A Thanksgiving Day Prayer by Saul Williams

Do not bow your head. Do not close your eyes.
Let us look deeply within one another.
TODAY, I give thanks for the light that exists within each one of you.
TODAY, I acknowledge that your quest for light beyond shadow, your desire to defeat your own cynicism, your work at believing the impossible possible, your faith in change and the ability of humankind to transcend past transgressions and overcome the shortsightedness of ignorance and fear, and our collective effort at stretching the boundaries of reality, has enabled us to achieve the dream that is TODAY.
TODAY, I acknowledge that even my own success is a simple spoke in the wheel of our collective success, and that our collective success is in response to all of the individual effort that we have put forward in our individual lives, in private moments, in private struggles against our lesser selves.
Some of us worked on being more honest.
Some of us worked on being more kind.
Some of us worked on not hiding our emotions.
Some of us worked on becoming less angry.
Some of us worked on becoming better listeners.
Some of us worked on facing our fears.
Some of us worked on remembering to say thank you.
Some of us worked on trusting our loved ones.
Some of us worked on having more faith.
Some of us worked on detoxifying our environment.
Some of us worked on detoxifying our minds.
Some of us worked on monitoring our diets.
Some of us worked on strengthening our discipline.
Some of us worked on broadening our skills.
Some of us worked on learning new languages.
Some of us worked on becoming better parents.
Some of us worked on becoming better friends.
Some of us worked on remembering our dreams.
Some of us worked on forgiving the past.
Some of us worked on strengthening our bodies.
Some of us worked on sharing and giving back.
Some of us worked on taking on greater responsibility.
Some of us worked on our art.
As a result of all of the work that has been done quietly in our individual lives, we have collectively contributed to the blossoming understanding and simplest expression of what God is. God is our good, and even the good we do for our self counts. Each fully blossomed flower on the hillside of our destiny adds to the broadened spectrum of our being. And together, we create more than beauty, more than fate; we evolve the depth and scope of the All-Seeing.
We may never see it reported through the media, but there is more good happening in this world than evil. There are more children smiling in this moment than any single one of us could fathom and someone just fell in love, and someone just helped a stranger, and someone just scored a goal, and someone got their hearing back, and someone’s joking with their co-worker, and someone’s sitting in the kitchen, while the rest of the household sleeps, writing a poem.
Today, I give thanks for all of the good that has gone unrewarded, for every kind word, action, or deed.
Today, I gave thanks for the God that is within each and every one of you, that is us, when we claim who we are.

A Prayer Of Thanksgiving by Max Coots

Let us give thanks…
For generous friends…with hearts as big as hubbards
and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn — and the others — as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.
For funny friends, who are as silly as brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who — like parsnips — can be counted on to see you through the long winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around as like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested – but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;
For all these we give thanks.

Amen.

Reprinted without the author’s permission. Reverend Max Coots is the Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton, New York.  ©  Max Coots.