Thank You, God...for granite, gravity, and grapes: Thanksgiving prayers

GOD GAVE US A WORLD

At the beginning of time and space,
God gave us a world.

And God filled it with the useful—

with granite, with gravity with grapes.

And God gave us minds and hands
to engineer the granite,
to probe the forces of gravity,
to squeeze the grapes.

At the beginning of time and space,
God gave us a world.

And God filled it with the beautiful—

with marble, with molds, with marigold.

And God gave us compassion and
imagination
to shape the marble into sculptures,
the molds into medicines,
the marigolds into tapestries of
yellow and bronze.

At the beginning of time and space,
God gave us a world.

And God filled it with the comic—

with croaking bullfrogs, with the buoyancy of
water, with duck-billed platypuses.

And God gave us, as image-bearers of God,
a sense of humor and different ways of
seeing in order to delight in the world.

At the beginning of time and space,
God gave us a world.

And he filled it with mystery—

with living cells and dying stars,
with black holes and the speed of light,
with human beings.

And God gave us dominion over the earth,
to till it and to nurture it with curiosity and creativity.

At the beginning of time, God gave us a world.

Let us give praise and thanksgiving to God, our Creator.

Submitted by Kelloggsville Christian Reformed Church, Kentwood, Michigan

 

A SERVICE OF CONFESSION

Prayer of Confession

Loving God, we gather today rich in blessing.
Forgive us, Lord, if we believe that we merit
the wealth and comforts that we enjoy.
Forgive us, our God, for comfortably closing
our eyes to the faces of the poor that stare in our direction.

Lord, have mercy on us.

With bellies full of grain and meat, we offer
token gestures to the hungry in our world,
and we feel we have done enough. Forgive us, God,
for keeping a distance between "us" and "them,"
for closing our ears to the cries of the hungry.

Lord, have mercy on us.

With hands tightly clasping our treasures on
earth, we cannot reach out to our oppressed
brothers and sisters around this world.
Forgive us for clinging to our own possessions
rather than to you. Unite us with hearts of
thanksgiving, that we may work to insure
freedom and justice for all.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Hear what our God has to say to all people:
"The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those ... who repent of their sins" (Isa. 59:20)

The Law of God

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:12-13).

Submitted by Ideal Park christian Reformed Church, Wyoming, Michigan

 

A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FROM WEST AFRICA

Lord of lords, Creator of all things,
God of all things, God over all gods,
God of sun and rain, you created the earth
with a thought, and us with your breath.

Lord, we brought in the harvest.
The rain watered the earth,
the sun drew cassava* and corn out of the clay.
Your mercy showered blessing after blessing
over our lands.

Creeks grew into rivers; swamps became lakes.
Healthy fat cows grazed on the green sea of
the savanna.
The rain smoothed out the clay walls;
the mosquitoes perished in the high waters.

Lord, the yam is fat like meat, the cassava
melts on the tongue;
oranges burst in their peels, dazzling
and bright.
Lord, nature gives thanks, your creatures
give thanks.
Your praise rises in us like the great river.
Lord of lords, Creator, Provider,
we thank you in the name of Jesus.

*Cassava, an edible tuber, is a staple in the diet of many parts of Africa and Caribbean
As found in With All God's People, WCC Publications, Geneva

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

[spoken by two adults of the congregation]

Let us give thanks to God our Creator for all the blessings we share this day. For all of those who have gone before, people strong and brave, willing to put their lives on the line for the causes they believe in, we give you thanks.

Grant us, our God, the courage to step out in faith for that which is tnie and right.

For freedom of speech and of the press, for the avenues open to expressing ourselves, and for opportunities to effect change, we give you thanks.

We pray for those who are voiceless victims of unjust governments.

For fertile soil, abundant rain, and seasons of refreshment, we give you thanks.

We pray for those whose land is parched and whose wells are dry.

For our families, friends, and the church, who provide us with food and drink for our journey, we give you thanks.

We pray for those who are hungry and tired, hopeless and wandering, finding no place to rest.

For strong bodies and minds, for opportunities that encourage us to grow and become more the servants of thanksgiving you call us to be, we give you thanks.

We pray for the sick, as well as for the stagnant who are unwilling to dream or change.

Help us, O God, to be responsible stewards of your blessings, people who care for the earth and all its people. Keep us connected with all humanity, even though miles and cultures tend to separate us. May we always respond to your call with a true spirit of thanksgiving.

Submitted by Ideal Park christian Reformed Church, Wyoming, Michigan