A Thanksgiving Prayer by Dr. Alean Saunders-Coffey

Sovereign God, We give you thanks
We rejoice in your almighty power and greatness
We proclaim your dominion over the universe, and in divine realms.

Awesome God, We give you thanks
We stand in reverence of the earth’s magnificence, its beauty and splendor.
We are grateful for sunshine blue-sky days and cloudy, storm-filled days alike, for if we choose to continue life’s journey on fair-weather-only days, we won’t get very far.

Creator God, We give you thanks
For the many dimensions of difference that display the diversity of ethnicities, cultures and nationalities, all created in your image. Help us to appreciate and value everyone, not just our own kin, or just those who reside within our zip code, or just those living within the borders of this country.

Sustainer God, We give you thanks
For the welcoming and accepting Indigenous people of the First Nation, who shared techniques for survival with the religious refugees from England who landed on the Eastern shores of North America.
We are grateful for our ancestors, family, friends and nurturing loved ones who showed us the best ways to live our lives.

Protector God, We give you thanks
For your protection in this COVID-19 Pandemic. Many of your people throughout the world have experienced difficult and overwhelming challenges. You continue to sustain us, despite healthcare crises, treatment disparities, vaccine protocol missteps, economic distress, governmental discord, racial reckoning, social unrest, disruptions in education, and dysfunction in social interactions.

Provider God, We give you thanks
For your provision, for ensuring that our basic needs for sustenance and survival are met. We are also grateful for the meaningful learnings from hard knocks, setbacks, sorrows and distress, because through pain and adversity, trials and tribulation, with nowhere else to turn, our trust in you is renewed.

On Thursday this week, designated for the celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States of America, we may join family and friends at sumptuous feasts of first servings and second helpings, enjoy dawn to dusk sports broadcasts, set timers to notify us when the best seasonal sales begin. We will continue to be excited by the brilliance of Golden State Warriors point guard Wardell Stephen Curry’s 3-point baskets, and be enchanted by sublime melodies of The Kronos Quartet.

As we search for wellbeing in our own sanctuaries of comfort and security, we will recall those we have lost this year and celebrate them in their absence. We will not forget the unhoused, those experiencing food insecurity, the lonely, the vulnerable, those living with illness and pain, those needing advocates to speak for them, the incarcerated, victims of injustice, politics and war, children, youth and elders, healthcare providers, first responders, caregivers, and volunteers.

Holy God, We give you thanks
Fill us with your grace, compassion and mercy.
Inspire our hearts and minds to do what is pleasing to you.
May we in the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church Congregation and Community be a reflection of your glory through our mission and service to humankind, through the LABC Hunger Task Force, Global Mission of the American Baptist Churches, The Oakland Police Department’s Ceasefire Program, The Seafarer’s Ministry, and fellowship with The San Francisco Kachin Baptist Church Family.

Loving Spirit, We give you thanks
For blessings beyond measure
Throughout all seasons, now and for the rest of our days.
Amen

Alean Saunders-Coffey
November 21, 2021

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