Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and reflect on the blessings of the last year. Many of us experience renewed hope and faith during the Thanksgiving holiday because we turn our eyes onto what is most important. What if we spent time each day in giving thanks and prayer? How could God grow out faith and trust if we lived a life of thanks through all seasons and not just Thanksgiving time? When your heart is filled with gratitude, there is little room to worry or complain.
We would love to encourage and help you along the way toward greater hope and joy! Below are 9 thanksgiving prayers you can use not only for Thanksgiving day but throughout the year. Start living out the promises of God that Jesus came “that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10.
- 1 Prayer 1: A Daily Thanksgiving Prayer
- 2 Prayer 2: A Prayer for a Thankful Heart
- 3 Prayer 3: A Short Prayer of Thanks
- 4 Prayer 4: A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day
- 5 Prayer 5: A Prayer to Teach Kids Thankfulness
- 6 Prayer 6: A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
- 7 Prayer 7: Thanksgiving Song (makes a wonderful prayer!)
- 8 Prayer 8: A Prayer of Thanks for Our Many Blessings
- 9 Prayer 9: 17 Statements of Gratitude
- 10 Thanksgiving Prayers from Scripture:
- 11 CAELY LEDFORD
- 12 PAUL OWEN
- 13 KIM COOK
- 14 BRYAN & AILEEN BARNES
- 15 GLADYS MCLAIN
- 16 Closing Prayer and Benediction
- 17 Click here to visit our Thanksgiving feature page!
Prayer 1: A Daily Thanksgiving Prayer
“Dear God, Thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don’t thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you’ve given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day. We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
– Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com Contributor
Prayer 2: A Prayer for a Thankful Heart
“Lord, teach me to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all my daily experiences of life. Teach me to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all my circumstances. I accept them as Your will for my life (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I long to bring pleasure to Your heart daily. Break the power of the enemy in my life. Defeat Him through my sacrifice of praise. Change my outlook and attitude into one of joyful contentment with my present circumstances. I thank You for…
Jesus, I want to be like You who obeyed the Father without complaint. You embraced the chains of humanity when You walked this earth. Convict me whenever I complain or compare myself with others. Give me Your attitude of humility and thankful acceptance. I want to be like the Apostle Paul who learned contentment in every circumstance. I choose to continually offer You a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that give praise to Your name (Hebrews 13:15). I long to bring a smile to Your face. Teach me the power of a thankful heart. I know that Your truth dwells in a thankful heart.
“I will give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 7:17-18:1). In Jesus’ name, amen.”
– Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise International
Prayer 3: A Short Prayer of Thanks
“God, sometimes life gets me down and I find it hard to see things to be thankful for. Open my eyes to see the gifts you’ve given me in my life. I’m going to start by thanking you for loving me enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever. Amen.”
– Wendy van Eyck, Contributor
Prayer 4: A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day
Father God, today I thank You for the provisions of my life…
I thank You for the people in my life…
I thank You for the opportunities You have given to me in my life…
I thank You for the acceptance and forgiveness You have lavished upon me in spite of my sinful actions and choices…
I thank You for the healing You have brought into my life—physical and emotional… I thank You for the way You have brought me back from the darkness that
lurks in my soul and the choices I could have made that would have landed
me in a pit—or the choices I have made that did land me in a pit…
I thank You for the desires of my heart that You have satisfied with good things…
And the desires that I have not yet seen satisfied. Help me to be confident because of the grace You have given to me in so many others ways, that even my unmet desires would be something I could be grateful for…Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Day 31 of Prayers for Today (Moody Publishers, 2011) by Pastor Kurt Bjorklund.
Prayer 5: A Prayer to Teach Kids Thankfulness
“Lord, I pray that the message of Christ and his sacrifice is the root of gratitude in my heart. That His gracious gift leads me to thankful living, setting an example for my children. That they will have their own relationship with Jesus one day, and that You would grow gratitude in their hearts out of the acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. Lead us to do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to You through Him.”
