An empty chair at Thanksgiving...

For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, Thanksgiving and "the holidays" can be a particularly difficult time. Prayer can provide us a path through these days and opportunities for acceptance, healing and helping one another.  You might pray this alone, or print and post it where others will find it, or share it at your Thanksgiving gathering...

A Prayer at an Empty Chair 

This Thanksgiving, Lord, 
there’ll be an empty chair at our table,
an ache in our hearts
and tears on our cheeks...

We might try to shield our grief from others
but we can't hide it from you...

We pray for  (name your loved ones) 
whose loving presence we'll miss 
at this homecoming time...

Help us remember and tell again 
the stories that knit us as one
with the ones we miss so much...

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

Let the bonds you forged so deep in our hearts
grow stronger yet 
in remembering those who've left our side... 

Help us pray and trust that those we miss
have a home in your heart,
and a place at your table forever
- and that one day we'll be with them
once again...

Teach us to lean on you
and on one another
for the strength we need 
to walk through these difficult days...

Open our eyes and our hearts 
to the healing, the warmth
and the peace of your presence...

Give us quiet moments in prayer with you:
with our memories and loss,
with our thoughts and tears...

Be with us to console us 
and hold us in your arms
as close as you hold 
the ones we miss...

Even in our grief, Lord,
this is the day that you have made:
help us be glad in the peace you've promised,
the peace we pray you share 
with those who've gone before us...

For ourselves, Lord,
and for all who find the holidays to be a difficult time,
we make this prayer...


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