“Thanksgiving Day” Prayers for Grade Schoolers

Opening Prayer

thDear Father,
We pray our school will be filled with a love only You can give,
We pray our learning will be full of questioning and still more questions until we discover Your truth,
We pray our playground will be full of joy,
We pray our friendships will be full of forgiveness,
We pray and are thankful for our teachers who are full of wisdom and share that wisdom with us every day,
We pray and are thankful for all the volunteers who help make Christ King a great school,
We pray and are thankful for our two wonderful priests who teach us how to pray and love God,
We pray and are thankful for our parent or parents who dedicate their lives to make our lives healthy to grow and blossom,
We pray and are thankful for our two wonderful priests…(Oh, did I say that one already?!)
We pray and are thankful for our parish community who fill us full of hope and who show us who we can grow up to be.
May you run with the love of God always at your back,
Build on God’s truth that guides you throughout your lives,
Play with your joy for joy is the foundation of youth never to be lost in adulthood,
Share your forgiveness, constantly forgive each other even more than they forgive you,
Rest in God’s wisdom, trust in God’s wisdom, hold tightly to God’s wisdom for it is better than any church could ever imagine.

For the Thanksgiving dinner of your whole life, mix these ingredients together within the bowl of life that is you, then bake yourself at 450 degrees for five hours and you will be the good person God created you to be, every single day. We offer this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

We say, “Thank you” without thinking just as our next breath leaves us. The salt is passed, “Thank you,” the door is opened, “Thank you,” papers passed forward, “Thank you.”

Without thinking those two words automatically come out of our mouths. However, we seem to fail to thank our parents for a punishment or a time out. “Gee, Mom, thank you for punishing me! I needed that.” It may be true but whoever thanks mom or dad for teaching us an important lesson?

Thanksgiving is our country’s one-time event to be reminded of all the good in our lives. In the Church, though, it’s every day that thanksgiving is offered up to our Creator God. The Mass, the Eucharist is totally all about giving thanks – thanks for life, thanks for this day, thanks for a hopeful tomorrow. Whether you’re in first or eighth grade, we know what “giving thanks” means.

Yet, here’s our problem. How can our “Thank you” about passing the salt or the open door be compared to thanking our Creator? That’s a hard one. “Thank you God” just doesn’t equal papers passed forward. The first is powerful and the second is said without thinking.

I think I found a solution to our problem. Keep saying, “Thank you” for those simple, ordinary things of daily life. But when it comes to God, let’s forget the words. There are no words to “Thank God.” Did you hear what I just said? There are truly no words to “Thank God.”

We thank God by the way we treat others and ourselves. We thank God without words, only by our thoughts and actions. That simple smile, that hug, that helping hand when the backpack gets too heavy, helping those who need our help, assisting those who have much less than we do. Without words but within our hearts, we are telling God that we recognize that He’s living and breathing within us.

Put the Trinity together and what’ve you got? You got God-Creator, Jesus who shows us how to do it and the Holy Spirit that sparks us to keep going. That’s a Thanksgiving meal you’re able to enjoy and share with others not only once a year but every, single day.

Closing Prayer

Dear Father,
We pray our school will be filled with love
We pray our learning will be full of truth
We pray our playground will be full of joy
We pray our friendships will be full of forgiveness

We pray our teachers will be full of wisdom
We pray our community will be full of hope

May we run with your love
Build on your truth
Play with your joy
Share your forgiveness
Rest in your wisdom
Every day. Amen.

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. All available on Amazon.com
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons
of Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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