– Marie Osborne, Contributor
Prayer 6: A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
“O Heavenly Father:
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.”
– “Dear Abby” Columnist
Prayer 7: Thanksgiving Song (makes a wonderful prayer!)
“Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.
Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow.
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving-kindness.
Grateful for whats understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living.
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend, and friendless;
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless.
Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.”
– Mary Chapin Carpenter – Thanksgiving Song Lyrics
Prayer 8: A Prayer of Thanks for Our Many Blessings
“Oh God, You are so good. You are faithful and gracious and You have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which I have become accustomed, but never want to take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in my pantry, hot showers, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in.
Thank you for legs that carry me where I need to go and hands that enable me to accomplish many things. Thank you for my hearing and my vision and for a sound, healthy mind.
Thank you my family, my friends, my job, my neighbors. Thank you for freedom to attend my church, for my pastors, and for my small group(s) and my many relationships.
Thank you for the things You are doing in my heart and in my life. I’m grateful that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I am much different today than I was 10 years ago, or a year ago. I am even different that I was at the beginning of this year, and it’s because of Your power at work in me, continually transforming me into Your image.
I love and adore You, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”
excerpt from 3 Grateful Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving by Julie K. Gillies
Prayer 9: 17 Statements of Gratitude
“Thank you, God for the times You have said “no.” They have helped me depend on You so much more.
Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds me that You know what’s best for me, even when my opinion differs from Yours.
Thank You, Lord, for the things you have withheld from me. You have protected me from what I may never realize.
Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go.
Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You’ve allowed in my life. It has helped me more closely relate to Your sufferings on my behalf.
Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in my life. Those times have forced me to lean in closer to You.
Thank you, God, for the uncertainties I’ve experienced. They have deepened my trust in You.
Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for me when I didn’t even know I needed a rescue.
Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain.
Thank You, God, for the tears I have shed. They have kept my heart soft and mold-able.
Thank You, God, for the times I haven’t been able to control my circumstances. They have reminded me that You are sovereign and on the throne.
Thank You, God, for those people in my life whom You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth keeps my heart longing for heaven.
Thank You, God, that I have an inheritance in the heavenly places…something that this world can never steal from me and I could never selfishly squander.
Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give me: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on my behalf.
Thank You, God, for the righteousness You credited toward me, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a righteousness I could never earn or attain on my own.
Thank You, Father, that You know me, You hear me, and You see my tears. Remind me through difficult times that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good.
And thank You, Lord, not only for my eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford every day of my life as You save me from myself, my foolishness, my own limited insights, and my frailties in light of Your power and strength.”
– Cindy McMenamin, Author
Thanksgiving Prayers from Scripture:
Psalm 95 – “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods…”
Psalm 100 – “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Psalm 118:29 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 103: 1-5 – “Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 136:1-5 – “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. “
Read more Bible Verses for Thanksgiving at BibleStudyTools.com
Image courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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Psalm 103:1 – Praise the Lord O my soul and forget NOT all His benefits.
Psalm 100:1 – Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 – Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
3 – Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
4 – Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
5 – For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
One of my favorite movies of all time is the Civil War film, Shenandoah, in which Jimmy Stewart plays Charlie Anderson, a widowed father of a large Virginia farm family. At the beginning of the film we realize that Anderson is a cranky man with a very keen sense of self-sufficiency. This is especially apparent in the way that he prays. Anderson says grace before each meal-but only because his Godly wife made him promise to do so on her deathbed. He keeps this promise very reluctantly-using the same haughty words before each meal in a very testy voice. He always says, “Lord, We cleared this land; We plowed it; We harvested the crops and We fixed the food. We worked ’til We were dog-boned-tired. None of this would be here if it weren’t for us, but we thank You anyway. Amen.” I don’t know about you but, in my opinion, if that’s the way Charlie Anderson says grace, I’d hate to hear him complain!
