When you gather at the Thanksgiving table this year, gratitude will certainly be a theme on the minds of both you and your loved ones. The holiday season is a wonderful time to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed upon you, your family and your loved ones. From saying a blessing over your Thanksgiving meal to reflecting on all you have, Thanksgiving prayers can be a wonderful way to let God — and your family — know how blessed you feel.
If you don’t already have a tradition that involves offering thanks in prayer, this year is a great time to start. It’s always good to make time for prayer, and Thanksgiving is a time for putting God first just like the colonists did in 1623, when they gave thanks to God for rain after a two-month drought.
Stop and take time to reflect on the meaning of thankfulness this holiday season and consider choosing one of the following prayers as your Thanksgiving invocation:
A Simple Grace Prayer of Gratitude
“Dear Lord, thank you for this food we are about to eat. We are especially grateful this time of year, as we reflect on Your provision, all You have given us — and the love you have placed in our lives.”
Saying grace can be a simple act that gives credit to God for his provision, guidance and everlasting love. There are many mealtime prayer options, but this Thanksgiving be sure to consider a prayer that thanks God for the year’s blessings, while also asking for His guidance in the months and year to come.
A Thanksgiving Prayer for Guidance
“We ask that You would bless this Thanksgiving meal and continue to guide our family along Your path. We also pray for blessings for the rest of the holiday season and in the year ahead. In the name of Your son Jesus, amen.”
This prayer not only thanks God for the food, but it asks for guidance for each and every family member, and for blessings along the way. This is a quick Thanksgiving Day prayer that helps people focus on the Holy Spirit’s guidance — and God’s role in everyday life.
Thank God Using Psalm 100
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” -Psalm 100 (NIV)
When it comes to Thanksgiving prayer, one of the best ways to approach the dinner table is with Scripture offered up as invocation. Psalm 100 is a powerful chapter that reminds us all to “shout for joy to the Lord.” Encouraging us to have a thankful heart, the chapter notes God’s enduring love, and gives us a chance to focus in on His care for and in our lives.
Thank God for His Grace
“We recognize that while we were still sinners, Christ loved us and gave His life for us. He went through death on the cross so we could have a relationship with You in life, then go on to be with You forever. We fall so short, but You love us anyway. We have deep flaws, but when You look at us you see Christ’s righteousness. Bring us closer together as we express our gratitude for all You have done. Thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Our families are full of imperfect people, and nothing highlights that fact more than the holidays, as the additional stresses of the season can shed light on past problems or bring about renewed issues. Problems range from broken relationships that fall apart, to quirky relatives who make you shake your head. In the end, though, God’s grace can and should guide our interactions.
Express a Thankful Heart
“Father, today we give thanks for all the blessings You have given us. We’re safe from harm, we have food to eat and despite the challenges in our lives, we know that we are blessed. One of the things we’re most grateful for is Christ’s finished work on the cross.”
Millions of people across the globe live in difficult and trying conditions. It’s easy to forget the lack of freedom that so many others face on a daily basis. This Thanksgiving prayer helps put the focus on the Heavenly Father who has given you and your family so much.
Remember Those With Less During Your Thanksgiving Prayer
“We know that some people don’t have food at all today, and we have it in abundance. Thank You for always providing for our needs. And if the meal wasn’t enough, we have all of our favorite desserts. Thank You for how You enrich our lives and for the ones who prepared this feast. For the ones who couldn’t make it, comfort them today and please make it possible to see them again soon. Thank You, amen.”
The holidays are a difficult time for some people, particularly the poor who lack resources and homes. This is especially problematic when autumn’s cold air starts to take form. Consider taking a moment to offer a Thanksgiving prayer for comfort for those less fortunate, while reflecting with thanksgiving on what you and your family have.
Using Psalm 104:27-38;31 While Saying Thanksgiving Prayers
“All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. … May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.” -Psalm 27-28;31
Perhaps you’d like to incorporate this Scripture during mealtime prayers. Psalm 104, verse 27-28 and verse 31 is a wonderful portion of the Bible to use to teach kids how to say grace, it can be helpful for Scripture memorization — and it’s a beautiful way to thank the Lord while also turning to his word this holiday season.
The verses acknowledge that it is God who gives food to all creatures, and it expresses gratitude to the Creator — something that fits nicely with the Thanksgiving theme.
Thank God for the Season
“Father, thank You for bringing us all together safely. We don’t get to see each other often enough, and sometimes it feels like a miracle just having everyone in one place. Please bless this time that we spend together this Thanksgiving.”
In addition to some challenges, the holiday season also brings along with it a host of blessings. Offer a simple prayer that lists all of the amazing things that come to your mind when you reflect on gratitude. Say thanks to the Lord with a prayer like the one above.
Offer Thanksgiving Day Prayers for Renewal
“Dear God, Thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you've given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day. We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus' Name, Amen." - Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com
This prayer offers a mixture of praise, thankfulness and calls for forgiveness. It is a prayer for renewal — one that is perfect for the holiday season. It is also an invocation that affirms the need for God; it’s thus a powerful call for reliance upon the Almighty.
Thank God for the Year in Your Thanksgiving Prayer
Last but not least, consider customizing your Thanksgiving by reflecting on what God has done in the previous year. Instead of trying to stick to a script, think back to everything that’s happened since last Thanksgiving, and offer thanks for the ways God has been present.
Bring your family closer by inviting everyone to participate and offer thanks in their own way. Consider going around the table one-by-one and asking everyone to choose one thing that they are grateful for from the past year and to share it with the group. Get creative and be sure everyone takes a turn sharing their victories in 2018.
The holidays are a great time to share Christian values with family members. PureFlix.com offers the devotional guide, “Christian Movies that Teach the Fruit of the Spirit.” Read nine devotions that teach virtues like love, peace, and kindness. Then, supplement your learning by watching the suggested movies that demonstrate each trait.