One of the most important things to prepare for Thanksgiving is our hearts. I wanted to share a few prayers with you for your holiday. Thursday will be about food, family, and football. Let’s make today about our faith. As we prepare for the celebration, we can prepare our hearts for the day as well.
Pray to make a difference
John F. Kennedy said, “We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” Chances are, several of those people will be at your Thanksgiving table or central to the holiday weeks ahead. Pray for the opportunity to tell them how they made a difference in your life.
We can also pray to be a person who makes a difference in the lives of those around us.
As we gather around our tables, may you give us your eyes to see everyone as you do.
Show us who belongs to you, and who needs to.
Show us who has joy and who is still searching.
Reveal those who need to know they are greatly loved by their heavenly Father.
Then, Lord, fill our words and our ways with the power of your Holy Spirit so that
people can’t help but notice you have a place at the table too.
Come to our table, Lord.
With grateful hearts, we pray. Amen.
Pray for the conversations to be uplifting
Most families have variety. Some of our votes cancel some votes of others. Some opinions are shared as fact. Some facts are shared as opinions. Some are hopeful about the future and others are not. Thanksgiving can be a day of diversity or a day to celebrate all we have in common. The Thanksgiving table is a place to find some common ground.
Nora Ephron was a famous author of many popular feel-good movie scripts. She said, “The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about? I don’t think so.”
We can pray that when everyone heads home they are thinking, “That’s the happiest Thanksgiving I have ever celebrated.”
You are King of kings and Lord of lords.
It is You we want to impress with our words.
Help us to remember the variety of people around your table, in the Upper Room.
We know you loved and then died for all of them.
May the conversations we have be pleasing to you.
May our voices bring your wise counsel to the room.
May all of us enjoy and embrace those who are different because you did.
You knelt in the garden and prayed we would be unified.
Lord, may we be an answer to your prayer as we gather together.
May we enjoy our table and eat in remembrance of yours.
With hopeful hearts we pray.
Pray for the day to be about gratitude
Something might be overcooked and something else undercooked. Someone may get sick and someone may talk too much about their aches and pains. Our team may win and our team might lose. And one child may shove another or say something that produces anger or tears in their cousin.
Every moment is a chance to respond with gratitude. Last year we were all worried Thanksgiving would cause the virus to spread. It did. Last year the stands at the games were empty and the parades were canceled. Last year the cousins probably didn’t fight because they were probably not able to play together.
This year, every moment is a chance to be grateful.
Bruce Wilkinson wrote, “A moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude.”
Let’s pray we will embrace any and all of the moments of this holiday with cheer-filled joy. It’s Thanksgiving, and this year we have a lot of reasons to be thankful.
Your word says, “Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
We do thank you, Lord.
For health and for happiness.
For blessings of family and friends.
For the perspective from your word that says
we can be grateful . . . in every circumstance.
That’s what you want for our Thanksgiving celebration.
In gratitude, for you, we pray. Amen.
May your holiday be filled with overwhelming gratitude for his great goodness.
I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!