"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
…this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you."
God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors. When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.
We choose to accept life as a gift from you, and as a gift from the unfolding work of all creation.
We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.
We choose to thank our ancestors, those who came before us, grateful for their stories and struggles, and we receive their wisdom as a continuing gift for today.
We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating and accepting them for who they are. We are thankful for our homes, whether humble or grand.
We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted, whatever our differences, or how much we feel hurt or misunderstood by them.
We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.” We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.
Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks. We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around our family table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth.
We choose thanks.
By: Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. This prayer is based on a prayer published in Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks.
Who doesn't love to get cozy? Nothing beats cuddling up under a blanket, sipping on a cup of hot tea and reading a book. It's even better when you can share that blanket with a loved one. Sometimes when it's cold and rainy outside, all I can think about it is getting on my couch, grabbing that blanket and getting cozy. Just as much as we love getting cozy with our loved ones or with a good book, Our Lord enjoys getting cozy with us as well.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46:10
God desires us to sit with Him. He wants us to get wrapped up in Him, not just that cozy blanket. He yearns for private time with us. When we sit in God's love, we receive a sense of tranquility. This is His peace flowing freely. And what do we have to do to find this peace? One simple thing, we just need to be still.
Do you have a sacred space in your home? A place where you can be intimate with God. A place where you can find His peace. It could be the corner of a room or the whole room. It could be your front porch, a swing in your yard or it could even be your hiking path that you walk daily. Wherever this sacred space is, it awaits your prayer time. If you don't have a place already that you can call your very own, look around, pray about it and let God inspire you to find and carve out your very own sacred space. A place where you can surround yourself with divine inspiration to help you grow closer to God. A space to nurture your spiritual life and get cozy with God. Blanket and all!!!
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6-7
When you have found your holy space it's time to get cozy with God. Turn off the TV and cell phone; tune out the chatter in your head and turn your attention to Our Lord. You will find your way. You will find your prayerful path.
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”~ Colossians 4:2
Here are some ideas that will help you enjoy your sacred, cozy time with God.
These are just a few ideas. Don't get discouraged if you are distracted. Give yourself time. Our Lord is there for a minute or an hour. He is patient, He waits for you. He will be with you whether you pray in your sacred space or not. The purpose of your sacred time is to build your relationship with Him. This prayer time spent with your Father will also help you in so many other ways. It will help you fight temptation and it is crucial in discerning Gods will. Quiet time will help you to find the God within. It will bring you to your real self and give you the strength to go forward in faith to accomplish God’s will in your life. It is the weapon that fights our spiritual warfare. It is our conversation with the Divine...food for our souls.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11
Here are a few essentials for your sacred prayer time:
Life is busy, so busy we often neglect to find time to nurture our inner selves. This sacred space is your space to nurture and grow. To grow closer to God and to enrich your lives. God wants you to get cozy with Him, sit and be His child. Remember we are all children of God!
By: Mary Maddox, your fellow pilgrim.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen