Thanksgiving. Today we set aside this day as a day to give thanks for the blessings of God. In a recent discussion, someone noted that they don’t count today special because they give thanks to God each and every day. It is true that we should give thanks to God every day, but it is also true that there are special times we recognize God’s provision in our lives. Just as we should worship every day, but take the time to gather for worship with God’s people on Sundays, so we should give thanks every day and take a special day to focus on giving thanks.
What are you thankful for? Each of us could make a list of many things that God has blessed us with. Most of us would soon realize that material possessions are a minor part of that list. In fact, if things that can be bought with your wealth dominate your list, you may be missing the whole point of Thanksgiving! Perhaps these words from Psalm 122 can put us back on track as to reasons to be thankful. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity. (Psalm 122:6-9)
Psalm 122 is called a psalm of ascents. It was sung by travelers as they headed up to Jerusalem. They were praying for the peace of the holy city. We don’t have a holy city, as such, in America. But Jerusalem was also the capitol city. Peace in Jerusalem meant peace in the country, peace to worship, peace for everyday life. While you can’t translate from Israel to the United States, I think it is appropriate to pray for the peace of Washington, D. C. So, I pray for the peace of Washington; I pray for my current president, Barack Obama and my future president, Donald Trump; I pray for our sitting senators and Congressmen and I pray for those who will be taking office in January. We have much conflict in our country today and it is affecting all the country. I pray for the peace of Washington and the peace of God for all Americans. May we have peace within our borders and security in the midst of an insecure world.
It’s easy to pray like David did for the peach of my family and friends. We have had an interesting year in my immediate family and my extended family has met many challenges. So, for my family I pray peace: peace in their relationships with God and peace in their relationships with other. May the strife that so many seem to thrive on disappear in the lives of my family members. If you are my friend, I make the same prayer. May you experience the peace of God in your life and may strife disappear. May you experience financial prosperity even as your soul prospers. If I may think of the words of Jesus at this time, I also make the same prayer for those who would consider me an enemy. To these people who would seek to harm my brothers and sisters in Christ; to these people who would seek to destroy the peace of our nation; to these people who are opposed to the word of God and would seek to bring strife to others I offer this prayer: May you experience the grace of the One, True God offered to you by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. May you experience the peace and security that David prayed for Jerusalem. May you see your family and friends fully experience the loving grace of Jesus Christ. May you experience both financial prosperity and the prosperity of your soul.
Lord, I am so thankful for the power of Your presence in my life. I pray for peace in my country. I pray for peace in this world. I pray for peace for my family, friends, and enemies. I pray for prosperity for my country, my family, my friends and my enemies. I pray that all of this happens because each person mentioned is overwhelmed by Your grace.