Prayer of Thanksgiving

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2016-11-22-21-42-28I haven’t posted anything the past couple of weeks, since the election. I have been listening to people’s reactions and trying to process what happened and what it might mean for our nation and world. Each year our local Tempe Interfaith Fellowship hosts an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. It is an amazing service, and a highlight of the season for many. This year I was asked to offer the Prayer of Thanksgiving, which also served as a prayer of blessing of the offering. In it I realize some of my processing revealed itself. It is a prayer that I hope to and am trying to live into—I’m not there yet, but I am trying.

However, in the spirit of the day today, I offer it to you here in hopes that it might challenge and encourage you at the same time.

Let us pray:

It is right,
   it is good,
      it is joyful
   to give thanks to you, O God of mystery and miracle,
O God who is infused in our very lives,
who is known to us gathered here this evening by many names.

Amidst the violence that rages against this earth,
we thank you for the gift of Creation.
   We pray that we might be better stewards of this gift,
   not only for our sakes,
      but to honor of those who have gone before us,
      and for the sake of generations to come.

Amidst the violence that we rage against one another,
we thank you for the gift of your call to live in relationships and partnerships.
   We pray that we might be better neighbors and friends,
      not only in our communities, but around the globe,
   coming together to support and care for one another
      as we seek to understand rather than hate.

Amidst the violence that rages against those who cannot afford
   basic necessities of life,
we thank you for your constant nourishment
and for the abundance that this earth provides with your blessings.
   We pray that we might share what we have more freely,
      especially with those who do not have enough,
      especially with those who do not know from where or when their next meal will come.

Amidst the violence that rages against the most vulnerable of your people,
we thank you for the gift of your love,
   embodied in us every time we
      offer kind and supportive words;
   embodied in us every time we
      treat our fellow human beings with compassion;
   embodied in us every time we
      advocate for policies that seek to lift up and strengthen
      those who are suffering under the weight of injustice;
   embodied in us every time
      we who have privilege humble ourselves
      in order to amplify the voices of the forgotten so they may be heard;
   embodied in us every time we
      put our bodies into harm’s way
      to protect those who are oppressed and hurting;
   embodied in us every time we
      gather across our social, political, and religious divides
      and celebrate our diversity.

Amidst the cries for peace from the wildernesses, the streets,
   and the deserts of the world,
we thank you for those who seek to keep us safe,
   from the peace officers to the peacemakers,
    from the soldier in our fields of battle to the decision makers in our board rooms,
      from our legislative leaders to our religious and community leaders,
may all ultimately seek peace in their work and calls.

O God who calls us into being,
   who calls us together,
   who calls us to be our best,
help us to set our hope on the vision that you have given us,
   a vision of compassionate justice,
   a vision of unity, and
   a vision of mutual love.

For all of this,
and so much more,
we give you thanks and offer our worship
in all our various ways.
Bless us and the gifts we bring to your unifying and peacemaking work,
and help us to live into your hopeful vision.

And together, your people say,
thank you and so let it be.
Thank you and so let it be.

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