How to Write a Thanksgiving Prayer
Ok, we’ve all been there at least once in our life. The table’s set, the china’s laid out, the turkey is hot out of the oven, and those (insert favorite Thanksgiving Day food here) are giving off the most delicious and succulent smell ever. You’re gathered with all your family and friends around the table, and Great-Aunt Velma looks over at you innocently and says, “Would you give the prayer for us today?”
For some of us, it wouldn’t be a surprise; I have to admit that this tends to happen to me more often than not--occupational hazard. But for others, it can be rather intimidating. Even though I’ve prayed a time or two, I know that sinking feeling of getting into the prayer, and for one reason or another, getting lost, and then you find yourself repeating the words you already said and thinking, “I just want this to finish so I can get to this delicious food!”
Maybe this is a concern for you. Or maybe you’re looking for a creative way to do prayer a bit differently this year. As you think about how to pray the Thanksgiving table prayer, think about the name of the day itself: thanks-giving. Quite simply, this is an opportunity to give thanks to all the different people, places, and things in your life. So take a few moments now and write those people down. Or take a few minutes with your family, now or on the day itself, and write those people down (throw Great-Aunt Velma in there if you want major bonus points). Then think of the changes that happened in the past year and all of the things you want to thank God for. Lastly, think of the incredible food just waiting for you on that beautiful table: who and what worked, died, or sacrificed to bring you this bounteous feast? Thank God for all of them.
Now all you need to do is add a “Dear God” to the beginning and an “Amen” to the end, and you’re done! Of course, if all of this fails or doesn’t work for you, remember the simple table prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blest.” If you want to be fancy, you can finish it off with “Blessed God, you are our bread may all the world be clothed and fed,” or “And let there be a goodly share on every table everywhere.”
There. Now you have yourself a wonderful prayer for the upcoming holiday. Get ready to floor Great-Aunt Velma.
May you and your household have a blessed Thanksgiving.