Cultivating Thanks: The Prayer

Here’s the prayer I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Note that the refrain (the repeated part) is meant to be said together, and the insertion that looks like this “[especially __________ ]” provides an opportunity for specific names to be mentioned by anyone at the table. Another option is to provide a few moments of silence at this time in the prayer, instead of offering specific names.

Oh, and holding hands is a prerequisite to this prayer, even if there are only two people at the table.

***

Creator God,
We gather with grateful hands and open hearts. 
Remind us of our blessings, as we pray together: 
 Lord, teach us to be thankful.
And we are grateful...
*
For the hands we hold around this open table [especially ________].
     Bless this community and, Lord, teach us to be thankful.
*
For the hands of those we do not hold today:
- our family and friends, near and far [especially ________].
     Touch them and, Lord, teach us to be thankful.
- those who are sick and in need [especially ________].
     Touch them, and Lord, teach us to be thankful.
*
For the hands of those we do not see:
- the hands that touched this food long before it came to our table,
     those who planted, tended, and harvested it, shipped it, stocked it....
     Give us eyes to see them and, Lord, teach us to be thankful.
- the bound hands of those who are not free,
     the enslaved,
     the mentally ill,
     the addicted,
     the homeless,
     those who live in the midst of war.
     Give us eyes to see them, too, and, Lord, teach us to be thankful.
*
For the hands of God,
     our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
     at work in the world and also here,
     in the breaking of bread.
     Show us the work to be done and, 
 Lord, teach us to be thankful.
Amen.
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5 comments on “Cultivating Thanks: The Prayer

  1. Cynthia says:

    I love it. Thanks for sharing! Gratitude is so important in raising children to be empathetic people who are hospitable and good stewards and respecters of all things. May I use this with my family and may I share it with other families? Cynthia

    • elizabeth says:

      Cynthia,
      Thanks for the feedback! You are certainly welcome to use the prayer and share it with others. And of course feel free to adapt it to make it more appropriate for given families, situations, and concerns! That would be even better.
      Elizabeth

  2. Bonnie (Mom) says:

    I am thankful!!!!!

  3. wonderful — thank you!

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