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PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
God of All Life, we thank You for our lives and for all they hold of happiness and work and play.
We thank You for the morning and evening skies of a land where citizens can speak out. We thank You for friendship, for those who look kindly upon us even when we fail, and who help to bring us back to our bravest selves again.
We thank You for the encouragements of success, for the disciplines of failure, for the spurs of dissatisfaction, and for the creative spirit which can arise from defeat.
We thank You for the healing strength of laughter, for the gentle play of wit, and for rare splendid moments.
We thank You for prized books and music and pictures, which move the heart; for letters from those we love; and for the song long remembered.
We thank You for the freedom which growing older each day gives us, so that we have more big things to care about, and fewer little things about which to cry.
We thank You for common joys of all kinds—the walking to sunlight through the window, the good smell of the earth on rainy days, the gift of sleep after tiring work or sport.
God of All Life, we thank You for this undaunted human life of ours; may we live ever to Your glory.
God of the Common Life, we thank You for all the things which are so ordinary that often we do not see that they are better than any marvels. We bless You for the sunrise which never has failed us yet, and for the sundown which softens even the hardest day. We bless You for the vigor with which we turn to our work and for the weariness which prevents us from working all the time. We bless You that every morning we awake from our dreams and every night escape from our realities. We bless You that ever and again some thing we disliked doing has made us strangely glad when we have done it. We have found that routine has a music of its own when we are patient to receive it. We bless You for the people whose love is so constant that they have no need to shout from the housetops. We bless You for all the people who serve us so faithfully that they never will be acclaimed as heroes. We bless You for the unnumbered kindnesses which forbid our despair of a cruel world. We bless You for our bodily health which we scarcely measure until it runs short. May every day bring us happy astonishment at the exceeding value of what is ordinary.
God of the wind and sand, sun and moon, joy and beauty, loneliness and sorrow: we thank You for the magic in our human lives often turning our drabness into gold. We thank You for the wonder of being loved; for the fidelity of friends; for the glad surprise of being forgiven; for the strength to forget what is not worth remembering; for the power to remember things which become more precious as the years go on; for the discovery that in the darkness there are presences which are hidden from us by the light. Touch into living flame again the hearts which have grown weary with the weight of things; and when duty tires, grant us the love which goes gladly all the way.
O God, our home and also our long way; our rest and our ongoing courage; our haven and our saving hope, we praise You for this mortal life.
We praise You for the flow of time on which all things pass;
We praise You for the spirit in us greater than the flowing tide;
We praise You that there are grand moments better than a thousand days;
We praise You that in the greatness of life, the hearts of young and old come very close together, and even the distant ones come back.
We praise You that in high moments, when hearts are full, there is Someone to praise.
HEALING AFTER PAIN
O God our undying hope, we thank You for the warmth which steals back into our hearts after a while; for the healing which comes to wounded bodies and spirits through time;
for the blessed fact that the flood of pain does not last forever and for the incredible bliss when the tide begins to ebb;
for the cheerfulness which breaks into our dark dungeon and strikes off our fetters when least expected, we know not how;
for the strange sadness which haunts our brightest hours because our hearts are made for a joy deeper than happiness;
for the insurgent courage which lifts its head above past mistakes and worse, and affirms its right to try again;
for the golden thread of valor and good will never quite lost in the tragic wanderings of men and nations;
for the labors of those who have sown that others may reap;
for the dear kindness of those who see us as we once were.
We thank You, God of our little faith, our greater hope, and above all our faltering love, which can never fail because it is more Yours than ours.