In this Prayer for Thanksgiving by Holly Grantham we are invited to “practice this act of thanks-giving so that it becomes a sacrament” not only on Thanksgiving Day but also on ordinary days when we feel empty and fail to perceive God’s continual presence.

A Prayer for Thanksgiving


Despite the fact that I can feel the dance begin,

the one that sweeps up family and feasting, bustling hands and beauteous light and twirls them round and round my heart,

I sense You pulling me deeper.

Yes, it is good to gather, to greet each other with holy kisses and to give thanks.  Generations after generations have taught us that ritual.  We know it by heart.

But Lord, I long to live out my thanks-giving.  I don’t want it to be reserved for pre-appointed dates on the calendar.

I need to practice this act of thanks-giving so that it becomes a sacrament.

Because on many days, the thanks are slow in coming.

And some days, they don’t come at all.

How can this be?

Perhaps it is because my wandering heart finds your shadow and declares you absent, choosing to embrace emptiness and despair.  Looking closer I might see that the darkness that puddles around me is actually cast by the breadth of your wing.  And that you are always passing by.

I must burn the Truth on my lips–that your mercies are new every morning– so that when my heart fails and my vision blurs, my mouth will declare forth your praise.

Lord, may my thanks-giving always be a response rather than a ritual and may I learn to see that your love is everywhere.


Copyright Holly Grantham 2011  all rights reserved