In this blog post I want to share a Thanksgiving prayer. I expected to write something somewhat traditional along the lines of recounting the many blessings for which we can offer thanks to God. And while there is an abundance of such blessing to recount – for which I am thankful – the prayer that began to form in my heart and mind went a different direction. This prayer is much more one of intercession for things in the news over the past year that many find troubling. As a pastor I have seen the effects the deterioration in our national dialogue has had on friends, families and the church. Perhaps you have as well. If so I invite you to join me in this prayer at Thanksgiving.
A Prayer at Thanksgiving
O God, in the noise and clutter of a confused and troubled world, help us to hear you.When those who have been abused or harassed finally find the courage to risk saying “me too,” give us the grace to respond with compassion and love, that champions their bravery rather than questions their story.
When we learn that yet another senseless shooting has violently ripped open a house of worship, a school, a neighborhood, or a civic event; hear our cries for mercy for those who have fallen, and those who must somehow get back up.
When we are tempted to dwell in the realm of social media, where complexity is too readily narrowed to the simplicity of 140 characters, or the absence of another’s immediate presence gives us the delusion of anonymity; remind us that life is seldom this simple and our “friends” are indeed fragile.
When we hear the rattling of sabers, calls for militaristic response, and the bombastic drums of war; call us to sit at the feet of the Prince of Peace and pray for those who lead to find a resolve toward diplomacy.
When we see the devastating effects of hunger and poverty, disturb us to respond from our abundance and plenty to share what you have given us to steward, and what is ultimately always yours.
When we read about the burgeoning crisis of opioid and other forms of addiction, create space in our hearts to learn more before we judge, and to become part of a solution rather than a critic.
When we seek to build walls and keep those who differ from us out, remind us that Jesus so often drew the circle wider and welcomed a “fellowship of differents”.
When our earthly leaders fail or disappoint us, and seem more interested in their own advancement than the betterment of others, remind us to pray for them – and that Jesus is our Lord.
Lord, we desire to be a thankful people. Help us to find our gratitude in the things of your kingdom on this earth, even as we anticipate it in heaven. Amen.