An Empty Chair at the Thanksgiving Table...

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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 with a path through these days and with 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 

Dear God,
there’s an empty chair at our table,
an ache in our hearts
and tears upon our faces...

We try to shield one another from our grief
but we cannot hide it from you...

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

Help us remember and tell again 
the stories of all that knit us as one
with those 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 are gone from our side... 

Help us pray and trust that those we miss
have a home in your heart
and a place at your table forever...

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 with you in prayer,
with our memories and loss,
with our thoughts and tears...

Be with us to console us 
and hold us in your arms 
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 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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