Today is Thanksgiving in America and I wanted to share one of my grandfather’s Thanksgiving prayers. He was a minister in the Methodist church and I’ve recently learned that there is a group putting together a booklet of his Thanksgiving prayers.
I’m not a religious person, despite my family background. But this prayer in particular really resonated with me. So many things to be thankful for in life, no matter what God you pray to, or if you pray at all.
So today, in my grandfather’s words, things to be thankful for.
Oh God of all life, we thank thee for our lives, and all they hold of happiness and work and play, of risk and courage and beauty.
We thank Thee for the morning and evening skies of a land where liberty still marches on and freedom can still speak its mind without vanity and without fear.
We thank Thee for all heroic souls who shame our cowardice, for all generous souls who give us pure delight, for all saintly souls who kindle our desire to be really good.
We thank Thee for the friendship and the faces of those who look kindly upon us even when we fail and who help to bring us back to our bravest selves again.
We thank Thee for the encouragements of success, for the disciplines of failure, for the testings of pain, for the spurs of dissatisfaction and the spirit which arises from defeat to fight better.
We thank Thee for prized books, enchanting music and pictures which move the heart, for letters from those we love and for the song remembered for the singer’s sake.
We thank Thee for the freedom which growing older gives us from the troubles of being very young, so that we have more big things to care about and fewer little things to cry about.
We thank Thee for common joys of all kinds – the waking to sunlight through the window, the good smell of the earth on rainy days, the gift of sleep after tiring work or pleasure, and the affection of dogs and all faithful creatures.
We thank Thee for the relief of pain, for healing of the sick, for strength of the weak and comfort for the sorrowing.
Oh God of all life, we thank Thee for this lovely, troublous, undaunted human life or ours; and may we live for the good of our church, our country, and our world and ever to thy glory.
We are unworthy of all these rich inheritances. We confess that we have profaned the temple of this life by our selfishness and heedlessness. Have mercy upon us that we may express our gratitude for thy many mercies by contrition for our sins and that we may prove our repentance by lives dedicated more fully to thee and to the common good. AMEN
– George Lightner
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.