Then the Civil War comes and, in spite of his determination to stay out of the conflict that literally ripped our nation apart, the war rips Anderson’s family apart. His brand new son-in-law is called to active duty, literally at the altar-and after saying, “I Do,” he leaves for battle instead of his honey moon. His youngest son is taken prisoner by Union troops who mistake him for a Confederate soldier. When Anderson hears about this, he takes three of his other sons on a journey to try and find the boy, but-in the process his eldest son is shot dead by a frightened sentry. After a lengthy search Anderson gives up on ever finding his boy and returns to his farm. Upon his return he discovers that, while they were gone, another son and his wife were brutally murdered by roving deserters. That night the remnants of the family gather around the table for a meal and Anderson starts to pray his same old prayer, “Lord, we cleared this land; we plowed it…” but then he chokes up and can’t go on. Suffering and loss have apparently shattered his illusion of self-sufficiency. Anderson is humbled and he begins to see his need for God. Ironically, it is loss and pain that open the door in his life to gratitude…and on a Sunday morning he begins to embrace this virtue. He realizes the error in his thinking and remembers what day it is and eagerly urges his family to go to church. Before the war and all his difficulties, Anderson’s family had to urge him to go to church because in his self-sufficiency he was so reluctant to do so, but now he’s the one running to the house of God. As they sit there in the middle of the worship service facing the pulpit, the doors to the church open behind them and his youngest son limps down the aisle injured but safe. After embracing him they all respond by standing to sing the doxology that we know by heart, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow” with Anderson’s earnest, but off key, voice chiming in loudly. This crotchety old farmer had come to realize that he had been looking at things all wrong. He finally understood the truth of the lyrics of the doxology. Anderson grasped the fact that his body was a gift; his children were gifts; the seeds he planted, and the earth and rain and sun, and subsequent growth of his crops. All these things were gifts; even his work was a gift; life itself was a gift! The food on his table-all the blessings he had enjoyed over the years were gifts that had flowed from God and when he realized this God gave him one more gift: the capacity for gratitude.
In his newest book John Ortberg points to these insights and writes:
“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It opens us up to wonder, delight, and humility. It makes our hearts generous. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation. Gratitude is not something we give to God so we make sure He knows that we know how much trouble He went to over us. Gratitude is more than that. It’s the gift God gives us that enables us to be blessed by all His other gifts, the way our taste buds enable us to enjoy the gift of food. Without gratitude, our lives degenerate into envy, dissatisfaction, and complaints, taking what we have for granted and always wanting more.”
Ortberg also points out that some researchers have concluded that grateful people experience what they call a low threshold of gratitude. In the same way that a whisper has to reach a certain decibel level before we hear it, goodness has to reach a certain experiential level before we perceive it. And just as some of us are hard of hearing, some of us are like Mr. Anderson in the beginning of this film in that we are “hard of thanking.” It takes a “loud” gift-a blessing of epic proportions-like winning the lottery or having a house built by the extreme make over crew—or having your lost son finally come home to you before we actually feel grateful. On the other hand people with a high capacity for thankfulness, have a low threshold for gratitude. For these people something as common as a sunset or a smile from a close friend can set off a sense that they have been blessed by a gift they did not earn. I want us here at Redland to continue to be a church that is not self-sufficient, but rather God-sufficient–a church that realizes every good thing that comes through our doors is straight from our Heavenly Father’s almighty hand. I want us to continue to be a church that is not “hard of thanking”- a church with a high capacity for gratitude. To help us with this, as has been our custom for a decade now, we are structuring our worship service this Sunday after Thanksgiving a bit differently so as to stop corporately and remind ourselves to look up and remember from Whom all blessings flow. And the blessings have indeed flowed this year. We would have to be “hard of thanking” indeed to miss all the ways God has blessed us! In fact, here’s just a fewexamples of the way God’s goodness has flowed over our church family during the past twelve months.
