:18)
  6. Perseverance— Help my child/ren to not give up, but to finish what they start. May their prize be knowing that they finished well. (Heb. 10:36)
  7. Humility—Cultivate in my children the supernatural ability to treat others as more important than themselves. (Eph 4:2)
  8. Compassion— Give my child/ren gentle hearts, sensitive to the things that break God’s heart and the empathy to feel for others. (Col. 3:12)
  9. Responsibility—Help me to teach and model responsibility to my child/ren, giving them opportunities to understand and practice what it means to have a good work ethic. (Gal. 6:5)
  1. Contentment—Help my child/ren fight the urge to compare and complain, and instead reveal the secret of being content no matter what situation they find themselves in. (Phil. 4:12-13)
  2. Joy— May my child/ren find it easy to be filled with a spirit of optimism and joyfulness supplied by the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13)
  3. Justice—God, help my child/ren to love justice as much as You do and to act with fairness in all they do. (Amos 5:24)
  1. Hope—May my child/ren always know that you are the God of hope—even when things seem bad, you have the power to make good come of anything. (Ps 147:11)
  1. Willingness and Ability to Work— May my child/ren value the skills and abilities you have given them to do work, and may they steward these abilities to their fullest capacity to please you and no one else. (Col. 3:23)
  1. Passion for God— God, give my child/ren a youthful passion for the things that you love. May they be bold worshipers and witnesses for your Kingdom. (Prov 8:17)
  1. Self-Discipline—Create self-discipline in my child/ren and many around the world so that they may live a prudent life doing what is fair, right, & just. (I Tim 4:7)
  1. Trust—Help my child/ren understand that you are a safe refuge and that they can depend on you for everything. (Psalm 118:8).
  1. Satisfaction—May therealization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, be the source of my child/ren’s confidence. (Eph. 2:10)
  2. Gratitude—Help my child/ren to overflow with thankfulness always giving thanks to God the Father as the source of all good things. (Eph. 5:20)

Commit to praying these big, bold, specific prayers for the child/ren in your life for the next 31 days. Come back and leave us a comment sharing how it went!Button-01

[1] Sermon 1: “Strengthened with Prayer”