A Prayer of Gratitude for Your Thanksgiving Celebration.
Thank you for all of the blessings that you have graciously provided us with. We are truly grateful for everything we have, and so we have shown our gratitude with this display of opulence. We have cooked more food than all of us here can eat in several days to remind us how lucky we are not to be starving in abject poverty.
Oh, excuse us, God, for saying lucky, we mean #blessed, of course, because it is your love and favor that has caused the discrepancy between us and the less fortunate. To thank you for your great love for us and the wealth that you have given us, we will now feast together, consuming more calories than our bodies can process. So, please, Lord, bless our stupored slumber when our feasting has finished.
Especially bless whichever poor soul will clean the dishes as the rest of us lounge and nap. May that person not be me, and may they not complain so loudly as to disrupt my relaxation. Help them to humbly appreciate their role as servant to all and not point out again that they shouldn't have to clean up alone when they spent the entire day cooking.
Do not let us forget to thank the Native Americans for not fighting back too hard when we took their land from them. Help us, God, to be truly and dearly thankful for everything that used to belong to them and now belongs to us.
And God, as we take stock of all that we have, may we recognize how much we have to be thankful for and please bless us as we race out the door to horde more material possessions for ourselves and the people we like the most, because the happiness of our small circle makes us even happier. Thank you, God, for letting us feel generous and proud of ourselves when we give to people who are a lot like us, and who we spend all of our time with, and who will definitely be giving gifts to us also.
Thank you for fabulous sales and the laborers worldwide who made those sales possible. Without their willingness to submit to inhumane working conditions, I might be slightly less grateful because I would have slightly less stuff to thank you for.
May my cart be swift, my check out line strategy savvy and my endurance great as I celebrate my thankfulness by purchasing even more things, on this, the greatest of holy days.
Take note that I did not close the prayer in Jesus' name. My irreverence has its limits. May God be more merciful than we deserve and transform us by any means necessary. I am as guilty as anyone, and probably more guilty than most in everything I have described above.
I want to take the time to ask God to show me what thankfulness means and how I can be a better picture of the love of Jesus to the world this holiday season. I hope you will too. I'm sure that I will not magically stop loving a good clearance sale, or quit delighting in pie and mashed potatoes. I likely won't spontaneously volunteer to do the cleaning up on my own. I am still so selfish.
But, I hope that as I take the time to listen to God and obey him, not ignoring the convictions I feel, He will bring even my treacherous heart into submission to His will. If I'm honest, I hope the process is slow. But maybe if we acknowledge how hard it is to let God change us, we can cheer each other on in the process.
If you are willing to take the time to ask God what you can do a little differently this year, and spend some time really listening for an answer, and trust that whatever really hard but loving idea you have while you are listening is actually God encouraging you, please share it with us in the comments below.
I will share in the comments the four "Thankful Challenges" I wrote last November, to help us all shift the heart of the holiday a little, in case listening to God is something you're still learning, and you would like a little head start. (They are designed so you can do one a week, but I've decided not to repost them weekly this year, so I can write hilarious things people will actually read instead.) Humor pushes boundaries. Some of our boundaries need to be pushed. #PreachingToMyself.
Amy Noel Green is a conference and keynote speaker. She is a writer and game designer who has received international press attention for her work on the video game about her son Joel, That Dragon, Cancer.