3 Psalms and Prayers for Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table

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What do you plan to do around the Thanksgiving table this year? In addition to your regular mealtime prayer and thanksgiving, consider

  1. Reading a Psalm of thanksgiving
  2. Praying a written prayer 

Written prayers are not a replacement for spontaneous communication with God; however, Scripture itself contains many written prayers (often carefully crafted poems, as in the beloved Psalms), and the church has used written prayers in its worship across the centuries. The theological depth and beauty of written prayers often move me to launch off into my own words of spontaneous praise and thanks to God. And in a world where many feel rootless, it’s encouraging to know that I’m praying words that have been offered up to God by generations of Christians in the communion of saints.

In addition to the Psalms listed below, consider praying one of the following prayers from the Book of Common Prayer (1979 edition). The BCP also includes specific prayers of thanksgiving for the church, national life, the beauty of the earth, the harvest, the gift of a child, and so on.

Psalms of Thanksgiving

  • Psalm 100
  • Psalm 95
  • Psalm 103

A Prayer of General Thanksgiving

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Litany of Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Johnathan Arnold
Johnathan Arnold is a husband, father, and aspiring pastor-theologian, as well as the founder and president of holyjoys.org. You can connect with him on Twitter @jsarnold7.