Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Prayer

 "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
 ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Rejoice always

Pray continually?

Give thanks in all circumstances? 

Dear God, I don’t know how to rejoice all the time. I don’t know how to give thanks for this. 

This pain. This disease. 

I don’t know how to be joyful when it hurts, but I want to, God. I really do. 

As I visit my family for Thanksgiving, I want to be thankful! I want to be happy in the suffering and the struggles. God, can I borrow some joy from you? 

Can I borrow a smile today? This week?

Can you reach down from heaven and place some laughter in my heart? I can’t do it on my own. I’m prone to frown when I don’t feel good. Gravity pulls me down. 

Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said the following quote that has been stuck on my heart since reading the verse in 1 Thessalonians. 

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

If those that were facing the worst possible nightmare imaginable were able to push on, comforting others and giving everything they had, then surely God can give me the strength to smile and love others in this pain. 

As I am surrounded by family and those that are close to me, I pray that my attitude will be joyful. I pray that I’ll be able to give thanks in all circumstances.

God, when the tears come, as they surely will, show me how to embrace the sadness with the right attitude. Don’t let the bitterness creep into my heart. Don’t let anger swallow my joy.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves”.  
~Viktor E. Frankl  

Thank you for this week, God. Thank you for this time with my sister and others. Thank you for the smiles and laughter that are sure to come. Thank you for tears that are sure to fall, allowing me to feel compassion for others that are hurting all around me. 

Keep my eyes open to the positive, as I push against the urge to be dragged down. Keep praise and thanks on my lips all week, knowing that you have blessed me overwhelmingly in my life. 


  1. I swear, you are in my head! I was just getting ready to write a post about this. Well... kind of. Church yesterday was awesome. It was one of those sermons that leave you speechless. REALLY thinking. It was amazing. I LOVED this post. Especially your quotes.

    I hope you have an awesome time with your family, and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  2. What a beautiful post. As I live in Australia we don't have Thanksgiving but I can still appreciate your writing. I hope you have a great holiday break with your family.