While many Thanksgiving observers circle tables and voice personal reasons for which they are grateful, some may be searching for more direct ways to incorporate prayers into the blessing of meals this year.
Thanksgiving prayers could be personal, adding details about the blessings received throughout the year. For example, Joanna Fuchs' example is: "Dear Lord, we come to You today with a humble attitude for all you give, our hearts are full of love and gratitude. Thank you for this special time to offer our Thanksgiving. Thank you for this food, and for the blessed lives we're living. In Jesus' name we pray; Amen."
Christianity expert Mary Fairchild offers another "Thanksgiving Prayer" model, which incorporates a poetic approach:
Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You've done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.
For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.
Some people may use the words from a traditional hymn from Theodore Baker, entitled "We Gather Together," as a prayer:
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!
We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
Yet another Thanksgiving prayer example comes from Harry Jewell through "We Give Thanks."
Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.
Fuchs also has authored some simple prayers for children to say for Thanksgiving.
Lord, we thank you this Thanksgiving,
For the food we eat and the lives we're living. Amen.
Lord, we pray You'll bless this food,
As we eat it now in gratitude. Amen.
We thank You, God, for the food we eat;
We thank you for our lives so sweet. Amen.
Thank you, God for this food so yummy;
Thank you for a happy tummy!
Thank you, Lord, for this special treat;
We'll keep Your blessings in mind, as we eat.
Thanks for food and thanks for love;
Thanks to our Lord in heaven above.