Since last Thanksgiving we have had 63 new people join our church. Twenty-four of those joined at the same time they made their public profession of faith in Jesus. And once again God has blessed this church financially. In spite the fact that we about a week behind in budget giving right now, our receipts are 6.2% above the giving at this point last year. You’ve once again given tens of thousands of dollars to cooperative missions and to missionaries like Cathie Burke in Kenya and the Machlan’s in the Philippines. Your faithful giving has helped the Fellowship of Christian Athletes get started at Magruder High School, and has enabled us to give thousands of dollars to Redlanders in financial need through deacon benevolence. Plus-on top of all this you’ve given sacrificially to our Crossing campaign. Two-thirds of our pledges have already been collected and we are not yet two-thirds of the way through the campaign! I feel so blessed to be a part of a church whose members believe in sacrificially, faithfully giving of their tithes and offerings each week. Speaking of The Crossing campaign, I want you to know that the permitting process is proceeding. We’ve received the waver from the state concerning the wet lands behind our property and at this point are just trying to work out a couple other difficulties with the WSSC when it comes to consolidating the meters on all our buildings and planning for storm water management. But I believe that when it comes to permitting, we are almost there! Thank you God! I also want you to know that in spite of the fact that you can’t see the gym going up, construction on this tool of evangelism and fellowship is indeed already underway. Nearly all the steel beams and supports are welded and ready to go. I think Jack told me we own over a half million dollars worth of steel just waiting to be assembled like a huge erector set! I am also thankful for the tangible building process we have seen this past year. Our marquee looks great and is already pulling people down our driveway. The steeple looks magnificent and the new lighting is almost complete! And God has also blessed us with another busy summer of fruitful ministry. Thanks to Erica Petrolle and her volunteers, we had an amazing Vacation Bible School week in which children and their workers were excited to study about God’s great love. Several children made professions of faith in VBS this summer-two of them are from our church. Sports Camps enrollment was up this year. I’m so thankful for Becky McGaffin’s continued leadership in this pre-gymnasium sports ministry. This past summer a team of Redlanders made a second trip to the Gulf to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild. A second team raveled to Kenya in August to work alongside the Christians there who minister to refugee women and their children. Our teens were blessed by their attendance at Centrifuge and World Changers and Performing Arts Camp. Relatively new ministries like Awana and ESL have experienced healthy growth this year! We had wonderful women’s and men’s retreats this fall. And another blessing this year is the hiring of Bobby Cook as our Associate Pastor for Family Ministry. He has hit the ground running and is doing a great job! I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that in 2007 God has been very good to this church! And we need to stop and acknowledge this in worship. Hebrews 12:28 encourages us to…“be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” We are here in this meeting place on this Sunday after Thanksgiving to do just that, to recall all that God has given us and to thank Him for it. So today, instead of a sermon, which is really a time for us to hear what God has to say to us, as in year’s past, I want us to turn the tables and make this a time for God to hear what we have to say to Him. We are taking this portion of our service today and making it into a concert of prayer in which we say, “Thank You, God for all Your blessings to this local body of believers.” At my request four individuals or couples have prepared prayers for this purpose. So, let us now enter a time of conversational prayer, a time of communicating together with God, eyes and ears open as we hear these prayers of thanks and offer our own. They will come to you in the order that they are printed in the bulletin. Between each prayer we will sing a song of thanks, and then after these prayers we will pause to give us all a chance to offer our own thanks to God for His great faithfulness. So, now, let us pray.. “Heavenly Father, Hear now these, the prayers of Your people:
Praise you, Lord. You love us. God, you are mighty. God, you are worthy. Lord, you are mysterious. Forgive me Lord when I don’t obey my parents. Forgive me Lord when I don’t obey you. Thank you for Thanksgiving, for turkey and for my Mommy who makes pumpkin pie and for Daddy who helped make dinner. Thank you for friendship and for new friends, like Isabelle, who I met this year. Thank you for my grandparents. Thank you for books. I like to read. Thank you for breakfast and all of our food. Thank you for our warm house and beds. Thank you for the Bible. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for Awana. Thank you for getting my family home safely when we travel. Please help us to have a good day today. Please heal our colds. Please help me and my friends and sisters have good days at school. Please help my grandparents have a good day. Please help the Lees and help Cathy Burke. Amen.
