Sometimes my life is so rushed that
I have a hard time remembering to be grateful.
And even when I do remember I don't pause to say thanks.
So help me to remember all the things for which I'm thankful.
For my friends, who make me laugh and keep me laughing at myself.
For my family, who you chose to be with me -- sometimes for reasons I can't quite see!
For my religious community, which invites me to connect with you in new ways.
For my job, which helps me put food on the table and clothes on my back.
And if I have no family or friends, or don't have a job, let me be still be grateful.
For my country, which gives me the freedom to be the person I hope to become.
For my health, which helps me to praise you, and enables me to help others in need.
For the world itself, which you crown with your beauty.
And if I'm still not feeling grateful, increase my gratitude for little things.
For seeing a tree slowly turn red in the fall.
For the surprising cold of the first snowflake on my face.
For hearing a child's laughter on a sad day.
For seeing a beautiful sunset after a tough week.
And if I'm still not grateful,
or am too rushed to savor all you have given me,
Please increase my openness to gratitude.
Magnify my ability to appreciate life.
And help me grow in thankfulness.
For that alone I would thank you,
The heart is like a field where the seed of God's love may grow. Gratitude softens the soil of the heart, making it a fertile field wherein the roots of spiritual love may penetrate deep within. When watered with God's grace, the holy name and sincere prayer that seed blooms into the flower of compassion for all beings, the fulfillment of life. Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful for the countless blessings that we so often take for granted. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna invites us into a life of such gratitude wherein our daily thoughts, words and deeds become offerings of devotion.
We thank you God for fulfilling all our needs and blessing us with this food. Thank you for each person who shares this meal with us today.
On this auspicious day, let us not forget those who are less fortunate than us. O God, meet their needs and provide them with food and blessings as well.
And above all, O God, teach us to promote compassion and mutual respect and to strive for peace and harmony in our world.
Let us learn to live in religious harmony so that we may have the courage to reject and oppose hate, injustice, exploitation, and oppression.
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
O God, with a heart full of gratitude we thank You for everything You provide us with. We thank You for every blessing, every mercy, and every grace you bestow upon us; including this feast before us, which is just a small sample of your bounty and a mercy for us. We ask that you deepen our faith, strengthen our resolve and help us to always walk on the right path.
for the gifts of life and land and lake,
for entrusting into our human hands
your most precious creation,
we are more than grateful.
We are humbled by your trust,
by your expectation that
we will tend these gifts faithfully.
With trepidation we acknowledge
your expectation that
we will protect your treasured gifts from harm.
And with humility we respond with
our promise to preserve them for all people,
for generations yet to be born,
for children whose names
we will never know,
whose faces we will never see.
We pray this day that
we might be claimed anew by your love
and transformed by your generosity.
Grant us courage.
Instill in us a passion for tenderness
as we awaken anew
to the demands of
Thanks - Giving.
Dear Lord, I couldn't move into another year without apologizing for the things I should've said earlier and didn't, and acknowledge the times I could've done better but didn't.
Thanks for moving me while I grumbled about the changes you made. And thanks for the things you steered me past that could've tripped up my destiny. Thanks for the mountains you sent to give me a place to exercise my faith. I'm sorry I was so worried about who left me that I failed to thank you for who you let stay and I didn't even thank you that I am still here.
You exposed me beyond my limitations, forced me to grow beyond my stagnation, and moved me from procrastination to a firm dedication to what is ahead!
In spite of the blistering cold around me, I am warmed by your presence, kept by your grace, empowered by your faith in me, and strengthened by your patience. I want to thank you that I have known love, tasted laughter and have not had to live life without a touch.
As the year closes, leaves change, temperatures plummet, birds migrate south and the freeze matriculates north, I too am now prepared. I have packed what I needed, discarded what restricted me, recycled what I could, and at last in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I thank you God, I too, am finally ready to move on.
Hodo L'Adonai Ki Tov... Give thanks to God for God is good. Hodu (thanks) is a homonym for 'turkey." It is an amusing coincidence and a reminder that this season calls our attention to gratitude.
As we begin this Thanksgiving meal, we say a familiar blessing of gratitude: "Holy One of blessing, whose presence fills creation, you bring forth bread from the earth." Does God really bring forth bread? God, the creative energy of the universe, brings forth wheat; we turn it into bread. This blessing challenges us to be God's partners, completing an unfinished world, a world in need of repair. This blessing reminds us that so many are hungry and in danger, and we are responsible for them. This blessing asks us to turn our gratitude into action that will make a difference in the world.
The greatest gift, is to give. We can give gratitude, we can give sustenance to body and mind, we can give fearlessness. The wheel of giving and receiving keeps our hearts open and warm. And a warm and open heart is the source of courage - the courage to sit still in the midst of our constantly changing, challenging, lives. Wisdom emerges from this stillness -- and informs the style and content of our giving. Give with no expectation of return. Give wholeheartedly, and if you realize you are holding back, give yourself kindness and understanding. Give each out-breath to the benefit of the world.
We thank you, God, for this holiday,
We have rested, and we think of all those whose lives
Are hard and who enjoy little rest.
We have enjoyed the fruit of our labors, and we think of those
Who have neither work nor money.
We have feasted, and we think of all whose stomachs
Are hungry and have too little.
We have felt safe and at home, and we think of those
Who live in danger and turmoil, in war and fear, and all
Who have been driven from their homes.
We have been together, and we think of all those
Who are lonely and alone.
We have laughed, and we think of all
Whose hearts are heavy.
We have shared stories, and we think of all
Who need a listening ear.
We have counted our blessings, and we ask
That our gratitude can now be translated
Into the desire to be a blessing to others.
Days go by when I forget to be thankful
When you enter my heart like a stranger in the crowd
And stamp a fleeting moment with eternity.
Today I saw your mark, thrown into the dust,
Where it mixed with the joys and sorrows of my day
Yet you didn't turn away.
And the small steps I take in my nursery
Are the same steps that echo from star to star.
(Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore)