Thanksgiving in Times Like These

God of all great gifts,
hear our thanksgiving prayer!
Thank you for this beautiful world spinning its way through space,
the earth, our home, magnificent beyond understanding.
Thank you for the golden sun beaming out energy,
and for moonlight and starlight gracing the night.
Thank you for the cycle of seasons and most particularly for autumn:
streams of golden grain flowing from combines,
fresh green and red apples mounded on market shelves,
pumpkins lined up at roadside stands.   
We give thanks for farmers,
and for domestic and foreign workers whose physical labour
gives us food for life. 
Thank you, too, for all who transport and sell what we eat,
bringing groceries to our tables from around the globe.
And yet there are hungry and homeless people in this land of plenty:
hear our prayer for those in need around us,
Thank you for all who reached out this year to help their neighbour.
Thank you that even in the midst of a pandemic,
people are pulling together to provide support to the grieving
and practical help for those who are sick.
Thank you that the church flourishes under pressure,
and even has found creative ways to worship together safely.
Thank you also for health care teams who don’t give up,
working tirelessly in heroic ways to save lives.
Thank you for the gift of a COVID-19 vaccine,
and the way it is flattening the curve of this pandemic.
Many countries cannot afford the vaccine;
open the hearts of rich countries like ours to share.
Give wisdom to our politicians as they make policy decisions
that have life and death consequences,
particularly as they negotiate land claims with First Nations
on whose traditional lands we all live.
Thank you that in spite of the year’s restrictions and shutdowns
your love is never distant.
Thank you that Jesus walks with us,
especially in hard times, times like these.
Amen.  [or omit the Amen and say…]
It is Jesus who taught us to pray.
Join me in saying the Lord’s prayer:
the Lord’s Prayer.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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