Dear God, Thank you that I can be here today and thank you for this church and the people here. Thank you for the pastors, too. Help more people come to you. Thank you for your wondrous gift, Christ Jesus and that you let Him die on the cross for our sins. Thank you for all you’ve provided for us and for all nature. Help us not to sin against you, God. Thank you for your forgiveness when we do. Help us to do everything for you. Thank you for keeping our families safe and protected. Thank you for this beautiful church day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
All Knowing and Faithful Father, You have blessed me so greatly throughout my life and so richly in this past year. You are so faithful and loving to me. Your generosity and goodness surround me. “You are right and you do right, God; your decisions are right on target.” (Psalm 119:137, Message) You have led us on a journey in serving You that has had some unexpected turns along the way. My year has been filled with goodbyes and new beginnings. But throughout all of this, Lord, Your presence has been so very close to me and such a comfort. Lord, You have prepared my heart for change and guided us so lovingly through it all. You have provided not only a place for us to serve you, but a beautiful home for us to settle into, a job where I can share my faith openly, Christian friends to walk beside us, and a place for our children to belong and grow. Father, I can go on and on listing all the things I notice you have provided for us this past year. You dealt with all the details of us leaving our home and commitments in Towson. You provided a buyer for our home in a time that many said we would have to wait and struggle. You placed a stirring on our hearts many months ago to be prepared for beginning a new ministry, for a focus on families and for ways that we can join you in ministering to them. God, you know all my tendencies to worry and how I like to have all the details arranged. You have taught me so many things this year in trusting you and stepping out in faith. I have made lists to share with you of my concerns and my requests and you continue to mark each one off reminding me that You have provided for all of my needs. I continue to know and trust you more deeply. I see how You work it all for your glory.
I am so thankful for our new church home. I am thankful for the chance I had to get to know Sue and Cindy even before you revealed your plan for us to be at Redland. I am thankful for this church and its reputation as being so strongly mission-focused and busy about doing your work in the community and in the world. I am thankful for Mark and his leadership, his friendship, and his support. I am thankful for the open hearts and minds here that were sensitive to your leading for a new direction in Family Ministry. You had told Bobby and I quite a while ago that this was what you were calling us to, for his career calling and for our ministry together, but we waited for you to reveal the place and the details of how that was to continue. We understand more now of the timing and the things that had to come into place before we could arrive here. I am so thankful for the generosity that has been shown to us by our Christian friends here at Redland. God, you have placed us among a group of people that truly love you and love your people. We have been so touched by their kindness, their gifts of love, and the practical ways they have reached out to help us get settled here. I am so thankful for the mission house this church has and the ways that they use it for your glory. Thank you for allowing us to stay there and through that to more quickly get our children settled and adjusted to their new community, new church, and new school.
Thank you for the way your orchestrated my job situation and the support of my boss through our family’s move. Thank you for the new formed partnership between Redland and Centrepointe. Lord, already I have seen lives touched through that ministry happening here and I thank you for a church that opens their doors to those in need, to those that are hurting. I have seen that this is a grace-filled church, and I am thankful to participate in ministry with them.
Lord, You have also blessed me with a family that is committed to You. I thank you for my husband, my parents, my grandparents, my sisters, and my in-laws. I am humbled that You have allowed me to experience a heritage of so many that are Believers, especially that pray for me and encourage me in my faith. I am so thankful for your provision of a family that led me to know you and that has encouraged me to use my gifts to serve you. I thank you for the work you continue to do in my family. I thank you for times of celebration that we can share together. I thank you for many answered prayers. Our hope is in You, Lord. I know your plan is perfect and that you love each member of my family much more than even I do. Thank you for a husband that loves you and that lives that out in our home. And as I think about our children, I am most thankful for the joy they bring into my life. For the laughter and spontaneity they bring to each day. They must delight You Lord. Thank you for blessing me with these two boys and for the news of our third son coming. I am so thankful for your answered prayers in their lives, for their health, for good doctors, and for providing teachers that help us with them.
