4 Prayers to Read Around the Thanksgiving Table

Let one—or more—of these prayers enrich your Thanksgiving celebration

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Posted in , Nov 20, 2016

4 prayers to read around the Thanksgiving table.

This week marks the observance (in the U.S.) of Thanksgiving, an annual celebration of food, football and family. Of course, it was designed to be a solemn occasion of gratitude toward God.

It can be all of those things. But if your Thanksgiving celebration is like mine, the tasks of food preparation and consumption and cleanup alone can crowd out a spirit of thanksgiving. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In a previous blog post, I suggested five creative ways to include prayers of thanks in your family celebration, even (or especially) if you have to cope with the short attention spans of children. . . or husbands.

Read More: 5 Creative Ways to Pray on Thanksgiving

In this post, I offer six actual prayers that you can print out and read around the table or in the car or pretty much anywhere: 

A Thanksgiving Psalm

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

    to you our vows will be fulfilled.

You who answer prayer,

    to you all people will come.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,

    you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose

    and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

    of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,

    God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

    and of the farthest seas,

who formed the mountains by your power,

    having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas,

    the roaring of their waves,

    and the turmoil of the nations.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

    to provide the people with grain,

    for so you have ordained it.

You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

You crown the year with your bounty,

    and your carts overflow with abundance.

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

    the hills are clothed with gladness.

The meadows are covered with flocks

    and the valleys are mantled with grain;

    they shout for joy and sing. (Psalm 65:1-13, NIV)

 

A Thanksgiving Poem

One way to include the following in your celebration is to have each line read by a different person, and then have everyone conclude the prayer with, “Thank You!”

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A Thanksgiving Canticle

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,

all praise is yours, all glory, all honor,

and all blessing.

 

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.

No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through all you have made,

and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;

and through whom you give us light.

How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor;

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

 

All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon

and the stars; in the heavens you have made them,

bright, and precious, and fair.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,

all the weather's moods,

by which you cherish all that you have made.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,

so useful, humble, precious and pure.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you brighten up the night.

How beautiful is he, how cheerful!

Full of power and strength.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister

Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,

and produces various fruits with colored flowers

and herbs.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord,

through those who grant pardon for love of you;

through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy are those who endure in peace,

By You, Most High, they will be crowned.

 

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,

From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Happy those she finds doing your will!

The second death can do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks

And serve him with great humility. (St. Francis of Assisi)

 

A Thanksgiving Hymn

If you or your family like to sing, you might want to make the following traditional hymn your prayer of thanks:

For the beauty of the earth

For the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

For the beauty of each hour,

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon, and stars of light,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and mind’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth and friends above,

For all gentle thoughts and mild,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise.

 

For each perfect gift of Thine,

To our race so freely given,

Graces human and divine,

Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,

This our hymn of grateful praise. (Folliot S. Pierpoint)

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