Saturday, November 26, 2022

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Small butterfly with very long snout nose and orange and brown wings. It is on a red-orange flower.
American Snout

Tricolor terrier mix with brown head, gazing at the camera, one ear flipped back. He is lying on a blue velvet blanket.
Moose Tracks

 O LORD our Lord, "You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster" (Jonah 4:2, ESV).

Lord, we give you thanks first and foremost because of who you are: you are good, and your steadfast love endures forever. No matter our circumstances, that still is true.

Thank you that you loved us so much you sent your Son to die for our sins when we were wicked, enemies, rebel sinners, hostile toward you in thoughts and deed. I was a child of wrath, deserving your judgment, just like all the other sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. But in your great mercy you saved me and all others who trust Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. By grace we are saved, through faith, and this is not our own doing but your kind, free, and undeserved gift. Nothing we can do will make you love us more, and nothing we can do will make you love us less. For this I thank You.

You saved us and called us with a holy calling. You gave us new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ Jesus. You have filled your book with the poem of good works you prepared for us to do before we even took our first breath. You did not save us because of our works, but you saved us for the work of loving you and loving our neighbors through Your Spirit who dwells in us.

That same Spirit binds Your daughters and sons together in one body, a community transcending time and geography. You lead us to each other with perfect timing and providential preparation. You assign various gifts and empower us for service and stewardship in the building up of Your church. You set the lonely in families and watch over the orphan and the widow. When all human helpers fail and comforts flee, You are the help of the helpless and companion of the solitary.

For all these things, O Lord, I thank you.

I also thank You for the light and momentary afflictions producing for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. I thank You for the heavy trials producing in us endurance, character, and hope. Thank You for the crown of life awaiting those who love You on the other side of our endurance.

Thank You for the need that drives me to cry out to You in desperate dependence;
for the loss that reminds me this is not my home;
for the illness that humbles me and opens me to Your sufficient grace and strength;
for the wilderness seasons which deepen my thirst for You and You alone and my appreciation for Your manna mercies I might otherwise take for granted;
for the broken relationships casting me upon Your love and loyalty for my identity, security, and significance;
for soul's dark night that sends me to You, the promise-keeping God who cannot lie, more faithful than sunrise;
for the challenges and heartaches You entrust to me without explanation or visible purpose;
for Jesus going first in all these things.
Thank You for answering my "why?" with "I am," my "how long?" with "I will be with you."

Thank You for the times when gratitude feels like free diving, fishing for pearls at the bottom of the sea, the weight of water compressing head and chest, light failing in the dark depths, breath dwindling, groping in the darkness for the treasures that await those who wait on You and who determine to give thanks always, in all circumstances, for all things.

Thank You for the tearless, deathless Day ahead free of mourning, crying, and pain. It is closer today than yesterday, closer now than at my rising this morning. Thank You for Jesus, the worthy, slain Lamb reigning at Your right hand. Thank You for the Spirit groaning in our wordless prayers, inviting us to come to You, consoling and encouraging.

Thank You for looking for me before I every looked for You. Thank You that in You, Your children are always seen, soothed, safe, and secure.

You are good, and Your loyal love never fails. Thank You, Father, in Jesus' name.


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Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.