These are some of the words from the Thanksgiving Proclamation written by Secretary of State William Seward (1):
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union”.
As you reflect over the past year this holiday season, read some of the following verses written by the apostle Paul. I am always humbled when I read Paul’s prayers in the Bible, because they remind me of how selfish my prayers can be.
10 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving
- First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8 (NKJV)
- But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18 (NKJV)
- I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 1 Corinthians 1:4-6 (NKJV)
- I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:3-6 (NKJV)
- We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; Colossians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
- We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NKJV)
- For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)
- For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 (NKJV)
- We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
- I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 1:4-6 (NKJV)
To read more of Paul’s prayers see my post: 10 Prayers from the New Testament
(1) Roy P. Basler and his editorial staff. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. The Abraham Lincoln Association. 2006.
(2)Photo taken in 1942 by Marjory Collins. Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress). From Wikimedia Creative Commons