I am most thankful, though, for Your presence in my life. You are so very patient with me. You meet with me and instruct me and comfort me. You lead me and promise to strengthen me as I follow you. You accept me for who I am and still allow me to participate in your work. You continue to reveal yourself to me and teach me new truths about you. I am so glad for the walk I have with you. Thank you Lord for all of your blessings. Thank you for your constant love and for revealing yourself to me. Amen.
BRYAN & AILEEN BARNES
Our Heavenly Father, We thank You and praise You that You have given us the privilege to call You our Father, and that you have called us your children. How awesome it is that you know everything about each one of us, yet you still love us and listen to every prayer we lift to You. And as you hear the prayers of your children, thank you for the particular mercy you show to some of us; the sad, the forlorn, the depressed. For some, sadness falls upon them for but a season. We thank You that in these times where we are persecuted, we are not abandoned, and where we feel struck down, through You we are not destroyed. We thank You for your forbearance when our sorrow hinders us from experiencing the abundant life You have set forth for us. We thank You for the patience of those who come along side with empathy, encouragement, and care. Through them we see Your reflection.
You have given us so many things to be thankful for each day. Every day you bless us with new experiences and opportunities to learn more about you. I rejoice in the fact that no matter what each day brings, whether struggles or blessings, that we have the reassurance that You are always in control and always have what is best for us in mind. I am thankful that we can always trust You when we don’t know what the future holds because we know that You do. Thank You for that comfort and security that comes from being in your care. Thank You Lord for modeling the love we are to have for each other.
I am thankful for being a member of Redland Baptist church. I feel that the year and a half we have been coming here has caused me to grow, to know You more in so many ways. Before joining Redland, I had often felt like a bystander in church, but here I really feel like a member of the body of Christ, serving the church in the function for which I was created. I have been asked to serve in many different ways, stretching me spiritually each time. I am especially grateful for Aaron and the music ministry, and how wonderful it is to serve You in song again. It is such an honor to help lead the congregation in worship by being part of the choir. I thank You, too, for the opportunity to serve the children by leading a group of Cubbies in Awana. I know that I would never have thought to volunteer in Awana on my own, so I know that it is only through Your leading, so I could be blessed by the children I teach. I am thankful for the “Read ’em and Weep” campaign and for our church library which never runs out of reading material. Through the campaign, I have branched out from fiction to read non-fiction, apologetics and biographies, all of which has opened my eyes to new things in your Word and encouraged me by showing me the extraordinary things you have done through ordinary people who were willing to follow your will. I am also thankful for being a member of Redland Baptist Church, where all are called upon to live out the functions of their individual priesthood. Thank you for the awesome privilege and responsibility of interpreting your Word through the Holy Spirit. Here I have been welcomed into teaching a Sunday School class part-time, which is the role You have for me today.
Father, we are so appreciative of all You’ve done for us, but most of all for sending us Jesus, Your Son, and it’s in His name we pray, Amen.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hollowed be thy name. Heavenly Father, at this time of the year we are reminded of the early settlers at Plymouth Rock and it gives us a special opportunity to pause and count our blessings.
We have not suffered the freezing cold, the struggles and devastation faced by those pioneers. We who receive countless blessings each day—beyond that we can even think or ask—come to You today not to ask for more blessings, Lord, although we count daily on Your boundless love. We have come to tell You how much we adore You. Such a God of love, mercy and grace deserves our praise and thanksgiving. You are so worthy to be praised.
Grant us, Lord Your forgiveness for our selfishness—we who are fully clothed, fed and sheltered—we who waste so much of the earth’s bounties in this great land—the greatest on earth.
As the autumn leaves fall to the earth, Heavenly Father, they remind me of the showers of blessings that have fallen on us. Your blessings are as varied as the colors of the leaves in this wonderful masterpiece You paint each fall.
