Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prayers for Thanksgiving Day


Here are three prayers for Thanksgiving Day
• Grace Before Thanksgiving Dinner
• A Prayer for Those Who Are Grieving at Thanksgiving
• A Blogging Pastor's Prayer on Thanksgiving Day



I hope you find these prayers helpful and would be pleased if you pass them along to others. And I pray you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 Grace Before Thanksgiving Day Dinner


Saying Grace - Norman Rockwell 

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation!
Through your goodness we have so much
for which to be thankful.

Make us grateful for all you have given us;
let our needs and desires not blind us to all we have.

Make us grateful for those who love us;
let no grudge or anger keep us from family and friends.

Make us grateful for those who are with us;
let no grief isolate us from their loving embrace.

Make us grateful for the good work we have done:
let our failures not weigh us down
or blind us to your mercy.

Make us grateful for the freedom we enjoy;
let us never take it for granted.


Make us grateful for the peace we find in you;
let no other cause or victory take its place.

Make us grateful for our dreams;
let no disappointment keep us from hope.

Make us grateful for our faith in you;
let no doubt keep us from your love.

Make us grateful for the meal we are about to share
and make us mindful of those who have so much less.

May we be strengthened to change
what keeps so many hungry while others have too much.

Give us grateful hearts, O God,
to praise and thank you
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health,
in joy and in sorrow.

This is the day you have made, O Lord:
let us rejoice, be glad
and for it give you thanks and praise!

Amen.



A prayer for Those Who Are Grieving at Thanksgiving

The Empty Chair by Dena Cardwell
For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, Thanksgiving and Christmas (especially the "first" of each) can be particularly hard to experience. Nothing can make these moments easy but prayer can offer a path to walk through these days with greater peace and even opportunities for healing.

Dear God,

There is an empty chair at our table,
an ache in our hearts
and tears on our faces.

We may try to shield one another
from the grief we bear
but we cannot hide it from you.

We pray for (names)
whose presence we miss 
in these homecoming days.

Open our hearts and minds
to the healing and warmth
of the light of your presence.

We pray, Lord, and we trust 
that those we miss
have found their place at your table,
their home in your heart.

Open our hearts to joyful memories 
of the love we shared
with those who have gone before us.

Help us tell the stories
that make present the past
and bring us close again 
to those we miss.

Teach us to lean on each other
and on you, Lord,
for the strength we need 
to walk through difficult times.

Give us quiet moments
with you, with our thoughts,
with our memories and prayers.

Be with us, Lord,
and hold us in your arms
even as you hold those 
who have gone before us.

Help us to trust that one day
we shall be with those we love
when your mercy gathers us together
in the joy of the life you promise us.

This is the day you have made, Lord:
help us to rejoice in it
and in the promise of your peace.

Amen.


A Blogging Pastor's Prayer on Thanksgiving


Today I thank God
for the gift of faith:
that strength, power and source within
showing me the way,
guiding me in the dark,
making sure my unsteady step,
giving light for finding the truth
and hope for living in troubled times...

Today I thank God
for the gift of the Church:
that wounded, rag-tag, joyful company
of sinners and saints
whose faith is our strength,
binding us to one another in Christ...

Today I thank God
for all the people
around, behind and before me:
the ones who gave me life
and shaped my life;
those who bring me joy today
and hope for tomorrow;
and I thank God, too,
for the people I've not yet met...

Today I thank God
for the simple tools
I have for doing his work:
words, wonder, witness, wit and wisdom-
roughly in that order!

Today I thank God for you, my readers!
Aliased, named or anonymous
commenting or silent:
you are solidly more than half of an enterprise
that brings me more joy and peace than you know.

For being here, for reading, for commenting,
for sharing and spreading my posts,
for coming back again and again:
I thank God for you!

And may God bless you and yours this day!


Amen.



 

 
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4 comments:

michelle said...

I found these prayers helpful-
and hope to tomorrow-

I am not exactly celebrating Thanksgiving, because of personal and difficult reasons-
but I am grateful for these prayers-
I hope to use them to help get through the day the best way possible-

and I did just pass these prayers along to someone- my brother-
and he just replied to me saying he was going to pass them along to 5 named friends of his and he would ask them to pass them along to people they knew-

thank you and happy thanksgiving to you...

Aunt Melanie said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Father Austin Fleming. Thank you for these prayers and for your blog. You provide a sense of safety and stability in our very unstable world.

Austin Fleming said...

Please know that I'm not able to post comments that reference problems in a parish unknown to me.

Alden Solovy said...

Spot on, especially the prayer for those grieving on Thanksgiving. My wife Ami z"l passed away the Sabbath before Passover two years ago. To say that Passover was tough would be an understatement. Perhaps we need a more general prayer for those who are grieving as others rejoice.
Your friend,
Alden