Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lincoln's Prayers of Thanksgiving

After Gettysburg President Abraham Lincoln wrote his Thanksgiving Proclaimation where he wrote "I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

If we are to be consistent with the Spirit of the holiday as Lincoln understood it, we should be offering 4 prayers.

1. Praise to God for his Goodness
2. Repentance for sins and rebellion as a nation
3. Petitions for mercy for all those without
4. Healing for our nation

May I suggest that we forget about the Turkey and the desserts for a few moments this Thanksgiving and pray these four things that we may show due deference to the God of the blessings and know from whence they have come.

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