Prayers of the People
—November 20

God of this fine day, of blue skies peppered in clouds, of the winter chill creeping into the autumn harvest: we give you thanks.

We offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for every good thing in our life: for family, near and far, for friends and loved ones gathered around the table, for new babies in our midst, and the gift of last days with those whose end is near.

Help us to notice the gifts of this day, the small gestures of love, the beauty that echoes across creation, the gift of holiday, the practice of giving thanks. Let us know your bounty, O God. Open our eyes to the goodness we so often overlook. Help us to live gratitude and know contentment with what we have. Let gratitude and contentment rule our lives.

As we gather around our thanksgiving tables, O God, help us to remember those who have less, those who will find only strangers at their table, those who have no table to call their own.

In the midst of every abundance, O God, let us be driven by the desire to do good, to reach out, to be your hands and feet in the world. We pray for those who are homeless, in these days that turn cold: Lord, open a way toward warmth.

We pray for those who are shunned from their own families, in these days that cherish family gatherings: Lord, make a path toward forgiveness and new life. We pray for those whose household are not safe, whose household are a place of torment or violence: Lord, offer protection and peace.

And, we pray for those who are far from home, who long to be home, who wish they had a way to be with those they love: Lord, offer hope and a way home.

We long for a world that aches for the ideals of Thanksgiving: gratitude and generosity, enough for all and a place for everyone at the table. We pray for the places in our world where divisions have increased; the places where violence seems the way of life; the places where fear has taken hold. Do not let us forget that we are part of this broken world, and that you call us to love the brokenhearted, the scared and the scarred, the strangers and outsiders, the unlovable ones in our lives. Help us to listen, to act, to embody who you call us to be.

God, there are many prayers and thanksgivings that we hold in our hearts, and we lift those up to you now, in faith and in silence….

 

And now, let all of God’s people join voices, praying: Our Father…