A Thanksgiving Prayer to be used by the members and friends of Wilmington Area Ministerial churches – in lieu of a Community Thanksgiving Worship service – written by Julie Rudd, Pastor, Wilmington Friends Meeting.

 

Giving and Gathering God, you have blessed us and we are grateful. We are blessed by You, and by the people we gather with: our families, and our friends.

As we seek to gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, this year, we’re grateful for the food set before us. We’re grateful for the hands that grew this food, and for the hands that prepared it, and for the hands that serve it. Our food is, ultimately, a gift from you and we praise you for all the ways in which you bring food to our table.

And God, you know that we need more than food for our bodies. We need food for our souls. We are all surrounded by caretakers, people who are investing in us, people who love us. Lord, help us be grateful for all the people who bring nourishment to our souls.

The trees in autumn bear witness to your grace by turning beautiful colors, and by the hope they carry that the spring will bring new life. The trees drop their leaves, and as we gather and celebrate, help us to also be willing to leave our dead things behind. Give us the grace of the autumn trees, that we may let go of what has carried us thus far and wait for your spring to come.

And teach us, once again, to pray, as you taught your disciples to pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

   on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

   as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

   but deliver us from the evil one.

 

We are grateful for your breath, given to the first human in Eden and sustaining our lives even now. We’re grateful for the home you have given us, for the cycles of planting and harvest, for the hope that both the earth and we ourselves will in due time bear the fruits of your love acting within us.

It’s in the name of Jesus, who was buried in despair but raised to resurrection glory, that we pray this. AMEN.