Daily Reading and Prayer – Monday, October 12 – Thanksgiving

Psalm 136 is a great Psalm of thanksgiving, and is a responsive Psalm, written for worship. The leader would speak (or sing) the first part of the verse, and the people would respond with, “His love endures forever!”
Say this Psalm out loud, and as you do, you are participating in 3000 unbroken years of worship!

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

Prayers for Thanksgiving Day

Many people recognise that Thanksgiving Day is an important time to give thanks to God for all the blessings of our lives. Here are some ideas to help your family in their prayers together:

• Give everyone an opportunity to express their thanks. It is a good idea to go around the table and ask each person to think of something from the past year for which they are particularly thankful. This can all be wrapped up in a prayer after everyone has shared.

• In the same manner, you can go around the table three times: once, asking for events for which people are thankful; once, for things received or enjoyed; and once more, asking for each one to express thanks for a particular person. Additionally, people can be asked to give thanks for a particular quality in each member of the family (for example: “I’m thankful for my sister playing with me, for Mom taking good care of me, for Dad taking me camping.”) Again, these can all be summed up in a prayer after all have shared their thoughts.

• It can be helpful, when gathering for a Thanksgiving meal, to think about who worked hard for all the elements of the meal to come together: the farmer who planted and harvested the corn, the truck drivers who delivered the potatoes, the people who packed the turkeys, the municipal workers who provided water and electricity – the list goes on.

• Go around the table asking for ideas about how each person can express thanks by doing something for another, and giving them cause to be thankful. “Dear God, thank you for this great food. I will show my thanks by volunteering to help with a meal in the soup kitchen.” Or, “Dear God, thanks for this stuffing. I will be thankful by helping every day this week in cleaning up after supper.”

• Prayers of thanks work after a meal, too – and there is less pressure to get them done quickly! Consider a traditional “grace” before the meal, and some of the ideas above for after – or even as conversation throughout the meal!