The official day of “thanks” is now upon us and there’s no better time to add a prayer to your spiritual practice that can benefit you each and every day of the year. I call it the Prayer of Thanks and use it each morning to get my day off to the best possible start.
For all its simplicity, the Prayer of Thanks is the most important and powerful prayer I know. There are a few variations of the prayer, but the one I’ve been using recently starts with a simple seven-word statement:
“Thank you, God, for all my good.
I am thankful for (_____________).”
You take it from there, filling in the blank with as many thoughts as you can muster. For me, it always starts with my family, followed by my health, my home, my work, my friends. It can include anything or anyone that brings comfort, guidance or happiness to your life.
On Thanksgiving Day, I’ve begun a tradition where we pass this prayer around the table. To do this, simply ask each person at your Thanksgiving meal to chime in and add what they’re grateful for (and if needed, give them a hint). This group prayer brings everyone a little closer as it focuses us on the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. It also benefits us in other ways as John Templeton points out:
When we express gratitude for the blessings and abundance present in our lives, we become recipients of a spiritual recharge of energy in our minds, bodies, spirits, and all our activities…all those who come in contact with us also receive benefits from our spiritual joy.
It’s a prayer worth using on a regular basis. When you begin giving thanks each day, you may see a change in your attitude immediately. Because with this act of gratitude, not only do you feel better about yourself, you’re enhancing your connection to the powerful force of life we call God.
You’ll also open up your world to additional blessings. Templeton adds that “the more we are grateful for what we have, the more will be given to us.” Because, as with love, the best way to receive a blessing is to give it. And with this simple prayer, we invite goodness into our lives. Templeton explains:
Gratitude can be a powerful magnet that attracts increasing blessings to us—love, joy, opportunity, health, friends, material good. As we appreciate every blessing, life will open up to us in new and wondrous ways.
I will close with the wise words of Meister Eckhart, who sums it all up with this thought: If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it will be enough. Happy Thanksgiving!