How to Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Contributing Writer
How to Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Have you ever heard someone ask about the Bible verse, “enter His gates with thanksgiving?” What are the gates? How can we enter with thanksgiving if life is full of trouble and despair? As Christians, we place our hope in God. Yes, tough times will come. When life is filled with turmoil and when life is filled with joy, enter His gates with thanksgiving.

Where Does the Bible Say “Enter His Gate with Thanksgiving”?

The book of Psalms in the Old Testament is where Scripture shares this important statement: 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4 NIV).

Psalm 100 is credited to King David, although some biblical scholars believe various people wrote the book of Psalms. The words are directed to everyone in the community.

This psalm is sometimes called a guide or hymnal for worship and prayer. Although only five verses, this powerful message reminds us to give thanks to God. Trials and troubled times will come in life, but we have the opportunity to continue praising God and giving thanksgiving to God always.

What Are God’s Gates?

Biblical scholars refer to God’s gates as when we come into the presence of God. In other words, whenever we worship God, we enter His presence. When we pray to God, we enter into a personal relationship with the Father. Whether we pray to give thanksgiving or cry out with sadness, the gates of His presence are open to His children.

Christians acknowledge there is one God, and we are His creations. “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3 NIV).

How Do We “Enter His Gates”?

Prayer opens the door to conversation and relationship with God. Prayer is personal time shared with God. When we pray, we know God hears. Beginning prayer by focusing on God and not the self is the way to enter His gates. Enter with praise and thanksgiving. Begin the prayer by thanking God for His steadfast love and forgiveness. 

Acknowledge the need for forgiveness. Repent of all sins. Praise God for His forgiveness. Give thanks to God.

Scripture tells of the narrow gate and the wide gate. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV).

His gates are open, and yet some people refuse to enter.

Entering through the narrow gate will take dedication and the desire to have a personal relationship with God. Live for God. Share His love with others. Share His message and help others know Him. 

In the book of John, when Thomas told Jesus that the disciples didn’t know where Jesus was going and wondered how they could know the way. Jesus responded with an important statement.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him’” (John 14:6-7 NIV).

How Do We Offer God Thanksgiving Today?

Thanksgiving is not something we give only on a Thursday in November or other certain days of the year. Thanksgiving to God is an act of worship we can do every moment. Waking in the morning and giving thanks for a glorious day can allow the day to begin with God’s presence. Sharing conversations and saying prayers throughout the day can bring comfort and peace. Preparing for rest in the evening and giving thanks in our nightly prayers can deepen our faith. Every moment is an opportunity to give thanks to God.

We can offer God thanksgiving through our words and actions today and every day. Show others His love by sharing His Word. Perhaps there is an opportunity to volunteer in church or community. Show patience, humility, compassion, and kindness in every situation.

Whatever is happening in life, give thanks to God. Know that in good times and bad times, God never leaves. He will guide us through every moment. 

What to Do When Giving Thanks is Difficult

Life is hard at times. Perhaps you are journeying through a stressful and desperate time, and giving thanks tends to be difficult. What if you are having a hard time giving thanks to God?

First, remember God knows the heart of His children. God loves you and understands every emotion.

If giving thanks is hard, go to God in prayer. Share concerns, worries, and fears. Ask God to bring the peace and comfort only He can give. 

In prayer, share with God any difficulties you may have with giving thanks. Seek His guidance for the situation. Go to God with a servant’s heart.

Ask for His forgiveness. Rest in His promises. Release your difficulties to Him.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

10 Prayers to Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

1. God of creation, may we come to You now with humble hearts and minds. Thank You for the many blessings You provide. Amen.

2. Heavenly Father, thank You for loving and caring for us, even when we fail. Your love comforts us when we are hurt. Amen.

3. God, I don’t know what to pray for, and I need guidance. Help me to remember Your steadfast love and forgive me when I am not thankful. I need You. Amen.

4. Dear Lord, I enter Your gates with thanksgiving. I sing Your name with joy. I am thankful for Your love and forgiveness. Amen.

5. Father, I come before You now with a humble heart and thanksgiving. Your mercies are new each day. Thank You, Father. In the name of Your Son, Amen.

6. God of creation, I enter Your gates with thanksgiving. Thank You for loving me even when I doubt and have fear. Thank You for the comfort You bring. Amen.

7. Dear God, I am thankful for the opportunity to pray with thanksgiving. Amen.

8. Father God, my heart is filled with thanksgiving to You. I am a sinner, and I repent of all sins. Thank You for loving and forgiving me. Amen.

9. God, I rejoice with thanksgiving. Your promises are forever. Amen.

10. Dear God, thank You. Amen.

5 Scriptures about Giving Thanks to God

1. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

2. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for love endures forever!” (Psalm 107:1 NIV)

3. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (Psalms 28:7 NIV)

4. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

5. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2 NIV)

Today and every day, give thanks to God. Rest in Him.

In His Name,

Melissa Henderson

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jasmin ne

Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.

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