Prayers of the People/Intercession on Thanksgiving (holiday)

Prayers of Confession on Thanksgiving

Lord of All Creation … Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer: With Thanksgiving close upon us, we’re reminded again of the gifts You have given us by Your grace and mercy: children and grand-children, parents, grandparents, and family. A place to call “home” and people to call “friends”… and those who call us “friend.” 

You give us life itself and Eternal Life in Your Son, Jesus. You fill our days with labor and hope, and our nights with rest and protection. So, with grateful hearts we pray: Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For our world–we pray for peace, Your peace … not the peace of mere co-existence but the peace of reconciliation and under-standing. 

For our nation—we pay for Your forgiveness for our misplaced trust in money and influence, political power and weapons. Enable us to live up to our best aspirations to be just and compassionate, wise and true as You are just and compassionate, wise and true. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For those who are sick–we pray for healing. 

For those who are sorrowful–we ask Your comfort. For those who hunger–please fill them. For those who have no roof over their heads–provide a safe, simple place to call “home”.  

For those who need a job–we ask for meaningful work. For those addicted–we ask for freedom from chains that bind. For those alone–we ask for a safeguard and companionship. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For Your church–make us one even as You are one: Father, Son and Spirit. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. This we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

Prayer for the Festival of Harvest

Almighty and most merciful Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, we give you thanks for blessing us so richly with your good Word and the holy Sacraments, and supplying so abundantly all our daily necessities. 

You watered the hills, gave us rain and sun in their season, protected our fields, and have given us an abundant harvest.

You have also given us good government, peace, health, and unnumbered other blessings. For all this, we give thanks to you and glorify your holy name.

We know that we are not worthy of even the smallest of your mercies. Seeing our daily sins, you might get tired of doing us so much good. We are deeply sorry for our disobedience, ingratitude, and abuse of your gifts. We earnestly repent of our sins.

We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our only mediator, that you would not give us what we deserve, but would give us from your infinite mercy and our great need.

Please do not take away your word, which feeds our souls. Save us and the generations after us from error and unbelief. Feed our bodies, too, and give us what we need to flourish in this world. Give us grace to treat what you have given us as a sacred trust for your use and service. And, having the necessities of life, let us be content, committing ourselves to you.

If we prosper, free our hearts from the love of money. Defend us from being covetous. Keep us from worldliness, vanity, and taking pleasure in sin, so that your name will not be shamed on our account.

May we use your gifts for your glory and our basic needs: to maintain churches and schools and to help the needy. Out of your mercy remember all your children in this world and sustain their earthly and spiritual needs.

Bless those who are sick, poverty, and other hardships. Comfort them in their trials and in your good time turn their sorrows into joy.

Protect us, Father. Keep our hearts from sin, our eyes from tears, and our souls from death. Help us to live our days in your fear so that on the day of the great harvest of the world we will overflow with the fruits of faith and come to you rejoicing, bringing our abundance with us to be gathered into your kingdom. Let us then receive from you the crown of glory that never fades and join with the elect to praise and magnify you forever, through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from Lutheran Liturgy and Agenda (1921)

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Almighty God, we praise you for all of the tangible and spiritual mercies you have given to us at all times. You ensure your saving word is preached: comforting, teaching, warning, and convicting us, telling us how to turn from evil and be saved by faith in your Son and instructing us how to live righteous and holy lives. You let us live in a good land and have given us good government, allowing us to live in quietness and peace.

You preserved for us the priceless gift of liberty so that we may freely serve you, nourished by your word and sacraments, publicly confessing your name, spreading the gospel, and raising our children with the knowledge of your truth. 

You forgive us daily and do not deal with us as we deserve. As high as heaven is above the earth, so great is your mercy toward us.

