Pause

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices;
who, from our mother’s arms, hath blest us on our way
with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

from “Now Thank We All Our God,” Martin Rinkart, 1636

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Listen

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

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Think

Today, tonight, let the words of this ancient letter be your prayer. From his prison cell, the writer Paul — a fierce teacher, follower of Jesus Christ, sometimes scolder, likely scary to the new believers he was working with — ends his letter by calling upon the readers to do a simple summary of what they were experiencing in their growing faith. Paul asks the readers, women and men, to go through a sort of inventory of their day, of their life, and then to make this inventory their focus. The primary “thing” that guides their thoughts.

And in doing this – they will change. They will learn. They will be transformed. And so, on this Thanksgiving Day, move to the prayer for today. Use the old words as a way to shape your “giving thanks” today.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

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Pray

O God, these things are true in my life and in the world around me … (silently name or write the true things you think about).

O God, these things are holy in my life and in the world around me … (silently name or write the holy things you think about).

O God, these things are just or require justice in my life and in the world around me … (silently name or write the things that are just or need justice that you think about).

O God, these things are pure in my life and in the world around me … (silently name or write about the pure things you think about).

O God, these things are lovely in my life and in the world around me …  (silently name or write about the lovely things you think about).

O God, I praise you and thank you for all of these things. All of them, each of them, reflect your goodness, your mercy, your intention. All of them are worthy of your praise. Thank you, God. Amen.

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Go

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills in this world and the next.

from “Now Thank We All Our God,” Martin Rinkart, 1636

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Gina Yeager-Buckley serves as the national Associate for Ministries with Youth for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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