I heard about this prayer last week on the NPR radio program “On Being with Kristen Tippett.” It was written by a twentieth century theologian and reformer within the Baptist Church. I share this with you today because of its beauty and originality. In place of the usual, “bless us, O Lord,” may this enliven your spirit of gratitude for God’s many gifts, and may you have a blessed thanksgiving day!
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
by Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918)
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.