We ask that you give us truly thankful hearts, never forgetting your benefits and unfailing mercies. Help us to realize your goodness should lead us all to repentance and remembering that we are not worthy of the least of your mercies or your truth, having repaid your goodness with sin and unrighteousness. Yet you still hold open the offer of salvation to all people. Please do not forsake us, but for the sake of your Son be gracious to us. With your Holy Spirit write in our hearts the memory of your faithfulness. Open our lips so that we may praise your grace and mercy, and confess your name and word.

Out of the abundance you have given us, make us willing and ready to praise you by our actions, to honor you with our belongings for the expansion of your kingdom. Give us the mind of Christ Jesus so that we would have compassion on our neighbors in need, even as you had pity on us. Keep us the selfishness and pride which would say: “We earned ourselves this wealth,” instead remembering you, the Lord, our God, by whose power and blessing the Church, our country, and our government are preserved so that we may pass on to our children and our children’s children the memory of the great good you have done for us.

Our souls will bless you always and we will never forget all your benefits. Let us walk in yoru ways until we glorify you and exalt your name in the new Jerusalem, through Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from Lutheran Liturgy and Agenda (1921)

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Praise, glory, and thanks to you, heavenly Father, for the many blessings which you have showered upon us this year. You gave us rain in due season so that the earth brought forth the food we needed. You guarded us against the dangers around us, day and night. You held your hand over us, so that no evil came near us. You kept us by your Spirit in faith in your beloved Son. Without number, O Lord, are the gifts of your love toward us. Accept our humble thanks. We are not worthy of the mercies you have given us. What can we give in return? We will give all that we are and all that we have: please accept it, O Lord, for your praise and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Adapted from Lutheran Liturgy and Agenda (1921)

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Oh, most blessed heavenly Father, we adore you, we magnify you, we rejoice in you. We praise your holy name, we lift up our hearts in glad thanksgiving today for all the mercies and blessings of the past year. We thank you that everything you permitted to come into our lives shall work together for our good. We thank you for preserving us from sickness and illness. 

You have given angels to keep us in all your ways. You have preserved our lives, supplied all our needs, taught us valuable lessons, and given us a desire to live righteous lives.

We thank you for the abundance of agriculture and freedom from hunger; for home and friends and comforts; for health and hope and heavenly aspirations; for many gifts of your favor and opportunities of service.

Adapted from Abbie C. Morrow, Prayers for Public Worship, Private Devotion, Personal Ministry (1902)

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Oh, eternal God, source of all happiness, God of all grace, we want to acknowledge with thankful hearts your undeserved mercies. You make our cup overflow with blessings. You have been our protector and guardian. You have shielded us from unknown dangers. You have fended off unseen disasters. You have saved us from bitter trials. No earthly friend could have loved us and cared for us like you. We are your monuments to a kindness as amazing as it is undeserved. 

We acknowledge our sins. We have not displayed to the world a consistency of walk and speech. We have not declared to the world that for us and for our house we will serve the Lord. We have not prized your word as we ought to have. The flame of love and devotion has not burned as brightly in our hearts as it ought to have. We have not let your light illuminate our activities, work, and play. We have not done all that we could have done for you.

Give us grace. We mourn for our failings, but humbly and sincerely resolve to live more devoted lives for you in the future. Accept our confessions for Jesus’ sake. Sprinkle our guilty hearts with his precious blood. Let us always seek to walk before you in holiness and righteousness to the glory of your name.

We give ourselves and all that belongs to us to your care and keeping. Give us grace to trust you implicitly even when your dealings cross our own purposes and frustrate our plans. You love us too well to let us have our own way. Let us know no will but yours, following your guiding footsteps, may we say, “The Lord is our shepherd, we will not want.”

Unto your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we ascribe blessing, honor, and praise.

Adapted from Abbie C. Morrow, Prayers for Public Worship, Private Devotion, Personal Ministry (1902)

Prayer on a Harvest Festival

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy and truth endure forever. 

Thank the God of heaven, because his goodness endures forever. 

Let Israel now say that his mercy endures forever. 

