Lord God, our maker, as you feed the birds of the air and clothe the flowers of the field, so you nurture and build us up by your steadfast love. You have promised that you will provide. So on this day of gratitude, we come before you with songs of thanksgiving.
When our hearts know grief or pain, then send your Spirit to nurture hope and praise within us.
We thank you for the faith of others before us, even in the midst of struggle and hardship. May we be good stewards of their faith passed down from generation to generation.
We thank you for the abundance of your creation. May we be faithful stewards of your earth that others may also know of your abundant blessings. Even as we may be blessed with abundance, we lift up those who know profound need, and those contending with the aftermath of natural disaster.
We thank you for giving us a spirit of freedom and leading us toward gratitude. On this day we pray for those who are serving on our behalf, away from their homes and loved ones. Keep them safe, and use them as instruments of your justice and mercy wherever they serve. May we be good stewards of the gift of freedom. Help those who suffer because of tyranny and oppression, wherever they may live. Make our own characters strong that we might be witnesses of your values and purposes in this world.
In a world full of disorder, we thank you when we are able to raise our families in peace and plenty. Make us faithful stewards to families who know only poverty and disease. Forgive us when we think we love our children more than other people love their children just because they are in some custom or circumstance different than us. Merciful God, hear the prayers of the hungry, and prompt us and use us as instruments of your compassion. Bless the sick and the burdened with your help and healing. Comfort the grieving and bring home the lost. Help those amongst contending with the consequences of hate, or violence, or neglect, and use us as instruments of that help.
We pray for your blessing on Thanksgiving meals, for your blessing on this food to serve our bodies, and for your blessing on the conversations, laughter, and fellowship that surround it. We pray for your blessing on those we love, but from whom we are separated. Hold us together in the bonds of Christ’s love. We pray for your blessing on the homes represented at this meal, and on those who may eat alone. Send the presence of your Spirit to be with them.
But we thank you most of all for the coming of Jesus Christ into human earthly existence….for his willingness to serve and die that we might know life…for the good news and hope of the resurrection…for his love and acceptance of us even though we live in sin and arrogance. Open our hearts to receive him at his coming. Make us good stewards of that gift of grace we can neither earn nor deserve, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,
Who taught us to pray together….
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
May God fill our hearts with gratitude, and may the gratitude find expression in prayer. Happy Thanksgiving!