"Give thanks to God, declare God's Name, sing to God, make music to God,.... Be joyful of heart, all who seek God." (Morning songs)
This prayer reminds us to be grateful and do something. 'Give' is an action verb. It is not enough to just say words of gratitude, according to this prayer, we have to do something. As with many of our Prayers and in our Holy Torah, the actions are outlined for us. Here, we are told to declare/call out God's name. I understand this action to be one of surrender. I have to call out/declare God's name so that I remember who is in charge, and it is not me.
Then we are called upon to sing, make music to God, and be joyful of heart. This action is for us to sing the song of our souls, our unique melody. As I was told by Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Rabbi Heschel used to ask his students:"What is the Niggun (melody) of your soul?". We are praying and looking inside of ourselves to find our music, sing our song and then be joyful that we have a song to sing and we are making music for God and other people around us. What an important message/reminder for us as we begin a new day of living.
1) What are my actions of gratitude today and each day?
2) How am I surrendering each day?
3) What is the melody of my soul that I sing each day and how do I live with a joyful heart?