There are so many religions in the world that it is hard to develop a prayer that will please everyone. Thanksgiving is a day of sharing. It is not only a sharing of a meal but, it is also the sharing of “Thanks.” The special thanks that each individual has for their own reasons. Giving everyone a chance to express themselves is very important.
So what type of prayer should you have? Should it be long or short? Who should say it?
When you decide to have a prayer, these are many things to consider. You take into consideration, on who will be attending your meal, each others experiences, and of course the food itself. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving is a way to share.
I recently did an article on a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Each person would write what they were thankful for and it was placed in the piece to be read right before the meal. This is a great idea because it gives everyone a chance to say what they are thankful for. Nobody is left out regardless of religion. A similar way to do this is just go around the room and let everyone make a brief statement.
If you have a person that doesn’t have a belief in God, let them just say what they are thankful for. It is very appropriate for individuals to be quiet when each person gets their say. This shows that their thoughts are just as important as the strong religious individual.
When it comes to prayer, everyone is different. Each person has their own thoughts on being thankful. When each of these separate ideas come together in a group prayer, it is like a joining together of a group for a thankful celebration.
If a prayer is left up to one person, here is a list of things that they should consider. Safe travel, fair weather, good crops, good health, jobs, civic leaders,a new addition to the family, certain family members, those that can’t be at the meal for one reason or another, those serving in the military, and of course the food. The food is always mentioned last.
Many like to mention the country that they serve or live in. They have been blessed to live in a country that gives them freedoms of worship, speech, travel, occupations and other things as well.
If your family is of one religion, it is very appropriate to mention your religious convictions that you are thankful for. One last thought about a prayer. I always like to end a prayer with “Lord, thank you for letting the members of this family have the opportunity to gather on this day, to share in it and this meal, and to thank you for all that you have done for each of us.” I think that sort of sums it all up.