This is the week our nation pauses for a day of thanksgiving. There is no doubt in the fact that our nation was called to prayer in its earliest days. The Constitutional Congress and George Washington called for a day of national prayer through an annual proclamation. In 1863, during the height of the Civil War President Lincoln signed a Proclamation creating an annual day Thanksgiving. In President Lincoln’s proclamation there is a definite call for prayer:
“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, tranquility, and union.”
This day was not just set aside for positive thinking. Thanksgiving has been declared to be a time to offer gratitude to our Heavenly Father through prayer. While much of our nation has no idea who to thank, that is not true for those of us who know the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts in prayers of gratitude to the one who has so wonderfully blessed our lives and nation.