There’s a pile of golden cards on my desk. Beside it is a stack of beautiful artwork done by our Granite Kids and Busy Builders. As I’ve worked on consolidating them into a litany for us to pray through this coming Sunday, it’s been a very moving experience – each card and each picture represents a tiny glimpse into the ways in which God is at work in each life of each person at Granite Springs.
Some of the cards made me laugh. Others made my heart heavy as I read about thanksgiving in the midst of difficult situations. As a young person who’s still trying to figure out a lot about life, it was really good for me to see the things which kept coming up over and over again. Out of all that people could have chosen to be thankful for in life, the things which came up again and again were relational – family, friends, community, this church, neighbors. And through it all there was a resounding echo of gratitude for God’s grace and his faithfulness.
Celebrating thanksgiving this year will be different. I’ll not only have the things that I’m personally thankful for. I’ll also be holding in my heart the prayers of thanksgiving of this community. What a gift!
The following prayer which we’ll use in our service this coming Sunday is a summarized reflection of the many things that people from this community are thankful for:
We thank you, God, for the people in our lives.
Thank you for brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins,
For parents who support us,
For children who care,
For bright, bubbly grandchildren and the new grandchild about to be born.
Thank you for friendships, old and new,
For friends who are near and those who live far away,
For all these people, we thank you, God.
We thank you, God, for the things in life we often take for granted.
Thank you for warm houses,
For cars that start in the morning.
Thank you for winter evenings spent with family,
For hot cocoa,
For the smiles of kids and the colors of fall.
Thank you for soccer, toys, and bikes,
For rain and sunshine,
For dogs and red robins,
For music and school,
For swimming pools and donuts,
And for the beautiful world you have made.
For all these things, we thank you, God.
We thank you, God, for this place.
Thank you for this country,
For this community,
For this church.
Thank you for a safe place to live,
And the freedom to worship you.
For this place, we thank you, God.
We Thank you, God, for always providing.
Thank you for giving guidance through life’s winding journey,
For providing jobs and opportunities to make a living,
For blessing us with gifts of time, talents, and money.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these things with others,
And for opportunities to share with others in need.
For the ways in which you provide, we thank you, God.
We thank you, God, for safety, healing, and protection.
Thank you for prayer and support in the midst of grief,
For a community that helps during struggles with cancer,
For doctors and nurses,
For the power of prayer,
And for being a God who heals wounded hearts.
For the gift of life, we thank you, God.
We thank you, God, for the gift of your grace.
Thank you for second chances,
For loving us unconditionally no matter how often we fail,
For adopting us as your children,
For forgiving us so that we can be new creations in Christ,
For surrounding us with a community – the church.
Thank you being faithful,
For giving us strength and hope.
For all these good things and for so many more, we thank you, God.