There is a moment on Thanksgiving Day when everyone in the house begins migrating toward one central area. As they make their way, conversations are flowing, kids are chasing each other, and the last few items are being placed for convenient serving. As everyone arrives, they find a seat or a place in line and waits…
This wait has two dynamics. If you’re the guest, you’re just patiently enjoying your day with friends and family. If you’re the host, your chest is pounding as sweat begins forming on your upper lip. Your mouth feels like the Sahara Desert. And all you can think about is what am I about to say?
It’s time for the Thanksgiving Prayer. This isn’t just any prayer, it’s the one prayer that seems to carry a little more weight than all the previous prayers we’ve prayed that year. It seems that this is the one prayer everyone literally stops what they are doing and pays attention.
Like all men, we tend to play out the worst-case scenarios before they happen. It’s possible that you think your prayer is going to look like this:
If you’ve attended any of the events hosted by Faith for Fathers, you know we stand on a commitment of praying with and for our children. We want this to be a vital component of the leadership plan for your family. We even give you a prayer to read or follow as a guide.
Today is no exception. Presenting Dad’s Survival Guide to the Thanksgiving Prayer!
You can read it “as is.” You can pick and choose phrases that you like. Or you can stick to your guns and pray from the heart. But whatever you, don’t miss the opportunity to pray with your family. Even if you aren’t the one to say the annual Thanksgiving Prayer, find a meal where you can pray this prayer with your family. They need to see you lead in this area.
[If you’re interested, click HERE to go to a Table Talk Devotion we’ve written for you to lead sometime over the Thanksgiving break. You can do this as the meal is finishing up.]
Here’s the prayer…
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you for waking us up this morning.
Thank you for giving us a day that wasn’t promised.
Today we want to say, “Thank you.” We are thankful for our faith in You.
Please surprise us with Your mercy, love, and power.
We are thankful for family and friends, so inspire greater forgiveness and care.
We are thankful for freedom, so please grace our land with humility, peace and justice.
We are thankful for food, so give us gratitude that overflows into compassion.
Thank you that every good gift comes graciously from You.
Thanks to David Bateman for sharing his gift of composition and collaborating with us on this post. David is a pastor in the Charleston, SC community. Check out his book, Reflections from the Valley Floor: 30 Day Interactive Devotional