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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 remem bered.
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 fire and water, joy and sorrow: as we celebrate life, we rejoice in the wonder of being loved, the fidelity of friends, and the glad surprise of being forgiven. We are grateful for the strength to forget what is not worth remembering and for the power to remember what becomes more precious as the years go on.
God of the wind and sand, sun and moon, joy and beauty, loneli ness 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 pre cious 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.
I WILL LOOK UP
Deathless Light of the World, may this day fill up all its blue in our hearts, whatever it may bring to our skies. May we live it as those for whom all the yesterdays mark some better way than leads to dusty death. May we march with a song; may our feet be shod with a fine hard faith in living; and may we win at least some little token of the eternal from the fleeting hours.
We bless You for the work we have to do, and for our measure of health with which to do it; and for the spirit’s assurance that even by the weakest, there is always something to be done. If doing without must be our portion, may we accept it with the valor of a decisive act.
We bless You for the hopes which struggle out of our most wretched failures; for the chagrin which disturbs our shallow successes; and for the secret laughter which is somewhere in our bitterest tears.
We bless You for the constant love of those with whom we dwell; for the friends who remain faithful even in their woundings; and for the surprising kindness we often meet from strangers.
We bless You for those before us who sacrificed to benefit us, and for the host of chivalry, beyond number or name, whereby the giving has never ceased and never shall.
O True Light of Life, we lift this day to You.
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.
WEEK PAST AND WEEK BEGINNING
O God, we bring before You at this hour the life we have lived in the week that is past.
We thank You for everything we were able to do and found good in the doing.
We thank You for duties which were not so welcome when they ap peared, but left us glad that we had done them.
We thank You for the friends we knew we could trust; for persons who made us glad to have met them; and for all the workers who main tained the fabric of the world.
We thank You for little victories won over ourselves; for all the words well spoken, and for things wisely left unsaid.
O God, we bring before You at this hour the week now beginning, and our hopes for it.
If there are things left undone which reproach us, may we have a steadfast mind to do them.
If there are things we ought to finish, may we turn to them again.
But may we not be downcast because there are some things we shall never finish, inasmuch as they are so great.
May we not become slothful because time is long; may we not become feverish because time is short.
May the past be our benediction, and the future be our challenge.
May we lift up our strength to greet each day, and may Your song be with us in the night.
FROM THE HEART
O God, we thank You for life, and for all it holds of happiness and work and play and risk and courage and beauty.
We thank You for all the adventures of the mind whereby we pursue what is true, grapple with difficult problems, and share a little in the vast heritage of man’s knowledge.
We thank You for the firmness of reasonable people in refusing to follow extremists; but we also thank You for the pioneers of advancing thought in science, art, and religion.
We thank You for all heroic souls who shame our cowardice; for all sympathetic souls who communicate encouragement; for all human souls, seldom wearing haloes, who kindle our desire to be really good.
We thank You for friendship and the faces of those who, when we fail, help to bring us back to our bravest selves again.
We thank You for the exchange of gifts, for letters to and from those we love, for the sparkle of a pleasant wit, for the refreshment of unforced laughter, and for the song remembered for the singer’s sake.
Above all, we thank You for Your call to be ourselves at our best, without miserably trying to be somebody else. So may we grow in the strength to make the best of things, trusting You that they will make the best of us.
Vivian T. Pomeroy (1883-1961) was a Congregational pastor and author of children’s books. He was ordained in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. In 1923, he came to the United States where he served the First Congregational Parish (Unitarian) in Milton, Massachusetts for thirty years.