A Thanksgiving Prayer

“Without him all things external call for my condemnation;
in him they minister to my comfort,
and are to be enjoyed with thanksgiving.
Praise be to thee for grace,
and for the unspeakable gift of Jesus.”

-from ‘The Valley of Vision’

Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Over the next several days, many of us will reflect on what we have to be thankful for. Although I’m forgetting much more than I am remembering here, these are some of Your blessings that come to mind on this day:

  • Salvation – as Paul explained, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” What can we possibly say to that ? “Thank you” ? But I am eternally thankful Father.
  • My wife – I have been greatly blessed with a wonderful, caring, selfless and giving wife. I take more than I give to her sadly. Thank you Father for bringing Amy into my life.
  • My family – Many will spend Thanksgiving Day alone. I’m thankful that I will have the opportunity to see family and friends over the next several days and enjoy time together with them.
  • My job – last year the company I work for was sold and most of my co-workers were let go. I’ve been fortunate to have my employment extended throughout this year and now into 2010. Many are still looking for work. Many are unable to work due to illness or family circumstances. Many are struggling financially. I’m thankful for Your provision now and always.
  • My health – Every day many struggle with aches, pains, disability and other medical issues. Those of us who are healthy should remember what a gift it is each day to see, hear, taste, touch and smell, to walk around freely, to drive, to play and exercise, and to do the things we need to do every day. We take it for granted as a given that these things are ours each day.
  • Freedom to worship – We have great freedoms in this country. Many Christians around the world however are persecuted for their faith. How often we forget Father what a privilege it is to wake up on Sunday morning and travel freely to our local church or to gather freely with other believers and friends.
  • Wealth beyond belief – Many of us in America have a false notion of what it means to be truly wealthy, and many of us do not realize how wealthy we really are in this country. So we “struggle” with whether or not to buy that new car or big-screen TV. For some families, however, the decisions are much more difficult each day and much more critical: where is our next meal or clean water going to come from ? At this time of year, those decisions also expand: how can we buy gifts for our children ? Many of us will ask “why me ?” when the smallest trouble or irritation comes our way, yet few of us will ask “why me ?” while wondering why God has blessed us with what in reality is wealth beyond belief.
  • My Bible – Many of us have 5, 10 or even 15 Bibles in our home. We have countless translations, different styles, shapes, and sizes. Yet many do not have even one Bible translated into their own language. How grateful we should be for the gift of the Word of God each and every day !

Dear Father in Heaven, as you can see in this feeble prayer I’ve forgotten much and remembered little here. But I am truly thankful for these and all of Your blessings each day – our daily bread. I am blessed beyond belief Father. Please give strength and healing to those who are hurting today and provide for them. Let us carry a true spirit of thankfulness as we enter into the season that celebrates the birth of Your Son.

Thank you Father. I love you and pray these things in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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