Let the house of Aaron now say that his mercy endures forever. 

Let them that fear the Lord now say that his mercy endures forever.

O what fears we had, that the produce of the fields would be destroyed. What cares and anxieties, in case we would be deprived, before our eyes, of the bread that God has given us in these hard times! But it is the Lord’s mercies that we are not ruined, because his compassions never fail; they are new every morning. 

Now thank our God, who has done wonderful things in all places, who from our mother’s arms kept our lives, and blessed us with countless gifts of love. 

O God, give peace to your land, prosperity and happiness to all people. 

O Lord God, heavenly Father, who gives us a holy courage, good counsel, and right works, give us the peace that the world cannot give, so that our hearts hold fast to your commandments and we, by your protection, may live quietly and secure from our enemies, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our Lord. Amen.

And now, O Lord, we thank you for giving us the needed rains in the growing season and kept watch over our harvests every year. You watered the ridges and settled the furrows of our fields. You made the soil soft with showers. You blessed the sprouting plants. You increased the production and growth of our land. 

Thanks, honor, praise, and glory be to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be. Amen.

We also ask, beloved God and Father, from our deepest hearts, that you give us your Holy Spirit, that we may receive with thankfulness all you have given to us and sanctify it with your word and prayer. Grant that these temporal blessings will be devoted to your honor and applied to the support of ourselves, our churches, and schools, including the needy among us. At the same time, protect us against the harmful and shameful love of money and those cares of this life that draw us away from you.

Protect this place and the whole country from the dangers of war and devastation. Give to our government the spirit of wisdom. Preserve the peace. Let us pass the days of this life in knowledge of your name and in your fear, as well as in health of body, peace and unity. Finally, give us eternal salvation for Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior’s sake. Amen.

Adapted from The Abridged Treasury of Prayers: An Epitome from the Larger Gebets-Schatz (1906)

Great God our Father, Savior and Holy Spirit: Our hearts are filled with gratitude for your grace and faithfulness. Thank you for caring about those who we care about–for those who are sick or injured, recovering or anticipating surgery: heal them, Lord, to their joy and your glory; and for those who grieve: comfort them with your presence and the hope of eternal life in Christ.  

Thank you for caring about our world that is really your world–a world bent on rejecting You by turning instead to violence, power, wealth, pleasure, and self-interest to try and find meaning, hope and peace.  

May your people truly be salt which flavors and preserves a tasteless, decaying world with the truth of the gospel lived and proclaimed.  Thank you for caring about your church–not perfect, but yours nonetheless.  Help us to see what you see in our families, our community, region, nation and world.  May our hearts break over what breaks your heart.  

May we laugh when you laugh and weep when you weep.  Give us vision, and with it, the wisdom to understand your mission and the energy to faithfully carry it out, now and always.  And thank you for your word of life–which we long for; and your table which spiritually sustains and encourages us as your family, called by your name: Christians.  

Meet us at the table that we might know Jesus and follow Him as His disciples.  This is our prayer–offered in Jesus name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Lord – You are good …and Your goodness knows no bounds. When we were lost, You sought us out, found us and brought us home. When we were alone, You came near to us, and You gave us a new circle of friends and family. Each breath we take, each sunrise we see, each heartbeat we feel and each song we sing or hear – all are gifts from You.

So, we THANK You for Your grace and faithfulness. Trusting in that grace and faithfulness: We come boldly and freely to You carrying those we care about to You and lifting our own needs before You. 

You hold the world in the palm of Your hand: So, we ask for your comfort and we pray for your justice and righteousness to prevail.We are a violent people and we live in a violent world – whether it’s seen in an epidemic of domestic violence or abuse; whether it’s seen on the streets of our cities or in our school yards, or even in our games and sports!  

Lord: teach us Your ways, help us to walk the paths of reconciliation and peace, of truth and justice. We pray for those in need of Your healing grace … We ask you to comfort the grieving with Your peace in the gospel of Your resurrection love. We pray for families, who gather this week to laugh, remember, sometimes to weep and to share in saying “Thank You, Lord” for how blessed we are! 

