Traditionally, the Thanksgiving Day meal is preceded by a prayer of thanksgiving. This holiday may not be the only time you feel thankful to God but it may be the only time you openly express your thankfulness in front of others. Unfortunately, many families have strayed away from the habit of praying before every meal. Many of us have started taking our blessings and our God for granted.
If you have the privilege of offering the prayer for the Thanksgiving Day feast, you may want to take time beforehand to think about what you will say. Will there be people attending who are not active in the Christian faith? This may be your only chance to make an impression on unsaved family members and friends. Take this time to honor the “author and perfecter of your faith.“ (Hebrew 12:2)
Remember that while you don’t want to shortchange your prayer, (“Bless this food and those that prepared it.” may be too short.) you don’t want to ramble on and on while the food gets cold. (Matthew 6:7) The members of the family may lose interest while smelling the turkey and mashed potatoes. There is no need to sound very pious or religious. You are speaking to your Heavenly Father. He knows you and He knows everyone at the table.
Begin by honoring God for Who He is. “Our Father” “Heavenly Father” or “Our Father in heaven.” Acknowledge that you want His will in your life and are confident that He hears your prayer. (1 John 5:14)
You may want to give special thanks for family, for health and blessings of the past year.
Thank Him for the feast He has provided. Whether it is the traditional Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings or a sandwich and chips, all of our food is provided by the Father.
Ask Him for protection - to keep you from the temptation to sin and protect you in the coming year.
Acknowledge that your life belongs to God. “Yours is the kingdom and the power, Lord. We love you.”
The following are sample prayers that are simple and heartfelt.
Our Heavenly Father.
Thank you for bringing us together to celebrate another year. We ask You to preside over this gathering. There have been both trials and blessings. You have been with us ever step of the way and we trust You to be with us for the future.
Thank you for the feast that You have provided. We ask you to bless this food and everyone that is gathered here.
Our Father in Heaven
We are so grateful that you have brought us all together to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
We are thankful for your mercy and your grace.
We thank you for your plan of salvation and for the Bible containing Your holy word.
Thank you for your guidance and protection during the past year. We are grateful that you will continue to guard our hearts and minds in the year to come.
We love you Lord. Your’s is the kingdom and the power.