The Right Frame of Mind: Worship, Prayer, and Thanksgiving

Photo 28334336 / Framing House © Christian Delbert |

As I head into the holidays, I desperately need the right frame of mind. A firm foundation and a solid framework of spiritual principles to keep me steady through the challenges of the season, like managing the same twenty-four hours of the day with a much longer to-do list. 

Christ, as always, provides the foundation, the rock under my feet (1 Cor. 3:11). First Thessalonians 5:16-18 guides me to worship, prayer, and thanksgiving as I frame my spiritual mindset for the joys and struggles ahead, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1. Worship: “Rejoice always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

I’m a melancholy gal. For me, the glass is half empty. I constantly battle feelings of anxiety, heaviness, and discouragement. 

Joy proves elusive. 


Until a Dr. Tony Evans’s sermon challenged me to create a Rejoice playlist—and I did. A short collection of upbeat worship tunes designed to lift my mood and shift my mindset. 

It worked.

In seconds. 

My tendency is to read the verse above and think—right. But this command to rejoice may be one of the best kept secrets in Scripture. 


I’ve hit this playlist countless times and I get the same results. 

The heaviness lifts as I praise. 

Isaiah 61:3 says, Jesus “provide(s) for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Rejoice. Always. 

2. Prayer: “Pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

The Greek word for continually refers to a hacking cough. If you’ve ever had a sinus infection with a lingering cough, you know what I mean. 



So persistent that it will drive you out of your mind. 

And God welcomes it. You can’t annoy or bother God. He cares about it all. He desires never-ending, un-interrupted, free-flowing conversation.

Instead of talking to yourself, direct your words to Him. Bring Him in on the to-do list, into the carpool line, and throughout the workday. God is present. 

Whether we frame our side of the dialogue in ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication), or any other acrostic that aids us, we can count on God to be relational, specific, and timely. 

Pray. Continually. 

3. Thanksgiving: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18a

November nudges us with its yearly reminder to cultivate this spiritual discipline of gratitude. Author and literary agent Jevon Bolden, from her book Pray Hear Write, offers a few words to help us with the second part of that verse, “in all circumstances.” She makes two points: (1) God is with us and, (2) in all things, God works. “You qualify for His working things out in your favor.” 

Not only is God an ever-present help in trouble, but Scripture promises that even in the worst of circumstances God works for our ultimate good. 

Give. Thanks. 

In all circumstances.

4. The Blueprints: “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18b

Worship, prayer, and thanksgiving are the gold, silver, and precious stones that build us spiritually, replacing the wood, hay, and stubble of disrespect, distance, and discontentedness (1 Cor. 3:12-15). They frame not only our spiritual houses, but they construct our frames of mind as well. They lift moods and shift mindsets, allowing us to display the bright glow of the Holy Spirit through the windows of our souls, spreading encouragement, kindness, and hope to an oppressed world. 

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5


1. Create a Rejoice playlist. Compare song choices between family members.

2. Incorporate personal worship into your time with God. 

3. Keep a prayer journal, dating your prayers and noting God’s responses. 

4. Make a thankfulness jar with a Mason jar and post-it notes. Daily, write down two things for which you are thankful and place them in the jar. Review them at the end of the month. 

5. Click here for coloring sheets and teaching tips for preschoolers and for elementary students.

Click here for November Everyday Wonder Activity Sheets.

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