An Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer
This reading is appropriate for use by families, groups or congregations before a Thanksgiving meal. Before reading together, please select two people to serve as leaders one and two. Part of the reading is from Psalm 100, verses 4 and 5. Please note the justice action opportunity listed at the end of the reading.
Leader 1: We give thanks for the ability to come together this day as friends and family.
All: We celebrate the times when we share food and friendship with one another.
Leader 2: We know that it is right and good to give thanks to God for the abundance that God has given.
All: We remember the words of the Psalmist, who repeatedly urges us to “come before God with thanksgiving.”
Leader 1: Over the years, our nation’s leaders have recognized the importance of setting aside a day to give thanks for all that God has given us.
All: It is a day to share food with friends and family, and to seek ways for sharing God’s bounty with those around us.
Leader 2: We recognize that food did not just magically appear.
All: We give thanks for the farmers and farm workers who planted and harvested our food.
Leader 1: We pray that all immigrants who come to our nation, including the many who plant and harvest our food, will be treated with respect and hospitality.
All: We give thanks for the workers who process and package our food, in turkey processing plants, and in canning and vegetable packing plants.
Leader 2: We pray that these workers and all workers will be paid wages that allow them to put food on their own tables.
All: We lift up grocery store workers, who enable us to purchase our food at nearby stores.
Leader 1: And finally, we lift up the hands that prepared this food,
All: The cooks, the assistants, and all those who helped put this food on our table.
Leader 2: Food and the sharing of food is the work of many people.
All: For this we give thanks.
Leader 1: As we pause today before we eat, let us seek new ways
All: To enjoy the special times with friends and family.
Leader 2: Let us find new ways
All: To share our nation’s prosperity with all who labor.
Leader 1: And let us pledge ourselves anew
All: To be a people of sharing and a people of thanksgiving.
Leader 2: Today, we enter God’s gates with thanksgiving.
All: We enter God’s courts with praise.
Leader 1: We give thanks to God.
All: We praise God’s name.
Leader 2: For God is good.
All: God’s love endures forever.
Leader 1: God’s faithfulness continues through all generations.
All: We give thanks for food, for friends, for family, and for the opportunity to share with one another.
Leader 2: Let us enjoy the food before us.
For those who wish to encourage sharing and support workers, Interfaith Worker Justice invites you to communicate with your elected leaders about moving quickly to raise the federal minimum wage. An increase in the minimum wage would raise wages for many who process, sell and serve our food, and would enable thousands of families to put daily food on their tables. Set aside a time during your Thanksgiving sharing time to write letters to your Congressional Representative and two Senators. Write letters by hand or send letters from IWJ’s Web site. For more information, sample letters, or to send letters online, visit www.iwj.org.