, , , , , , , ,

First United Methodist Church, Santa Maria, CA, USA

First United Methodist Church, Santa Maria, CA, USA

I will be sharing this Opening Prayer I wrote for our 13th Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve Service in Santa Maria, California this evening. We are the host church for this annual event involving about ten congregations. If you wish to adapt this prayer for your own use in worship, please feel welcome to do so. ~ Mark

God of all creation and Source of all life,
tonight we offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving.                                        Psalm 50:14
We bring ourselves, humble and broken though we may be,
to the altar of your blessing and grace.
We bring our voices, frail and hesitant though they may be,
in joyous praise to the One who gives us a new song to sing.                  Psalm 40:3
We bring our gifts to the One who is awesome,
who inspires fear in the rulers of the earth.                                               Psalm 76:11-12
We thank you for these moments we have together
to pause from the busy pace and endless noise of our lives
and simply rest in a spirit of gratitude for all you are to us.
We thank you that as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is your steadfast love toward us,
and that as far as the east is from the west,
so far do you remove our transgressions from us.                                    Psalm 103:11-12
We thank you for your deep compassion over your creation,
and the ways in which you constantly call us back to you.
Most of all, we thank you for your Son Jesus,
who came that we might have life and have it abundantly.                       John 10:10
Christ is the morning star who rises in our hearts,                                    2 Peter 1:19
the true light which enlightens everyone.                                                  John 1:9
Christ instructs us in your holy way of love,
and invites us into that perfect love that casts out fear.                            1 John 4:18
We pray this day for people and nations the world over
who need to be blessed by the bounty of your grace.
May our thanksgiving bring others closer to you,
O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.                                                         Psalm 19:14
There is no other rock besides you, O Lord,                                             Isaiah 44:8
our fortress in whom we take refuge.                                                        Psalm 18:2
So we join the multitude from every nation,
from all tribes and peoples and languages,
and all the angels standing around the throne
worshipping you and singing,
“Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”                                                  Revelation 7:12

Words (c) 2013 Mark Lloyd Richardson