A Prayer for the Sunday Before Thanksgiving
Thanks be to you, O living and loving God, creator of all the universe, for the privilege of calling upon you and listening to you this morning.
We gather knowing that before you, we are all equal. You know the life, the thoughts, the ways, and hearts of each of us. You know our innermost secrets. No one is righteous in your sight, not one. Yet, you have not forgotten, nor rejected, nor condemned a single one of us. Rather, you love each of us. You know our needs and are ever willing to satisfy them. You look only upon the empty outstretched hands which you desire to fill to overflowing.
Thanks be to you, O living and loving God. In the suffering and death of Jesus, your dear Son, you have taken our place, mercifully beyond comprehension. You have made our darkness and our misery your own. You have set us free to walk in your light as your children. You have given us an indescribable joy. On this day, we ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit upon each and every one of us, that we may understand you, as well as ourselves and each other.
Praise be to you, O living and loving God, for today, we celebrate crowning you King of King and Lord of Lords. We bless your name for the great things you have done.
Knowing how much we need you, we humbly confess that too often we fall short of your intentions for us and our expectations of ourselves. We want to touch the world with goodness, but often withdraw in anxiety and self-concern. We want to live with integrity and stand for truth, but we are torn with uncertainties. We want to touch the lives of others with love, but we hesitate wondering if they will love us in return. We want to go about our daily tasks with confidence and joy, but find ourselves struggling with self-doubt. We know how much we need you just to love the people around us…help us to love you through loving others.
Give us what we need to respond appropriately to those who are suffering from devastating tornados, from lack of health care, from little or no food or clean water, who are homeless or who are lost. Give us what we need to respond appropriately to those who live in poverty and who look to us to survive.
It is in gratitude for your great love for us, the love we have experienced and know of Jesus the Christ that we humbly offer ourselves to you.
Thanks be to you, O living and loving God, for this time of worship. Help us to be totally in the moment. Keep our hearts pounding with your love, and let new life surge through our living. Let our worship heal us, renew us, and strengthen us, so that we may know your joy and peace. Thanks be to you, O living and loving God for the things you have done to bring us to this moment and for what you will do in and through us when we leave this place. Thanks be to you, O living and loving God, for we pray in the name of our Son, Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray saying… “Our Father, who art in heaven…”