If your family is anything like mine, your Thanksgiving dinner may not be much like the nostalgic image below, and may not play out like the Pillsbury ad where the only argument around the dinner table is who gets the last crescent roll. As much as I am looking forward to having both of my kids home and gathering around the table for our Thanksgiving feast, I also am worrying whether we will get through the
meal weekend without interesting discussions turning into heated debates or well-meaning words causing hurt feelings.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that I receive;
it is in pardoning that I am pardoned;
and it is in dying that I am born to eternal life.
I can’t control what others do or say, or how others act or react, but I can keep my own words kind, and hope we all focus on the love that brings us together.
Now for that thanksgiving prayer. I love the General Thanksgiving from the Book of Common Prayer:
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things.
I especially love the thanksgiving for family and friends (I do love mine!), and I appreciate the call to give thanks for “disappointments and failures.”
Another one of my favorite Thanksgiving prayers is this simple one, suitable as a grace before dinner:
Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving, or at least a sense of humor in case your family is anything like mine. 😉