In this morning’s worship service, we included a prayer of thanksgiving to prepare our hearts for the week ahead. The prayer is based on Psalm 95.
Our Father, we begin this week of Thanksgiving by offering to You hearts of gratitude. In a week where many will give thanks for temporal and even ungodly things and will fail to acknowledge You as the Giver of the gifts that they have received, we begin this week by affirming our allegiance to You and our gratitude to You for all Your provisions for us — and for Your eternal and infinite nature.
We come acknowledging You as the rock of our salvation. You are unendingly firm and strong. You are resolute and immovable — and likewise Your salvation is firm. The salvation we have is based on You, the Rock. There is no other. And once saved by You, we are secure and safe in that salvation. For that eternal safety we give You thanks, for You have given us liberally what we could never achieve on our own.
We affirm that You are a great God. You are majestic and beautiful. You are strong — infinitely and comprehensively. You are sovereign King in that strength. You rule over us individually, You rule over our church corporately, You rule over our nation and all the nations of the earth supremely. People will propose other forms of deity; there is no other god but You alone. And You rule and are Master over every other purported deity and over every created being. We give thanks for that sovereignty for it provides wisdom and direction for us.
We see Your sovereignty every day in creation. We see the magnitude of the earth — the depths of the ocean, the heights of the mountains, the expansiveness of the seas, and the vastness of the lands on our planet — and You hold it in Your hand. You did not strain in creating this world, and nothing since creation has caused You any difficulty in caring for it. The world belongs to You. You are Master over it. And You control and direct it with sovereign wisdom and ease. We thank You for Your daily provision of light and dark, water and food, air to breathe, and habitation to enjoy. You made it all — for our provision and as a demonstration of the greatness of Your glory. We give thanks to You for the gift of this world.
Not only did You make the world and the nations and every inhabitant of this world, but You have also created a people to be Your own. You chose Israel to be Yours — not because she was the greatest, but because she was the least, so that You might manifest Your great love. Similarly, You have created us, Christ’s church, to be grafted into Israel’s promises — and that too You have done in Your love. We were helpless and without God in this world and You have made us Yours and as the Great Shepherd You protect and keep us from all harm and promise to bring us to Your eternal Home.
So, like Israel, we bow in worship and gratitude to You. We affirm Your many gifts to us personally, and nationally. We have received much favor and kindness from You in the time and place in which we live. But far more — infinitely more — we have received much favor from You spiritually:
- You have forgiven, removed, washed, cleansed, and redeemed our sin.
- You have united us to Christ and Yourself through the baptizing work of the Spirit.
- You have given us access to You and fellowship with You, the infinite God of the ages, through the Spirit.
- You have taken broken, ungodly, weak human beings and filled us with the Spirit of God and the gospel of grace and equipped us to serve You. You have been pleased to redeem sinners through the weak ministry of other redeemed sinners — and so have demonstrated Your immensity.
- You have united us to one another, forming us into a church that is led by the gracious Savior, and reconciled to each other. Though we have sinned against each other, we have experienced Your grace to unite us and give us the joy of fellowship that anticipates the future.
- You have given us an eternal hope that will not fade and cannot be taken away. Our future is safe and secure because our Savior is secure.
Because we have received so much from You, would You forgive us for ingratitude and complaining? We acknowledge that we have found too much delight in created things and not found sufficient delight in You, the Creator. We have grumbled when we have not received what we wanted and grumbled again when we have lost the temporal things we longed to have. We have failed to rest in You and find our delight and gratitude in You.
So, this week, would You keep us content in You, mindful of Your nature, and thankful for Your provisions — particularly Your spiritual provisions for us? Might this week be a week of great worship and satisfaction in You.
In the great name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.