God, so many of us are dealing with the pain of overeating while others are staving off the pangs of hunger. Some are walking away from family gatherings with hurt feelings, and others are hurting because they are apart from the ones they love. Let those of us who are grateful for the families we have remember those who find no comfort in the holiday. Teach us to share our comfort with those who have none, for we ask it in the name of Jesus, the living Christ. Amen.
God, bless those who are frantically trying to accomplish their goals tonight. Urge us to be grateful for the work that goes into the gatherings we will attend and hours of preparation for the food we will eat. Silence our comparisons to someone else’s dressing, or even grandma’s pies, or some mythical ‘best turkey ever’ that was eaten decades ago. Let us be thankful for what we have and for those with whom we celebrate. With thanksgiving for the Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
God, tonight I pray for those twisted by emotions run wild. When our decisions are no longer our own and our plans thwarted, we so easily turn to rage and unleash our wrath. And for those whose lives have been tormented by injustice and abuse, we can only ask for the release that comes from forgiveness … and justice. Let justice and mercy flow down like waters, in the name of the living Christ. Amen.
God, bless those who live ‘on call,’ and spend holidays wishing they could be with friends and family. Comfort those who are separated by the miles. And guard the safety of those who prepare now to travel later this week. Instill joy in the hearts of those who are dreading this season. And bring us at last to your banquet table, where a place for us all has been prepared. In the name of the Christ we ask it. Amen.
God, you gave us your best, your only son, and we treated him with scorn and disdain. Remind us that we repeat those crimes against your son when we treat others as “less than.” Guard our hearts against these sins, for the sake of the Christ. Amen
God, thank you for my family. In our gathering, we celebrate our blessings with feasting and laughter. Remind us to share the blessings we have with those who have not, and to share the love of family with those who are missing theirs. And make our thanksgiving a true eucharist, with Christ at the center, for we pray in his name. Amen.
God, watch over our coming and going. Our days of celebration and feasting draw nearer, and travel becomes a necessary risk. Guard our safety by inspiring caution and forgiveness. Calm the rage on our roads by teaching us to extend our discipleship to include our time behind the wheel and above the clouds. We ask it in Christ’s name. Amen.
God, the past cannot be rewritten, but you are the one who holds tomorrow. What once was, and holds sway over us no longer, has been replaced by the power of your love and grace. Straighten us to stand and cry out our thanks for your deliverance of our very lives. Teach us to sing new songs of your love for us and our love for you. In the name of the Christ we ask it. Amen.
God, I’m grateful for the opportuity to work as a pastor. Sitting at tables with a church I love, partaking of the holiest of meals, we expressed our gratitude to you. And in our conversation, your presence reminded us over and over that we are blessed. Grant that we may go forth in your name to bring your kingdom near. In the name of the Christ we ask it. Amen.
God, I’m grateful for faithful disciples who ask hard questions and struggle with even harder answers. When the implications of our efforts point us towards harder battles and tougher strife, they lean in and ask for more. Grant them strength and endurance to run this race to the finish; and when we get there, sign us up for the next journey, for we hope in the resurrection and the power of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.