By Sharon Frank
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, we can take a minute and offer prayers by using an acrostic prayer for the word THANKSGIVING:
Creator God, Divine Spirit, Holy Presence, Father and Mother of us all.
Let this acrostic be a THANKSGIVING prayer and reminder of our relationship with you!
Telling us that our sins are forgiven, that we are saved; and we are never alone.
Healing: Accepting that wholeness and peace within, and not necessarily cure, is healing.
Answering the call of serving may take many different forms.
News: Proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom is here and now, as well as the next life.
Kindness to all we meet can cause miracles that surpass expectations for transformation.
Sharing of resources and oneself compassionately is what loving neighbour is all about.
Gratitude: The work of the spirit moves us to be grateful for the gifts we receive.
Innovative ways to share our understanding for protecting and safeguarding the earth.
Voices in our heads, hearts, dreams, intuitions may come from God, we need only listen.
Invoke: A call to God to share the fears and the desires of our hearts.
Noise: Being bombarded with worldly noise, must not overtake the still quiet voice within.
Gladness: The feeling we have when we follow the message and teachings of Jesus the Christ.
O Holy Presence let us explore different meanings and connections with you during this season of Thanksgiving. We offer these thoughts and prayers as an opening, an enhancer, to further our relationship with you. AMEN
Communication between humans may involve talking, thinking, perceiving and listening.
It can be formal, written down, spontaneous, based on a “gut” reaction or body language. Communication needs to be a two-way channel. Well, communication between humans and God relies upon a similar premise. Message given and message received.
Prayer is a way to communicate, to connect with God and what would be better than to make this a Thanksgiving prayer project. It is a good time to try this exercise: take a word that has meaning for you during this Thanksgiving season (example: HARVEST – PUMPKIN – GRATITUDE – THANKSGIVING, ETC.) and see what each letter of that word says to you.
You might find the spirit has been waiting to work with you and only needs you to participate, and to listen with the ears of your heart. This requires being open to what each letter says to you... Listen, just listen, and do not be constrained by intellect, social norms, or the noise of the world. Anything done to enhance our relationship with the Divine makes us stronger and open- minded as we continue on our journey to be a Learning, Just, Diverse and New church, and as we strive to live out the Five marks of mission (to Evangelize, Discipling, Service, Transform Society and to Safeguard and Renew the Earth).
This project can be done on many levels from the young to elders and everyone in between. It can be superficial or deep, it can be done alone or in a peer group, depending on where the participant(s) are on their spiritual journey. That doesn’t matter. All that matters is that one remains open-minded and listens to what the still small voice within says. This acrostic practice may help with your own spiritual journey, it may even give you direction to the ministry that you are called to. One never knows until it is tried!
And for this idea, prayer project, and opportunity to communicate with the divine I say, “thanks be to God.” Amen
Sharon Frank is an AFP Huron Lay Executive Member.
Illustration: Laurel Pattenden. AUTUMN. Colour Pencil, 2023