Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Ps 106:1 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil. 4:6 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. 5:20 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18
Dear heavenly Father, it’s Monday of “Thanksgiving Week”—typically a week for gathering with friends and family; consuming copious amounts of favorite foods; the annual ramping up of “Christmas music”; decorating our homes with seasonal markers; and hitting the malls, or internet, to engage in the Olympics of bargains and retail deals. God have mercy on us all!
But before the intensified busyness and predictable chaos take over, we want to set our hearts for a week of gratitude. Indeed, as all these Scriptures affirm, thanksgiving is to be a way of life for us, as followers of Jesus.
Father, first and foremost, we praise you for the lavish, steadfast, and enduring love you have given us in Jesus. The riches of the gospel, and our standing in grace, are more than enough for us to live this week “palms up,”—overflowing with gratitude, compelled to worship you.
But also, Father, we want to give you praise “in all circumstances” and “for everything.” For some of us, this will be a week of anxiety-producing storylines. It’s not always easy to “go home”—especially when there’s relational brokenness. Grant us grace, peace and your presence. Help us to love others as Jesus loves us.
For those of us with other stressors—health issues, financial uncertainty, loneliness, spiritual confusion, the pain of grief, Father, may this be a week of giving thanks for the fact that we don’t have to pretend everything’s okay. You meet us, and love us, right where we are.
Lastly, Father, quicken our sensibilities to be grateful for all the things for which we presume the right, or simply take for granted. For air to breath and a bed to sleep in; for friendship and clean drinking water; for sights of beauty and the sound of laughter, and a bazillion more things.
For the presence of the unseen kingdom and the promise of a most certain heaven; for your pledge of sufficient grace and commitment to complete the Story, in and for, all these things, we give you heart-full thanks and everlasting praise. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.