Yet, there are families stretched to the limit – emotionally, fiscally, relationally, spiritually.  Give each one in those families the grace to admit needs, to ask forgiveness, to seek ways to change and to grow together in You. 

Finally, we pray for the hearts of all of us in this room. Where there is confusion – show the way. Where there is fear – replace it with peace. Where there is discouragement or even depression – encourage and restore hope. Where there is emptiness – fill it with Your own presence that can fully satisfy the longings and quench the thirsty soul. We look to You, today, Lord, saying, “Thank you, Jesus.” And it’s in Your name we pray … AMEN.

Richard Herman

Risen Lord, Loving Father … and Ever-Present Spirit: Thank You for reaching into our doubts, giving us the faith we lack. Thank You for Your gracious condescension reaching from the glories of heaven into the everyday routines of our lives where things distract us in daytime and keep us awake at night. 

Knowing You care: We offer prayers of thanks and rejoicing for new marriages, for births, for the beginnings of new pastoral ministries, for good news of college acceptances and job offers, for provision that came at just the right time and for a phone call or visit from a friend just when we needed it. Thank You, Lord. 

Knowing You care: We pray for the injured or sick, hospitalized or homebound, who need Your healing touch. Lift them in body, soul and spirit. Restore them. Give them strength and hope in You. Knowing You care: We pray for those touched by grief and shaken to the core by loss–the loss of a loved one or friend, loss of a job, the loss of hope or of health, the loss of a relationship in disagreement or misunderstanding. Comfort those who mourn. 

Give each one Your peace. Open a path in the wilderness. If it be your will, restore now what was lost that the latter times may be even greater than the former; or restore it in heaven forever. Knowing You care: We pray for the world. 

Where there’s war–bring peace, not just cease-fire but new relationships of well-being and understanding. Where there’s poverty–give hope & provide a way out. Where there’s hunger–provide food, and sustain it. Where nations flounder–raise up godly and capable leaders; and so we pray for our own leaders, may they know Your ways and courageously lead us in them.

And where there’s no witness of the gospel of Jesus–send a light, raise up a witness, and bring missionary ambassadors of Your kingdom. All this we pray in your name, Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of grace, abundance, and joy, who pours out your love on us every day: When we had no hope–You came as a light in our dark time. When we were weak–You came in power to lift us up. When we were lost–You showed us the way. 

When we were confused–You told us the truth when others lied to us. When we were alone–You came to give us life, and life abundantly. Thank you! Because of Your faithfulness in our yesterdays, we place our tomorrows in Your good hand. For those who are sick–we pray for you to heal them. 

For those who grieve–we ask you to comfort them. For families divided, marriages stressed and disintegrating, even churches coming apart–we pray to you as Mediator asking that you heal broken relationships, reconcile the estranged. Enable humility and forgiveness to replace pride and anger. 

For our nation–come as Lord of lords and King of kings who holds the world’s nations in Your palm: heal our land. Forgive our pride–which thinks we always know what’s best. Guide our nation’s leaders in your ways of truth and holiness, justice and grace; and give us the courage to follow in them. 

For young men and women far from home this Thanksgiving week, serving in harm’s way for our nation and our world–protect them, encourage them and sustain them by your strength when their strength waivers. For those doing the work of missionaries–in Central America, Kenya, Egypt and India, in our nation’s cities, prisons, college and high school campuses, and seminaries–nurture the gospel they share, that it may take root and change lives; and keep them faithful to your calling. 

For this church–lead us in your Ways; and where you lead us, sustain us and provide for us, so that we can hold out your Word of truth as light for dark days, as water for dry souls and bread for hungry hearts. And, thank you for the fellowship of new brothers and sisters who join with.This is our prayer, which we pray in the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Richard Herman

God of grace and glory, compassion and power—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 

You meet us right where we are at—not asking us to put on any masks, false fronts or airs. You love us just as we are while also loving us too much to leave us that way. 

