A Thanksgiving Prayer

Content from

For the Week of November 21, 2005
by Rubel Shelly

Gracious God, Giver of Every Good Gift,

We acknowledge that life, health, and joy
* Are your pleasant favors to us.
* Thus we thank you for parents, mates, and children,
* For siblings, friends, and colleagues who bless our lives.
We affirm your greatness at sunrise and sunset,
* Praise you for productive days and the sweet rest that follows.
* Yours is the glory and honor and majesty
* For all the things we seek and enjoy and savor.
We understand that work, responsibility, and the power to earn
* Are granted to us by your sovereign goodness.
* We praise you for all that has been provided to us
* And for all you have enabled us to provide for others.

We also recognize the deep distress that life brings to all
*In the forms of loss and illness, lack and heartache.
*While these are neither your intent nor work in our lives,
* Even there we honor you for your faithfulness as our God.
We sense your strength when we are at our weakest,
* And we experience your fullness best in our emptiness.
* Thus we dare to sing in prison cells and laugh at death,
* For you are the God of life beyond these mortal limitations.
If we sensed no pain, would we flee to you for comfort?
* If no imperfection, could we marvel at your excellence?
* If no insecurity, would we worship any gods but ourselves?
* If no sting of sin, would we ever seek the path of redemption?

On this Thanksgiving Day, then, we thank you for sunshine and storm,
* For Eden that gave us a glimpse of your beauty and holiness,
* For Egypt that made us desire a Land of Promise,
* For Gethsemane that revealed to us a sympathetic High Priest.
Whatever the life situation with any one of us today,
* Teach us the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude and joy.
* For all that we have and hope for, we praise you;
* For all that compels us to seek you, we praise you even more.

In the Blessed and Holy Name of Jesus our Savior we pray. Amen.