Giving Thanks for a Committed Life

Giving Thanks for a Committed Life:

A Prayer by Martin Luther King

O God, our heavenly Father, we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee, the only true God of the universe. We come to thee today grateful that thou hast kept us through the long night of the past and ushered us into the challenge of the present and the bright hope of the future. We are mindful, O God, that man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of things and humanity is not God.

Bound by our chains of sin and finiteness, we know we need a savior. We thank thee, O God, for the spiritual nature of man. We are in nature but we live above nature. Help us never to let anyone or any condition pull us so low as to cause us to hate. Give us the strength to love our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us.

We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon the Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon thee. Then, finally, help us to realize that man was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity.

Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace, help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all of God’s children — Black, White, Red, and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray.

Amen.

Via Harold A. Carter’s Prayer Tradition of Black People (1985)

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Thanksgiving Proclamation: George Washington

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Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

G. Washington Signature
George Washington
President of the United States of America

7 Days of Prayer

SUNDAY

A Heart Free From Pride

MONDAY

Prayer for Expressing Gratitude

TUESDAY

Prayer for Strength

WEDNESDAY

A Prayer for My Wife

THURSDAY

Prayer for a Worthy Family

FRIDAY

Praise to the Father

SATURDAY

The General Thanksgiving

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants
do give thee most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all men.
We bless thee for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for thine inestimable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,
that our hearts may be unfaignedly thankful;
and that we show forth thy praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to thy service,
and by walking before thee
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory, world without end.

Amen.

Morning Prayer

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.~~ Psalm 5:1-3

 

Heavenly Father, as I face this new day, I thank You for the work you have done for me as I slept. 

I give thanks, that You never sleep;

I give thanks, that Your loving care is with me when I am least aware;

I give thanks, that You renew, refresh and revitalize me.

I pray that I always and actively seek Your will and Your plans for my life. 

I lay my hopes and my fears at Your feet, watching for Your miraculous touch.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen. 

Top Ten Things For Which I Am Thankful

10

Thank you Lord, for every night I lie down in a comfortable and safe home. But, an estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless.

Lord, I pray for all women and men, boys and girls who are homeless. For all these people, I pray that you will provide shelter, security and hope.

 

9

Thank you Lord, for there is always plenty to eat in my house. But, so many in this world lack and struggle daily for sustainable nourishment.

Lord, I pray for those who, right now, are feeling the pain of physical hunger and the anguish of malnutrition. Lord, fill them and energize us all for the task of feeding our hungry brothers and sisters on your behalf.

 

8

Thank you Lord, for in my country I enjoy great freedom. Though I have many grievances with our leaders and institutions, I truly appreciate the honor and opportunity it is to be an American.

Lord, I pray that You grant us the grace to fearlessly contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations.

 

7

Thank you Lord, for I live in a loving, safe and nurturing community. My family is blessed to live in a “village” dedicated to raising wonderful children — where people care about others — where people pitch in to help when things get rough — where it’s safe to let the kids play around outside.

Lord, I pray that folks get the understanding that life is a lot easier when you are part of a network of friends, family, community, and neighborhood. Touch the people, so together in Christ they may find a new sense of purpose and life in their community.

 

6

Thank you Lord, for I am blessed with good health in mind and body, while many people have a serious illness which keeps them from enjoying a full and happy life.

Lord, I pray that you look with favor on those who are weak and failing. Obtain for them health in mind and body, or the strength to accept all suffering in union with Christ.

 

5

Thank you Lord, for I am blessed with many friends. In times of trouble, I have always had friends who were there to help me.

Lord, I pray that you bless my friends. In their waking and in their sleeping, in their laughter and in their tears, surround them with your love until the end of their days.

 

4

Thank you Lord, for my family. God has given me a wonderful extended family, which just keeps on extending.

Lord, I pray that you bless my family. Endow them with the riches of your blessings, surround them with your love until the end of their days.

 

3

Thank you Lord, for my children. My greatest blessing is my four wonderful children. They truly “light up my life.”

Lord, I pray, that You grant parents all the virtues we need to lead the children by word and example in the ways of wisdom and piety. One day, with them, may we enter into the joys of our true and lasting home with You.

 

2

Thank you Lord, for my wonderful wife, who knows me better than anyone else, yet still loves me more than anyone else.

Lord, I pray that you help me, and all husbands, to love our wives, sacrificially, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

 

1

Thank you Lord, for Your Son, Jesus. No one ever loved me like Jesus. He loved me so much that he was willing to die, that I might have everlasting life.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all of your rich blessings. Help us to share what you have given us with those who are less fortunate than we are.

Amen.

Count Your Blessings

Count Your BlessingsCount your blessings, this is such a simple charge. Yet in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, stopping to be grateful and count our blessings is something we tend to overlook.

Counting our blessings, instead of the losses and focusing on the positive aspects of life can help in shifting attitudes and life challenges. Sonja Lyubomirsky, an experimental psychologist at UC Riverside, found that people who once a week wrote down five things they were grateful for were happier.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to stop, remember to count your blessings, give thanks and be grateful for all your blessings.

~ Les

 

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessing instead of sheep
And I fall asleep, counting my blessings

If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

~~ Irving Berlin

 

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done

~~ Johnson Oatman