So no matter what we feel, what we’re worried about, what’s got us mad, sad, glad, discouraged or excited, we can come to you with it. 

Some of us feel down today–it’s been a hard week at work; we argued with one another on the way to church; we stayed up too late last night; we’re still not sure how to take news we got in a phone call or from a doctor. 

We need You to come and lift our spirits, give us hope and restore our confidence. We need your help. Please, Lord. And, some of us had a great week–we did well on a test or got a good review at work; we were able to meet all our bills; we landed the job we were after or got good news. So, we just want to say, “Thanks, Lord. ” 

We too often take good things for granted–and we don’t want to do that today. Some of us are worried about sick friends and loved ones at home… in a hospital or care home. We want them to get better, but we can’t make them get well–only You can heal them. 

Please, Lord, restore them. Mend an injured body; make a sick one well. Cure a distressed mind. And, for those who care for our loved ones—give them wisdom, compassion and strength to persevere in the ministry of care-giving. Some of us have loved ones in the military—please guard them, protect them and bring them home safe and soon. 

For those whose homes are in war zones—also protect them. Lord: please let peace prevail over war, justice overcome wrong, and sufficiency overcome poverty and hunger. May those who don’t have enough, have enough. We pray for the day when people will study war no more–and all people know Your rich “shalom” of peace. And with all this in our hearts, we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Meister Eckhart, the late 13th century German Christian theologian and mystic, reminds us that “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,”thank you,” that would suffice.” 

So, let’s pray: When I say: With open hearts and open hands… please join me praying: We thank you, Lord.  Let’s pray.  

Our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: You’ve blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, You chose us and made us Your children.  You redeemed us by His blood forgiving our sin and freeing us from it.  You’ve given us a glorious inheritance now and forever.  And You’ve sealed us with Your Holy Spirit to guarantee it …With open hearts and open hands: We thank You, Lord. 

You declare You are the LORD God our Healer; and You’ve been our Healer from generation to generation. So, to You we lift our friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, anticipating or recovering from surgery—infant or child, teen or adult. For those who are caregivers and encouragers, for medical personnel and counselors, for healing in the past and healing to come …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

In You, Lord, we have victory over the grave, and hope for this life and for the life to come. Your resurrection gives hope. Your presence gives comfort. Lift up those who grieve today. You are the Resurrection and the Life so …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

You are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble—when the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, when its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging—Therefore we will not fear but instead we trust You to care for those who’ve lost so much in recent storms. Provide for necessities of life. Enable them to rebuild homes and places of work, to rebuild lives and communities and to thrive in Your love …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

You are Lord and Head of Your Body on earth—the Church. You are our one foundation and chief cornerstone, You live in us and among us by Your Spirit. You are the Light—and You make us the light of the World.  You are the Truth—and You make us a pillar of the truth.  You love us—and enable us to love our neighbors as ourselves … even to love our enemies.  Lord—enable us to live into Your will for us.  

May we live Your Word and not just talk about it.  May we show Your grace to others not just receive it for ourselves. May we be Your hands and feet to a world in need.  You have blessed us richly, and so …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.This we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of Grace and Love—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We come to you in prayer knowing that your steadfast love endures forever…and we give You thanks; thanks for the gift of life, the gift of new life, and for the many ways you sustain and nurture us.

We come to You today as we are—not as we aren’t. Some of us are tired and hungry, looking for your word to sustain us,Your Spirit to comfort and empower. Some of us come to You bruised and sore, beaten by life in this world. We come looking for healing—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually—longing for wholeness for ourselves, and for those we love.

Some of us come despairing, wondering what has happened and where the joy of life has gone. 

