When I was having a tough time, a friend once said to me that the Universe never gives us more than what we can handle. I thought about this for a while, and realized that God must have a lot of faith in me to think I could handle the things that were happening to me and I came to see my troubles as opportunities to practice my faith. Thankfulness is a very powerful prayer, but it doesn't have to be put into word in a formulaic way, it can be an internal dialogue wherever you are.