Prayers to read

This week marks the observance (in the U.S.) of Thanksgiving, an annual celebration of food, football and family. Of course, it was designed to be a solemn occasion of gratitude toward God.

It can be all of those things. But if your Thanksgiving celebration is like mine, the tasks of food preparation and consumption and cleanup alone can crowd out a spirit of thanksgiving. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In a previous blog post, I suggested five creative ways to include prayers of thanks in your family celebration, even (or especially) if you have to cope with the short attention spans of children. . . or husbands.

Read More: 5 Creative Ways to Pray on Thanksgiving

In this post, I offer six actual prayers that you can print out and read around the table or in the car or pretty much anywhere: 

A Thanksgiving Psalm

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

    to you our vows will be fulfilled.

You who answer prayer,

    to you all people will come.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,

    you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose

    and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

    of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,

    God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

    and of the farthest seas,

who formed the mountains by your power,

    having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas,

    the roaring of their waves,

    and the turmoil of the nations.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

    to provide the people with grain,

    for so you have ordained it.

You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

You crown the year with your bounty,

    and your carts overflow with abundance.

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

    the hills are clothed with gladness.

The meadows are covered with flocks

    and the valleys are mantled with grain;

    they shout for joy and sing. (Psalm 65:1-13, NIV)

A Thanksgiving Poem

One way to include the following in your celebration is to have each line read by a different person, and then have everyone conclude the prayer with, “Thank You!”

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A Thanksgiving Canticle

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,

all praise is yours, all glory, all honor,

and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.

No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through all you have made,

and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;

and through whom you give us light.

How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor;

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon

and the stars; in the heavens you have made them,

bright, and precious, and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,

all the weather’s moods,

by which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,

so useful, humble, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you brighten up the night.

How beautiful is he, how cheerful!

Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister

Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,

and produces various fruits with colored flowers

and herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through those who grant pardon for love of you;

through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy are those who endure in peace,

By You, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,

From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Happy those she finds doing your will!

The second death can do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks

And serve him with great humility. (St. Francis of Assisi)

A Thanksgiving Hymn

If you or your family like to sing, you might want to make the following traditional hymn your prayer of thanks:

For the beauty of the earth

For the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon, and stars of light,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and mind’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth and friends above,

For all gentle thoughts and mild,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine,

To our race so freely given,

Graces human and divine,

Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise. (Folliot S. Pierpoint)

Did you know that prayer is one of the most powerful forces in the world?

Many men and women will attest to the fact that their prayers changed lives, saved lives, moved mountains, upheld faith, got them through tough times, and so much more. Here are some great reasons to pray every day.

prayers to read

1. Prayer Protects Us

1 Timothy 2:1-2 admonishes people to pray for everyone who is in authority so that life can be lived peacefully and quietly in holiness and godliness. If you pray protection over yourself, your family, and others, the angels and protective forces surround and protect you from harm. This is one powerful reason to pray.

Read: Prayers for Protection

2. Prayer Changes Things

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells states that if people would humble themselves, pray, and turn from sin, God will hear them, forgive their sins, and heal the land. Prayer changes circumstances, people, and the spiritual state of the land.

Revivals have occurred due to much prayer!

3. Prayer Keeps You In the Will of God

Many people wonder from time to time if they are doing things that are Gods will. They may be faced with a tough decision or want to begin a new adventure and wonder what God wants them to do.

Praying about such issues will help you to get and stay in the will of God. As you pray, be sure to listen to the still, small voice within your spirit for direction and guidance.

4. Prayer draws you closer to God

Im sure you want to feel very close to God and praying can help you draw very close indeed. Just like spending time with a friend enhances your friendship, spending time with God greatly enhances your relationship. The more time you spend, the more acquainted and intimate you can become.

Commit to regular time to converse.

5. Prayer enhances your happiness level

Studies reveal that people who pray regularly experience less stress and tend to feel happier. The ability to let God know your thoughts, feelings, fears, and requests for yourself and others is a great stress reliever and faith builder.

Youll simply feel happier as well!

6. Prayer gives you hope

Sometimes life can throw some pretty awful things your way and you might be tempted to lose heart or give up on your hopes or dreams. Prayer is your answer to hopelessness.

Praying people hope even though they cant see with their physical eyes the solution or miracle, they believe prayers can be answered. When youre at your wits end and dont know what to do, pray. When youve run into the brick wall time and time again, pray and hope. Never lose hope.

Read: Prayers for Hope

7. Prayer decreases selfishness

I think we can all admit that sometimes we can become selfish and forget about the well-being of others. We can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget, neglect prayer time, and end up feeling burned out. If you take time for regular prayer, youll be reminded that life isnt all about you.

Life is about all of humanity and to only think about yourself can be selfish. Make a commitment to pray consistently and let your carnality be replaced by your spiritual nature.

8. Prayer heals

Prayer not only brings about physical healings, but also emotional healings. James 5:15 states: The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. There are many instances in the Bible where men, women, and children were healed.

Prayers for the sick ought to be prayed daily, as there really is power in such prayers.

Read: Prayers for Healing

9. Prayer increases spiritual strength

Just like healthy food gives your physical body nourishment and strength, prayer and reading the Word of God nourishes your spiritual nature. As you converse with God in prayer, you are drawing strength from Him and those you pray for are receiving strength as well.

Read: Prayers for Strength

10. Prayer gives us peace

Philippians 4:6-7 admonishes us to pray to God with issues, problems, and concerns and God will see to it that peace comes to you so you can rest knowing that the power of prayer works.

The Holy Spirit is able to give you supernatural peace even in the toughest of times. Take your heartaches, fears, and biggest concerns to God in prayer.

If you have been wondering if you should pray or take more time for prayer, the answer is a resounding yes!

Before starting your daily readings, begin with prayer. Otherwise, we are treating the Bible as if it was only a human document. The God who gave us Sacred Scripture must open our understanding to comprehend it, and our wills to believe it — and to obey it.

Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

O Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart that I may hear your word,
and understand and do your will, for I am a sojourner upon the Earth.
Hide not your commandments from me, but open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of your Law.
Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of your wisdon.
On you do I set my hope, O my God, that you shall enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of your knowledge; not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them;
That in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting.
For you are the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from you comes every good deed and every gift.


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