This is a day of Thanksgiving!
And although Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, it’s also a distinctly Biblical idea that applies to everyone.
Even if you’re not an American, you can appreciate the idea that giving thanks is not only found throughout the BIble, it’s also found in the lives of those who fully know and experience God’s presence in their lives.
“Thanksgiving day” in the U.S. is a day typically known for gathering family, eating ourselves silly, and fighting to stay awake while watching football. Oh, and it’s a day to give thanks.
In accordance with that thought, I’d like to ask your help with two prayer requests today:
1. Prayer for those far from home.
Being a distinctly American holiday and a day known for family and down time, nothing reminds an American how far away from home you are like not being in the States during Thanksgiving.
Troops, contractors, and other workers that are overseas on this day will be painfully aware on this day that they are not “home.” Try as they might, their attempts to recreate that feeling of home will fall slightly short.
I’m grateful for their service and sacrifice. So my first prayer request is for protection as they keep us secure, or provide relief from unimaginable disasters… that they would not feel abandoned or forgotten. And that they might have the a sense of family and belonging, no matter where they are.
But I can’t help but think how God views this day. As he looks down on this world, I imagine he sees a lot of people who are, “…far from home.”
They are without justice… they are without gratitude… they are without love. They have turned their backs on God whether through open rebellion or mere apathy.
They are far from home.
That leads me to my second prayer request:
2. Pray for those far from HOME.
As sad as Americans feel away from home on this day, I can’t imagine the sadness of all who feel far away from their true home every day.
They are the ones who do not feel at home with God.
It might be because they don’t know the way home. Where this is the case, I pray we might be guides to a sense of belonging, forgiveness, and peace.
“I come to your altar, O LORD, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glorious presence dwells.” (Psa 26:6–8 NLT)
Or they may not feel at home because of things they’ve done. Where this is the case, I pray they might find God’s unfailing love and forgiveness.
“Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers.” (Psa 26:9 NLT)
My prayer is that they would find their way home… that they would experience God’s mercy and forgiveness. And in that, they would be redeemed… rescued. I pray they would have plenty in all the areas that count: plenty of mercy, plenty of love, plenty of grace.
“…redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the LORD.” (Psa 26:11–12 NLT)
I guess my prayer request this morning is really just one: for all those far from home, whether literally… or spiritually.
If you are one who is spiritually far from home, I prayed for you today. May you find grace and mercy in abundance.
If you are one who is literally far from home, I prayed for you today. May you know that though miles may separate us, we are with you in spirit and prayer.
If you are one who knows the joy and freedom found in God, I pray you will join in with the Psalmist, “…singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all [God’s] wonders.”
After all… this is a day of Thanksgiving!