Giving thanks is a powerful act. It can keep us humble, reminding us of the many good things that happen outside our own particular sphere of influence and activity. It can keep us worshipful, reminding us of our great God and Savior who is beyond us yet also within us through the Holy Spirit, constantly at work sustaining and redeeming his good creation. And contrary to popular culture, it can indeed happen more often than once a year at Thanksgiving!
Below are a few of the prayers of thanksgiving offered up to God last Advent in Jay Heare’s small group. May they encourage you, warm your heart and nudge you toward your own thankful prayers this month!
As a new member of St. John, I thank my God every time I remember the wonderful people here. I have been welcomed and made to feel part of this church family. The warmth and loving smiles and kind words will be carried in my heart always. (Marsha Roth)
Dear God, music is such a blessing, a pleasure to our ears and hearts. Thank you, God, for the beautiful music of St. John Lutheran Church. Thank you fro all the people who take time out of their days to prepare the beautiful sounds we enjoy – choir, handbells, flute choir, hymn sings, organ music and much more. Bless each and every one of them. (Jayne Miers)
Dear God, thank you for St. John’s many outreach programs, especially for the children. Outreach programs like Wellspring, Brown Bag B.S., youth group, Sunday School, quilters, prayer shawl, Stephen ministry, Wednesday dinners and so many more. Bless all of these projects, all who serve in them and all who are served by them. And bless all the children. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
And then finally, let us all consider the opportunities we have in worship this month to come and thank God for the many blessings God has given us. In particular, the services of Holy Week—Palm Sunday (Mar 24, 9 or 11), Maundy Thursday (Mar 28, 7 pm), Good Friday (Mar 29, 7 pm), and Easter (Mar 31, 9 or 11)—offer us time to worship and thank God for the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. May the remainder of your Lenten journey and your Holy Week be filled with heartfelt, genuine thanksgiving to God!
In His Grip,