I have a Thanksgiving Day tradition: I pull out all of the thank-you cards and letters I’ve saved in my color-soaked card boxes and read them as reminders of the grace that is attached to gratitude. I give thanks to God for His blessings, particularly for the friends and family who have taken the time to thank me over the years.
The sentiments in the cards often move me to tears. In some cases, I honestly cannot remember the service or gift that prompted the card, but the recipient’s gratitude and love permeate their communication.
It’s an amazing thing, gratitude. It has the ability to change the atmosphere for both the giver of the thanks and the recipient of the gratitude.
I confess that I enter the holiday season on a roller coaster of feelings. The year’s relentless work schedule and other commitments leave me a bit frayed around the edges by the time Thanksgiving rolls up. The shorter days that begin when we “fall back” in early November are culprits as well. Truth be told, I fight “down in the mouth syndrome” during the last quarter of the year.
Left to my feelings, the giving of thanks might not pour forth so freely this week. I have to choose to reach beyond my feelings to my faith. And to my personal experience of God’s goodness in my life. Every. Single. Day. Not just on Thanksgiving Day.
So, I go to the zone in which I’m most comfortable: prayer.
- I pray that heaven would be filled with gratitude to God for all that He’s done for us; not just for a huge meal once a year that fills us up, after which we run out to empty our pocketbooks in a frenzy.
- I pray for opportunities to not only give thanks for what I receive, but to provide others, through my words and actions, with occasions to be thankful to God.
- I pray that I would remember my dearly missed friend Jean, who would always begin our prayer times with the words: “Let us give thanks.”
- I pray that a spirit of thankfulness would permeate my days and that my eyes would be peeled open to see those little (and big) circumstances in which God smiles on me.
- I pray that I would be a “thanksgiving ambassador,” bringing the good news of the blessing of gratitude to everyone I meet.
What’s your thanksgiving prayer?