My 2014 Thanksgiving Prayer
Heavenly Father, Lord of our far flung battle line, I thank you for this day, and for my family. Thank you for sending Bonnie to be my wife. She is loving, giving and other centered--truly a blessing beyond my merits. Thank you also for Britnye and Dale, my grandkids. They, too, are blessings, enriching my life in ways I never imagined.
I ask Your blessing on this food and on our family and friends about to partake of it. I ask that you extend protection and strength to all my family and friends. I ask for your healing hand on all my family and friends who are sick. And I ask you to grant peaceful repose for the many family members and friends who have departed this life.
I thank You for the many blessings on my life: I thank you for a family that demonstrated a work ethic and taught values. I thank you for my service as a Marine where I learned self-discipline and tenacity, which have given me a great life and aided greatly my in my current health challenges. I thank you for putting me under the direction of my DIs, Sgt. Ezekiel Owens, Sgt. Michael Martin and Sgt. William Harris, for three months in 1964 and ask your blessing and protection for them. I thank you for my service as a state senator, which gave me an education and stature for my career. And I thank you for my 31-year career as a successful association executive which allowed me to help many people while making a good living for my family.
I thank you for my new lung from my transplant on December 23, 2013 and for the improvements in it over the last four months. I ask you to grant peaceful repose to the soul of the donor, and comfort, strength and blessing to the donor's families. I would ask that for all organ donors and their families--surely they are engaged in Your work. I thank you for the wonderful care-givers at the UW hospital and the Madison VA hospital and ask you to bless and guide their work. Though I have already been blessed beyond the vast majority of people, I ask for your healing hand to be on my new lung, that I may have some years yet to love and protect Bonnie, Britnye and Dale.
I thank You for a country where each person is allowed to seek You in his or her own way, free of a state-imposed theocracy which works to the benefit of the theocrats and against the people’s liberties. I thank You for Your bounty, ever aware that there are so many people throughout the world who live under systems of oligarchy, tyranny and statism who thus suffer from hunger, privation and a lack of freedom. I ask that You put charity in our hearts to help the less fortunate of our own volition, and not through coercion.
I thank You for the foresight of the founders of this great Republic, who gave us a free-market, capitalist system where property rights are protected, allowing the accumulation of wealth, which has given tens of millions of Your people Freedom from Want since it was establish out of the smoke and suffering of battle. I ask Your protection and care for our free economy and our free society that future generations may share in Your bounty and blessings.
Father, I seek Your blessings on our troops and our veterans, those people who give all, often even their lives, to protect the freedoms You have bestowed on us, from those who make a perversion of God, a catechism of power, and a religion of the state. Return our guardians safe to their families, comfort the wounded and, when they must sacrifice all, take them into Your Grace for eternity. They are truly the one percent, who shame their contemporaries who want to receive without toil from the efforts of others. I thank You for sending them to protect us and to serve as an example of the better angels of our nature.
We know, Father, that our people and our country have not been perfect. Nor have we who petition you on this day of Thanksgiving been without sin and flaws. I ask for your guidance to make us and our country better, to better serve you, and forgiveness for our sins of commission, where we have hurt others unnecessarily, and our sins of omission, where through indifference we have failed to extend friendship, or love, or care or even a listening ear where it would have made a difference. We ask you to help us do better.
I ask Your blessing and guidance on those who would make our nation better and freer and more prosperous and to make us better people. I ask that You turn Your face against those who would destroy freedom and prosperity, whether they disguise their lust for power as being in Your name or the name of “social justice” and secular government. Put up Your hand as a shield against those who would enslave Your people to government to toil for those who traded power for unearned largess.
I ask, Father, that You preserve this great Republic and its free institutions, including the freedom for people to keep what they earn by their toil and by taking the risks that advance prosperity, free from the fear of confiscation by thugs on the street or thugs in government. I ask this in Your Name, not for ourselves, who have already enjoyed wonderful lives in this blessed country, but for our children, our grandchildren and all future children, that they may enjoy the blessings of liberty and Freedom from Want that we believe are gifts from You and thus the rightful inheritance of Your people.