Give Thanks and Pray
Amidst the flurry of preparation and festivities, the Thanksgiving holiday is a time that causes us to pause and reflect on the past year. In many ways, this year has been incredibly challenging. Americans have witnessed and experienced pain, brokenness, tragedy, and division. While it can be easy to focus on the negative and be discouraged or upset with what we see going on in our country, we truly have so many reasons to be grateful. A few of these include:
- Religious freedom victories in the courts
- A reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, restricting the use of U.S. government funds for abortions in other countries
- A U.S. Supreme Court with a majority of justices committed to upholding the original intent of the Constitution
- A huge number of Evangelical voters turning out for the mid-term election
- Communities & churches uniting in prayer across the country
- The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of pregnancy clinics’ free speech and conscience rights in NIFLA v. Becerra
- A presidential administration who listens and respects the Christian community and has been fighting to uphold many of our values
- The approval of two pro-life ballot measures in Alabama and West Virginia
- An unemployment rate that is the lowest in decades
We have so much to be thankful for as Americans. Since this nation’s founding, we have experienced the invaluable gifts of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As a result, we live in a land of opportunity where we can exercise our First Amendment rights and pursue our dreams.
However, what we hold most dear as Americans is being threatened. This is no cause for panic or fear because God sits on the throne and is Lord of all. Nevertheless, He has created us to be stewards of this country, so we must remain vigilant in protecting and preserving the freedoms we have been blessed with as Americans. One of the chief responsibilities we have is to pray.
Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest presidents, recognized this truth. In his 1863 proclamation instituting the celebration of a national day of Thanksgiving, he emphasized the importance of setting aside time to pray for the country.
“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, tranquillity and Union.”1
Let us join with fellow believers all across the nation and take action by seeking the Lord and praying for this country on Thanksgiving and every day of the year. Rather than place our hope in politicians or policies, we get to put our hope in Christ and His promises. As we do this, we are expectant that good things are to come.