Some of us come with heavy hearts, praying for broken homes, damaged marriages, for families on the brink; praying for young people harmed by those who should protect them; praying for those who look different and so are suspect by others; praying for a world on edge, tense with fear and hate and violence; praying for those who grieve the loss of those we love to death.

We come to You, looking for good news in the midst of the world’s bad news. We come to You, seeking forgiveness for our wrongs, seeking to know your presence when we feel so alone, seeking to know your heart and will for a world with so much need. 

We pray for those who are imprisoned or alone today . . .We pray for people in places of conflict and danger this day . . .for those who give their lives to keep their families, friends, and neighbors safe . . .and for our leaders—to have wisdom beyond their own, to know what is good, right and just …and the courage to lead in right paths.

We pray for your Church in all lands, sent to heal and deliver our world, and set there as the light and salt of Your kingdom. 

So, we come to You in prayer, O God; with praise and thanks for your steadfast love and your wonderful works. Remake our lives as living sacrifices of thanksgiving. Send us forth to tell of your deeds with songs of joy. Hear these and all our prayers, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, whomYou sent to save us. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace and compassion, love, and mercy ~ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: While there’s no season when we’re not thankful for your love and care, gratitude marks this week in a special way as families gather together in homes and around tables.  

So, now we pause to reflect on how good you are and to remember how blessed we are; and to say …

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for answered prayers—prayers for healing and strength.  Since You’ve been faithful in Your love to those we care about already, we continue to lean into Your mercy on their behalf by asking once more that You heal, restore, mend, and cure those we know in need.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your comfort in times of loss and your presence in times of difficulty.  As You have been, so you forever shall be our hope for this life and the life to come.  Give peace to all those whose Thanksgiving table will have an empty chair where a loved one sat last year.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your sovereign power in a world more uncertain each day.  Recent events have shaken the ground on which many stand, bringing uncertainty about our nation’s future, or about anxiety over their individual tomorrows.  Protect us from ourselves, Lord; as fear or anger for some, pride or self-importance for others, can drive us to do things that divide, say things that injure, or hold on to ungodly attitudes that poison relationships.  Forgive us, Lord.  Free us, Lord.  Change us, Lord.  Make us more like you.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your care for all.  So, we ask you to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, water for the dry and thirsty, peace for the war-torn, wisdom for the confused, reconciliation for the alienated, liberty for the bound, freedom for the addicted, hope for the discouraged, and love for all.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for Your church, local and global, that shares in your life and declares Your gospel.  Thank you for all those who give of themselves in service, for those who give of their resources in support, for those who give themselves to praying for, caring for, and reaching out to one another, as well as to the neighbor and the stranger with the love of Jesus.  And we thank you for the Word—your Word—lived and spoken here by your grace and through the power of your Holy Spirit.  We pray all this with thanksgiving, in Jesus’ name.  AMEN

Richard Herman

God, you call us to prayer. Throughout the Scriptures, we read about your people praying.

The Israelites cried out for you to rescue them from slavery. You sent them Moses.

Hannah wept, asking you to remember her. You gave her a son.

King Solomon asked for a discerning heart to govern your people. You gave him the gift of wisdom.

Esther declared a fast and prayed for favor with the king. You spared her people.

The disciples Peter and John prayed for boldness. You shook the ground and filled them with the Holy Spirit.

An unnamed woman poured out her brokenness at Christ’s feet. He forgave her sins.

Jesus himself prayed for us to be followers who are continually sent. You send us as you sent your Son.

O Lord, help us to be people of prayer, willing to cry out to you, humbly naming our needs, desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and constantly praying for one another’s ability to serve you.

We take a moment now to reflect on:

where we need to give or receive forgiveness. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

The people we know who are in need of your grace and healing. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

Our community, our nation, and our world. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

Almighty, attentive God, Thank you for being a personal Lord whom we can approach with honesty, with frustration, and with hope.

We pray these things together, as your grateful people. Amen.

Ellen R. Dawson