top of page

November 23, 2023

A Thanksgiving Proclamation and Prayer

(We will be taking Communion at the end of today’s post.)

The holiday we Americans call Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621. History says it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The gathering lasted three days. In 1789, our first President, George Washington, issued a national proclamation of “Public Thanksgiving and Prayer, acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.”(1) Abraham Lincoln issued another proclamation in 1863 and made it a national holiday. He referred to it as “A day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”(2) So much for the myth of separating God from America’s government.

Washington’s and Lincoln’s proclamations are brilliant and can be found at the end of today’s post. I won’t read them, as the verbiage is a bit different than ours today and can be somewhat challenging. The following is a proclamation and prayer for us to offer together today; please agree with me as I read it:

Heavenly Father, we in the U.S. pause today to acknowledge Your gracious and omnipotent hand. America was Your idea. You had in Your heart to form a nation of nations - Native Americans, Asians, Europeans, Africans, Latinos, and more. Though our journey included the inevitable challenges associated with human frailties, even evil actions at times, Your sovereign power overcame our flaws and formed the United States of America. We are also well aware that this miracle was not just for our blessing and benefit. We were called to a covenantal partnership with You, for the purpose of redeeming the world from sin’s horrible curse. We acknowledge and agree with the words of Robert Hunt at Cape Henry in 1607: the gospel of the kingdom will go forth from these shores, not only to this land, but to all the nations of the earth. We agree with the words from Holy Scripture inscribed on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof,” (Leviticus 25:10). This is our destiny and great honor.

We are thankful, Father, for the covenants our Christian Forefathers and Founders entered into with You. They sacrificed much in order to fulfill Your will, knowing they were sent here not just for physical liberty, but to dedicate this land to You and Your divine purposes. We are grateful for their sacrifices made so long ago, and the incredible prosperity we have enjoyed due to their covenantal partnership with You. May they be forever honored and may they always see righteous fruit from their labors.

Thank You for preserving us in times of war, disease, sin, and rebellion. In the war of our birth, we were saved through an appeal to Heaven; in the horrific Civil War, we fought one another and lost half a million sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers, yet You kept the dream alive; in two world wars, You preserved us from evil despots intent on ruling the world. Through all the difficulties and trials of four centuries, You have been faithful to keep the light shining. Unless You build the house, laborers work in vain; unless You protect the city, watchmen awake in vain. You have blessed this nation - of You, through You, and to You are all things. Thank You, gracious and beneficent God!

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, on this day we as a nation thank You for Your great sacrifice in becoming one of us - a member of the human race. Thank You for experiencing the gnawing pangs of hunger, for feeling the indescribable pain of a loved one’s death. Thank You for walking dusty roads to heal diseased bodies, taking detours to redeem thirsty hearts, and spending sleepless nights in prayer. Thank You for exposing the wiles and hatred of the serpent, the destructive power of pride, and what real love looks like. Thank You for revealing the Father to us once again, and creating the way for us to reconnect with Him as our Abba, Papa. Thank You for paying such a high price for all of this: the incarnation, the beatings and lashing, Gethsemane, the mocking, the crown of thorns, the wrath of Hell, the hideous Cross, the stain of sin, and sting of death. Thank You.

Gracious Father, wonderful Savior, and blessed Holy Spirit, though we as a nation have dishonored, rejected, and even mocked You, Your love endures. We have worshiped idols, embraced false religions, shed innocent blood, defiled Your marriage covenant, and expelled You from our schools - yet Your mercies endure. Though our government has risen up against You in pride and rebellion, rewritten Your laws, legislated murderous and immoral rights, and declared that You are no longer welcome in their functions and procedures - You have demonstrated amazing grace and patience. And while the church should have been Your instrument of preservation from these ills, she became lukewarm, complacent, and ineffective. In spite of these and many more evils, You have promised to save us, healing our brokenness, returning our hearts to You, and preserving our destiny. Because of Your mercy, we will once again be a powerful voice of the gospel of the Kingdom throughout the earth. For this, we give You thanks.

Let Us Take Communion Together:

(Remember we shared on Tuesday’s post that Thanksgiving and Eucharist are the same Greek word, which is formed from the root word for grace. When we take communion, we are thanking God for His grace and favor, brought to us by the broken body and shed blood of our Lord.)

Heavenly Father:

For birthing us as a nation, we offer thanksgiving.

For preserving us as a nation, we offer thanksgiving.

For allowing us to partner with You, we offer thanksgiving.

For our many blessings, we offer thanksgiving.

For restoring us to You, we offer thanksgiving.

As we partake of the bread that represents Christ’s body, broken for us, we offer our thanksgiving (eat the bread).

And as we drink from the cup that represents Yeshua’s shed blood, we honor Your covenant love and promises. Thank You for making us righteous members of Your family, and joint-heirs with Christ through this blood. We declare today that it cleanses not only people, but nations; we ask You to cleanse and heal our land through its precious power. And we thank You for this, Father, in the name of Christ. Amen (drink the cup).

Thanks for being part of our Thanksgiving Day celebration. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be - that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks - for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation - for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war - for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed - for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted - for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions - to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually - to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed - to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord - To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us - and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

“Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.” (George Washington)(3)


President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. The population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. 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, tranquillity, and union.

“In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

“Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth. By the President: Abraham Lincoln.”(4)

Click the link to watch the video:



bottom of page