“O Give Thanks”: A Hebrew Prayer Lesson

Ryan MacPherson

When King David brought the Ark of the LORD into Jerusalem, he delivered a new psalm to Asaph, saying, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Those words are found again in Psalms 106:16, 107:1, 118:1, and 136:1.

Today it is a common practice to pray David’s words of thanksgiving after the meal blessing, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blessed.” Following is a lesson for praying “O Give Thanks...” in Hebrew. (The capitalized syllables receive greater stress.)

give thanks
to the LORD
for [He is] good
[is] His mercy
    (*“hk” is a heavy “h”
sound pronounced
while clearing the

Listen to Psalm 136:1 as read in Hebrew by Abraham Shmuelof:

The words in Hebrew appear as follows. Note that Hebrew reads from right to left, so the sequence seems reversed to those familiar with English.

hebrew thanksgiving prayer 1200x1200

Additional Resources


Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the founding president of The Hausvater Project. He lives with his wife Marie and their homeschool children in Mankato, Minnesota, where he teaches American history, history of science, and bioethics at Bethany Lutheran College. For more information, visit

TAGS: Home Devotions, Thanksgiving, Prayer

Click for a Printer-Friendly Copy