A Thanksgiving Prayer from Kierkegaard

“Father in heaven! You hold all the good gifts in your gentle hand. Your abundance is richer than can be grasped by human understanding. You are very willing to give, and your goodness is beyond the understanding of a human heart, because you fulfill every prayer and give what we pray for or what is far better than what we pray for. Give everyone [their] allotted share as it is well pleasing to you, but also give everyone the assurance that everything comes from you, so that joy will not tear us away from you in the forgetfulness of pleasure, so that sorrow will not separate you from us, but in joy we may go to you and in sorrow remain with you, so that when our days are numbered and the outer being is wasting away, death may not come in its own name, cold and terrible, but gentle and friendly, with greetings and news, with witness from you, our Father who is in heaven! Amen.”

– Kierkegaard, opening prayer to “Strengthening in the Inner Being,” from Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses

 

About Kyle Roberts

(PhD) is Schilling Professor of Public Theology and Church and Economic Life at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Roberts has published Emerging Prophet: Kierkegaard and the Postmodern People of God (Cascade, 2013) and is currently co-authoring a theological commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Eerdmans) and A Complicated Pregnancy: Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin? (Fortress Press, Theology for the People)