us pause and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all our blessings, and for our freedom
has been celebrating days of Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims first shared a
meal with the native Indians in 1621 and offered their thanks to God for the
successful harvest. President George
Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation at the request of Congress, on
October 3, 1789...
the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty
God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to
implore His protection and favor; and -
Whereas both Houses of Congress
have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the
people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to
be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal
favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity
peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and
therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November
next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that
great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good
that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in
rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and
protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a
nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able
interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the
late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which
we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we
have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our
safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately
instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are
blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful
knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which
He has been pleased to confer upon us.
also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and
supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to
pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether
in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative
duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a
blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise,
just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and
obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such
as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments,
peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true
religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and,
generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal
prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
proclamation clearly shows a nation that was founded by citizens who had a great
reverence for God. They offered
prayers of thanksgiving for God's providence and blessings to the nation. They
developed constitutional laws that would protect its citizens. They fought for
the freedom to worship God without government interference. They recognized that we need God's protection over our nation.
a nation, many Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
As an individual, I will celebrate yet another Thanksgiving with my
family (and this year, instead of hosting, I only have to bake the pumpkin
pie!) But as a Christian, this is
but one of 365 days a year that I will pause to give thanks for all my
and sisters: Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in
the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of
darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:12-14)
Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.
I am filled with gratitude for the love we share, for the laughter, and for the
abundant harvest of food on the table. Bless our country, our leaders, and our
families. Help us as a nation turn back to You, Lord.
Help us to remember the two greatest commandments, to love You and to
love one another. Bless those less
fortunate, Lord. May we always, in our gratitude, remember to show our love for
You by loving and helping one another. When
we face challenges, help us to always trust in You and to remember that Your
providence never fails. Amen.
few years ago after Thanksgiving dinner, we played a game.
Each of us took a turn saying what we were grateful for, based on the
letters of the alphabet. My nephew
started with the letter A. "I'm thankful for the Air we breathe," he
said. One by one, we took our turns.
When we got to the letter O, the eight-year-old said, "I'm thankful
for Obstacles, because they make you stronger". Wow! I was struck by the
wisdom of this young child! It is so
true. We should give thanks for the
obstacles, because we often obtain a blessing that we wouldn't have received
otherwise. So I've learned to praise
and thank God in all circumstances.
had the opportunity this past week to reflect on what it means to be thankful in
all things. A friend of mine shared
a particularly poignant witness of her life experience and the Divine Providence
that literally saved her life. The
determination with which she faced adversity is inspiring. The miracles of God's
grace and mercy will touch your heart. Judy
has felt a calling to share her story, and you can read
about it here.
God bless you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving!
originally published November, 2016