Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Personal Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Oh Father… prayer, praise, and thanksgiving… It has been said* that praise and thanksgiving are so nearly alike that they are virtually indistinguishable… And so it is with praise and thanksgiving that I lift my prayer to You on this “day” set aside for “Thanksgiving.”

Father, I am so thankful for this gathering of family. Our “circles” intertwine through birth and marriage, but our hearts join together through love - love for each other, and love for You. And we thank You for that.

Lord, there are no “ill feelings” in this room today. And we thank You for that, too. We have so much to be thankful for. The bounty of food that we have is amazing, but what is so overwhelming is that we are blessed with the ability and the freedom to have this much every day if we so desired.

And our health… Lord, we all have our aches and pains, but we are here… and not sitting in a hospital room, or planning a loved one’s funeral…

God! Who are we to have been so blessed?

So Lord, as we pause to pray, to praise, and to give thanks, let us remember to lift up those for whom the day is a hellish nightmare; and those who will struggle with finding enough food for this one day; and those who, for whatever reason, are away from their families this day.

As we eat and laugh and enjoy one another’s company this afternoon, let us remember that this day (as every day) is an undeserved gift that You’ve given us. Let us not take that for granted, but let us lift our hearts in prayer, and praise and thanksgiving to You this and every day.

In Jesus’ Name - amen

*From E.M. Bounds “The Essentials of Prayer.”


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Prayer 2007

It has amazed me that the highest "count" of hits on this blog has been on, and around Thanksgiving Day. It seems that the whole world is looking for Thanksgiving Prayers and Devotions.

As I meditated on this thought, and of writing a Thanksgiving prayer, I thought about the massive numbers of people and situations represented, and how I couldn't possibly understand what they were going through... and so my Thanksgiving Day Prayer is prefaced by a "Pre-Thanksgiving Day" Prayer.

Whoever you are, wherever you are - as you read these prayers, know that I have prayed for you. God knows you... He loves you and sent His Son for you. If you were the only person alive, He still would have done it... If you don't know Him, know this - He knows and loves you.

Find a church and get connected. Find a man or woman of God to pray with you - and open your heart to Jesus. He is standing at the door of your heart now... knocking to come in...

And now - the prayers...

Pre-Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Father, as I set out to write a prayer of thanksgiving, I remember the multitude of circumstances that are represented by the people around the world who read this blog. Many find themselves in loving families, but possibly even more find themselves in not so loving situations.

How do I offer a prayer for them, Lord? I cannot relate, nor understand the anguish that they must feel. But, I know that You do. And so, I simply lift them to You, and pray that You will touch their hearts and hold them in the warm embrace of Your arms.

Father I pray, that each of us, in whatever place in life that we find ourselves, will look for the things for which to be thankful. There is always something. May we seek it like gold, and when we find it, hold it to our hearts and bow our heads, praising You - for You alone are God, and You alone gave the greatest Gift of all - Your own precious Son.

So, at Thanksgiving, and every day, may we, no matter our circumstances, thank You for Jesus. As it is in His Name we pray… Amen.

Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Precious Lord, we pause today, if but for a brief moment, and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. For each of us, the things that we are thankful for are different; for our families - their safe trips in traveling; for healing in times of sickness; or for strength in the midst of struggles.

For our loved ones, whether near or far, whether “estranged” or dearly held in our hearts, our prayer is lifted to You - for their safety, for their health, and for their blessing.

We are thankful for the bounty of the meal before us, and the hands which prepared it - whether it be at a table well stocked, or a meager gathering; whether the hands were “loving” or just “dutiful” in their preparation - still we are thankful and pray for them.

Father, we realize that if we have anything at all, we have much for which to be thankful. When we stop and think of the multitudes for which this is just another day of struggle for survival, we are ashamed at our thanklessness at times. Remind us, dear Lord, of our overwhelming blessing.

And now, we cannot neglect to pray for those men and women around the world who are away from their loved ones by way of military service. No matter on which “side” of any given war they find themselves, if it is war, it is war, and they believe themselves to be “right.”

We long, Father for the day when all will serve You, and every knee will bow to Your Son Jesus Christ. For only in that day, will there truly be peace. And Thanksgiving Day will truly be a Day of Thanksgiving! In Jesus’ precious Name we pray - Amen.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Prayer for our Nation

After reading Lamentations, chapters 4-5 this morning, I just began praying, and this is where it went...

Oh Father, I pray for this nation. I pray for the leaders of our nation. Today and every day, fill them with Your spirit and Your guidance.

Father, as we are going into a time of elections, as the debates and the “positioning” has begun… open our eyes as we seek whom we should vote for, lead us in our choice of leaders, and decision makers…

But oh Lord, even as we pray this prayer, as we cry out, we are afraid that You will give us what we “deserve.” That in giving us what we “need” You will allow us to be carried into “captivity” as You did those who bore Your very Name.

But in many ways, we are already in captivity - the captivity of our souls and our hearts. How? By the “prince” of this world? No, we don’t even recognize that there is such a person.

By the “things” of this world? No, for we “need” every thing we have… so we think.


Fifty million dollar yachts? Million dollar “second” homes? Several hundred square-foot closets!? Oh God! Forgive us!

And even for us to whom such spending seems vulgar - may we take a long and hard look at our own spending… for “he who is unfaithful in little, will be unfaithful in much…”

Father we realize that it isn’t the money, or the earning of money that is evil - it is what we do with it! We are entrusted with such a huge amount of the world’s resources, and yet… still… the world is hungry… And we must ask ourselves, is my neighbor hungry?

Please Father, don’t give us what we deserve. Don’t give us what we need. Have mercy on us, and forgive us. And lead us to elect a leader who will bring us back to the place of righteousness… unless we have gone too far…

God I pray for revival in this land, in our churches and in our own hearts. I pray that we Your people, who are called by Your name, will turn from our ways, and pray, and that indeed, You will heal our land…

In Jesus’ Name - Amen

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