A prayer before Thanksgiving

Nov 17, 2017

Thanksgiving and "the holidays" are just around the corner and for many this can be a very difficult time - especially those grieving the loss of a loved one.  In one way or another, we're all getting ready for Thanksgiving: some of us are looking forward to this day while some of us may be dreading it.  I'm posting this prayer today, a week before Thanksgiving Day: you might pray this as Thanksgiving approaches or print, forward, share and post it for others who might find it helpful...
A Prayer at an Empty Chair 

This Thanksgiving, Lord, 
there’ll be an empty chair at our table,

an ache in our hearts

and tears on our cheeks...

We might shield others from our grief
but we can't hide it from you...

We pray for  (name your loved ones) 
whose loving presence we'll miss 

at this homecoming time...

Help us remember and tell again 

the stories that knit us as one

with the ones we miss so much...

Open our hearts to joyful memories 

of the love we shared
with those who've gone before us...

Let the bonds you forged so deep in our hearts

grow stronger yet 
in remembering those who've left our side... 

Help us pray and trust that those we miss
have a home in your heart

and a place at your table forever
and that one day we'll be one with them
once again...

Teach us to lean on you and on one another
for the strength we need 

to walk through these difficult days...

Open our eyes and our hearts 

to the healing, the warmth
and the peace of your presence...

Give us quiet moments with you in prayer,

with our memories and loss,

with our thoughts and tears...

Be with us to console us 

and hold us in your arms

as you embrace the ones we miss...

Even in our grief, Lord,

this is the day that you have made:

help us be glad in the peace you've promised,

the peace we pray you share 
with those who've gone before us...

For ourselves, Lord,

and for all who find the holidays to be a difficult time,

we make this prayer...