The yellow leaves appear to represent the sunny and bright blessings of our daily lives — the simple pleasures, the “thank yous” and the “I love yous” — the things we often take for granted, the bright morning sun to which we awaken and which gives us hope for a glorious new day — the smiles of our loved ones — the extended hand of a friend — the joy of our salvation and our walk with You — the prayers of the righteous — a church that loves me and whose members love each other — the peaceful rest from our labors each night — the laughter of a child — beautiful music that cheers our hearts.
The green leaves remind me of daily opportunities for growth — growth in body, mind and spirit — opportunities to study Your Word and to gain spiritual insight and guidance for the day — opportunities for mending a broken relationship — reconcilation of a husband and wife — sitting at the feet of the local Shepard and other leaders You have sent our way — teachers who prepare to share Your Word each week — the many opportunities we have to serve You each day.
The red leaves remind me of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the privilege I have to serve Him — the gift of eternal life — the joy of worshipping You and of having fellowship with Your children around the World and right here at Redland. We thank You, Lord.
The brown leaves, sometimes cracked and crumbling, remind me of the areas of weariness in our lives — watching a friend or family member suffer from the ravages of cancer and the the therapies that are often so painful — the suffering from depression — the distress of parents with an ailing child —seeing an older child stray from the teaching of a godly parent — witnessing a marriage crumble — family members mourning their beloved —natural disasters about the world
Over the years I have come through a flood, earthquake, typhoon, tornadoes I know what you can do, Lord
To paraphrase the song writer: I am so thankful for the mountains, the valleys and the storms of life. For if I never experienced those things, I would never know that You could solve the problems associated with those experienced and I would never know what faith in You could do.
You have told us, Lord, in Your Word, to give thanks in all things—and try as we may—often it is difficult to us understand those words, yet we continue to give thanks.
I thank you for my 80 year old sister who has brought much joy to our home. I thank you for all of our children and praise you for their accomplishments. I praise you for the recovery of Rhonda, who suffered a terrible accident in early spring. She was able to spend Thanksgiving with us. I thank you that Richard is receiving dialyses. I thank you for our grandchildren who love and worship you. For friends here at Redland who are so helpful providing me transportation. I thank you for the Women that I am privileged to teach each Sunday. What a blessing they are. I am thankful for the Music programs and while my voice has changed over the years I am thankful to be able to make a joyful noise to the Lord. I am thankful for you permitting me to participate in my 60th high school reunion last summer and be able to share several messages with the group always pointing to you. I am thankful that my brother survived so wonderfully by-pass surgery. I thank you so much for easing the pain of bereavement that has been with me for 5 years.
I know you are my protector, my loving God.
In Jesus name I pray
Closing Prayer and Benediction
Father God, We worship You with glad and joyful songs inspired by Who You are and for What You have done. You are good and Your love endures forever; Your faithfulness continues through all generations. And all God’s people said, Amen
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. And whatever you do–in word or in deed–do it all in the name of Christ giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
We thank you, Father, for the gift of Jesus your Son who came to our earth and lived in a simple home. We have a greater appreciation of the value and dignity of the human family because he loved and was loved within its shelter.
Bless us this day; may we grow in love for each other in our family and so give thanks to you who are the maker of all human families and our abiding peace.
From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.
From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley
Thanksgiving Table Prayer
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son. Amen.
From Celebrating Faith: Year-round Activities for Catholic Families, by Mary Cronk Farrell
Prayer at Harvest and Thanksgiving
O God, source and giver of all things,
You manifest your infinite majesty, power and goodness
In the earth about us:
We give you honor and glory.
For the sun and the rain,
For the manifold fruits of our fields:
For the increase of our herds and flocks,
We thank you.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
We are grateful.
Supreme Lord of the harvest,
Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
In union with Jesus, your Son,
As atonement for our sins,
For the growth of your Church,
For peace and love in our homes,
And for salvation for all.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors
Prayer of Thanksgiving by Walter Rauschenbusch
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors
This Thanksgiving, let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts, we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.
From Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.
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