Thanksgiving Prayers

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It’s Thanksgiving time, and perhaps it is your turn to offer the Thanksgiving prayer at your friends and family gathering.  When asked to pray out loud before a group, it is often easier to have a written prayer prepared.  There is nothing wrong with offering a prayer that has been written down!

Here are some good Thanksgiving prayers:

Our Father in Heaven,
we give thanks for the pleasure of gathering together for this occasion. We give thanks for life, the freedom to enjoy it all, and all other blessings. As we partake of this food, we pray for health and strength to carry on and try to live as You would have us. This we ask in the name of Christ Our Heavenly Father.
– Harry Jewell, mid-1900’s

Dear God,
We thank you for this holiday that reminds us of the need for thanksgiving at all times.  Our ancestors knew the source of their protection and blessing and set an example for us. Let us remember those who are less fortunate than us and give to them out of our abundance.  May we take with us an “attitude of gratitude” that will be present throughout the entire year.  Amen.
-James S. Bell Jr.

Almighty God:
We are so blessed.
thank you for this food,
And for this splendid family
that you have gathered here today.

Lord, we know that everything we have is from you.
And that everything we are is from you.

Indeed, lord –
We are so blessed.
And we are very, very thankful.
– Dr. John N. Todd III

Our prayers for all of you are for a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  Don’t forget the season of Advent begins this weekend.  The 2008 Advent/GPS Devotional Guide will be available at all worship services this weekend, and at the Thankful Day of Prayer Vigil in Wesley Covenant Chapel today from 6 am – 10 pm.

Thankful Day of Prayer Tuesday November 25, 2008

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Pastor Laurie Barnes writes:

What is it about our Thankful Day of Prayer Vigil at church that makes prayer special?  Why do we encourage people to come to the Wesley Covenant Chapel on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to pray? 

We are praying in community. It is encouraging to each one of us to know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are also praying.  As we see friends and neighbors and members of our small groups come in to the Chapel to pray, we are reminded that we are all a part of a Christian community where prayer is a valued discipline. 

We are praying in a sanctuary.  Stepping outside of our home and intentionally coming to another place to pray somehow elevates the prayer experience.  We know that God is with us, no matter where we are, but once in a while, when we leave the distractions of workplace or home, we can better focus on God and on hearing his still small voice.  In the peace of the Chapel, we can sense God’s presence in a way that we can’t always experience in the routines of our days.

We are interceding for others in our community.  One of the blessings of the Prayer Vigils at Church of the Resurrection is the understanding that each and every member will be prayed for, by name, at least once during the 16 hour Vigil.  The congregation is divided up into one-page lists of 20-30 families and each person who participates in the Vigil is encouraged to take a list and pray for each person during their time in the Vigil.  The prayer of intercession is a holy one.  By taking the time to pray for others, we demonstrate our love for our neighbor in a unique way.

We are encouraged to continue our prayer time at home.  It is our hope and expectation that all who participate in the Prayer Vigil will be so encouraged by their time in prayer that they will continue, or increase, their commitment to daily prayer at home. 

We hope you will find the time between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 25 to come to the Wesley Chapel and join us as we are a congregation in prayer together.


Jennifer writes….”Get up and go!”

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We talk a lot on this blog, and everywhere else, about the importance of spending time in prayer. And that IS important. Prayer brings us close to the heart of God, enables us to communicate with the Creator of the Universe, equips us, empowers us, enables us, and changes us.  However, this week I was reminded that at the end of our time in prayer, we have to “get up and get going.”

This reminder came while discussing a chapter of a great book of lessons on prayer, Traveling the Prayer Paths of Jesus, by John Indermark (Upper Room Books). In this chapter, Indermark paints a picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he was betrayed. The night Jesus and his disciples spent there was time in sanctuary. Jesus spent the time praying about the things he knew were to come. The disciples spent most of their time sleeping. All of them were removed from the world for a while, safe at least temporarily from the difficulties of the outside world. The disciples did not know it yet, but it was the last few hours they would spend alone with Jesus until after his resurrection. But the time came to an end. The time of sanctuary, peace, and prayer was to be followed by action and activity.

In Matthew 26:45, Jesus tells his disciples, “Get up, let’s get going! Those are the closing words of his prayer, not Amen.  He called his disciples to move on out into the world. Indermark calls it “where life unwinds and faith unfolds.”

We can’t spend all of our time in sanctuary, no matter how safe and wonderful it is to be alone in a quiet place with God. He is calling us to take the strength and the spirit we find there and “Get up!”  He wants us to get going and be about the work he has given us.

Where is God calling you to get up and go?  Are you spending enough time in sanctuary to refuel and get ready to go where you are called?

Thoughts about Prayer from a Christian Believer class

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Pastor Laurie Barnes, Pastor of Prayer and Congregational Care writes:

Last spring, the Tuesday morning Christian Believer class started a list of the things we knew about prayer.  Here is the beginning of our list.  What would you add to it?

  • Prayer works!
  • Prayers are answered – not always the way we WANT them to be answered.  They are answered yes or no or not yet
  • Dialogue with God
  • Relationship
  • Jesus prayed
  • Jesus modeled (deceptively) simple prayers.  We are praying more than we realize in the Lord’s Prayer
  • Individual and community
  • Power of prayer
  • Prayers rising like an offering to God
  • More you do it, the more you do it.
  • Prayers can be without words (Romans 8:26-27)
  • Thank Him for everything
  • Prayers are a place for confession (1 John 1:9)
  • Sentence prayers can be offered throughout the day
  • There is a time/place for private prayer (Matthew 6:5-6)
  • In the Lord’s Prayer…

–we are praying “Our Father”

–Hallowed means honoring God

–the word “I” isn’t in the Lord’s prayer

–“Thy Kingdom come” – I am part of making that happen

–Kingdom implies a God is a King

  • Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.
  • To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.






Compiled by the 2007-2008 Tuesday morning Christian Believer clas

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