A Thanksgiving Prayer

Cynthia Tavilla

God of love and mercy, on this special day of gratitude, we thank you for this food, and for the ability to feed ourselves and our children.  May we also be mindful of and pray for the 870 million people worldwide who are unable to do so.

Thank you for the freedom and opportunities that we take for granted.  Let us remember and pray for the 21 million people in our world who are victims of human trafficking and forced labor.  May we never deem that acceptable for our brothers and sisters.

Thank you for peace in our every day lives, which we take for granted.  Let us commit to work for justice for young men of color in our own country, who are victims of violence perpetrated by those that are meant to protect and serve.  Let us never be so comfortable in our own circumstances that we lose our sense of outrage over injustices in our time.  We pray for peace in our world.

Thank you for our families.  Let us take a moment of silence to remember those who are not at this table today.  We pray for those separated from their families, those at work, those at war and those in prison.   We pray for those who are alienated from children or parents or siblings.

Thank you for new babies, new chances and new opportunities to begin again.  Let us pray for those who have lost children, and those who have never been able to have children.  We pray for babies born to those who cannot parent them.  Fill us with compassion for those whose lives are void of hope and meaning.  Grant us the determination to offer kindness to every stranger we encounter.

It is relatively easy to be thankful for things going our way, for prayers answered the way we want them, for bounty and health and abundance.  Help us to remember to be grateful for the experiences that don’t go our way.  Help us to see disappointment as opportunities to grow in compassion, humility and patience.  May we extend more grace to those for whom life hasn’t worked out the way they wanted or expected.  May we be slower to anger and quicker to forgive, and may we see ourselves and You in all people.

Amen

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