Prayers For A Peaceful Thanksgiving

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.

Thanksgiving Prayers
As I was flipping through the Book of Common Prayer to select a thanksgiving prayer to share with you, the Prayer Associated with St. Francis caught my attention. I realized that with a slight change of perspective, it would make a perfect prayer to inspire my approach to family gatherings. 

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. 😉  

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9 Responses to Prayers For A Peaceful Thanksgiving

  1. Marcia says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Coco! My family is much the same. I was even asked about “who was coming” before some would commit. Deep breaths, kindness and yes a sense of humor are some things I’m bringing to the table this year.
    Marcia recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide for RunnersMy Profile

  2. Yes you have to have a good sense of humor in our family sometimes too. Happy and peaceful Thanksgiving to you and your family as well.
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Happy Thanksgiving!My Profile

  3. Chaitali says:

    I hope your Thanksgiving goes well! I don’t think anyone has that picture perfect family gathering in reality and a sense of humor and patience will probably be good for all of us 🙂
    Chaitali recently posted…What’s next?My Profile

  4. Darlene says:

    I definitely need a sense of humor with my in-laws. I’m cooking and bringing it to my NIL’s. Supposed to be just 3 of us, today I found out that it’s also my 2 stepsons and maybe my BIL. Hope they’re not too hungry. LOL

    Have a nice holiday!
    Darlene recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run: Runner’s Gift ListMy Profile

  5. Darlene says:

    that’s MIL (mother-in-law)
    Darlene recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run: Runner’s Gift ListMy Profile

  6. HoHo Runs says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Coco. We’ll be going to in in-laws. It’s usually pretty fun because most everyone does have a sense of humor. It’s just always a really long day.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Holiday Giveaway – AuroraeMy Profile

  7. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Jen@Jpabstfitness recently posted…Just Today…My Profile

  8. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that it is calm and peaceful.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…The Professional Development Series – eBooks to BuyMy Profile

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