Everyone’s gathered and waiting. The food is hot and on the table. It’s Thankgiving, and dinner time. it’s time to pray and say “Thank you” to the One who has given us life and the means to sustain it. How do we put “Thank you” into words? Most people in America pray privately, though a minority now verbalize prayers for meals on an average day. Still, most families who celebrate Thanksgiving dinner will puase for a verbal prayer of Thanks. What to say at such a moment? When our own words fail us, here are few rich examples to draw from.
Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be
And bless these gifts
Bestowed by Thee.
And bless our loved ones everywhere,
And keep them in Your loving care.
A Moravian Blessing
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into God’s presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
“Bless this food and us that eats it.”
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Eternal King,
Who feeds the whole world with Your goodness,
With grace, with loving kindness, and with tender mercy.
You give food to all flesh,
For Your loving kindness endures forever.
Through Your great goodness, food has never failed us.
O may it not fail us forever, for Your name’s sake,
Since You nourish and sustain all living things,
And do good to all,
And provide food for all Your creatures
Whom You have created.
Blesses are You, O Lord, Who gives food to all.
A Hebrew Blessing
If you know of other Thanksgiving prayers, post them in the comment section below. Someone slated to say “Grace” a week from Thursday may be grateful for a good example they can draw from.