The Apostle Paul and Thanksgiving? Yes! I do not mean to suggest that the Apostle John ate turkey or even celebrated any such holiday. I am sure however that as a Jew giving thanks to God was a staple in his spiritual diet. This cannot be doubted since nearly every Pauline epistle begins with words of thanksgiving and praise to God. Paul's own words testify to his thankful heart.
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: KJV
As we have noted Paul connects thanksgiving with prayer. Not only do we thank God for others but also for ourselves. In order to give thanks for others or ourselves we first be mindful of them and ourselves in prayer. We must pray on purpose with purpose. When we go to prayer we do so mindful of not only ourselves but also others. Notice the start contrast that Paul paints between the believers and the unbelievers:
Romans 1:21, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." KJV
Romans 1:21, For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. HSCB
Throughout the New Testament the thankful heart of the Apostle Paul is abundantly and clearly seen. We have only examined a few here. In this previous text however the necessity of a thankful heart is in full bloom. Here Paul attributes the darkness of the heathen to a lack of praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a sign of the darkened heart that does not praise or thank God or acknowledge its Creator. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday but it is a way of life for the believer.