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Guest Column: A Thanksgiving Prayer (Psalm 136)

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: A Thanksgiving Prayer (Psalm 136)

By Dr. Robert R. Kopp

I like Thanksgiving. Of course, I like to eat. So it’s an especially good holiday for me.

And it’s good to give thanks to God for all of the blessings of this life.

Have you ever counted your blessings in prayer? It takes forever.

Indeed, if you count your blessings, you don’t have enough time to ask for more.

That’s a problem for me this Thanksgiving.

I started to give thanks for my church; but it has insulted our Lord in every way from confusing children with conflicting ideologies about human sexuality and the value of life from womb to tomb to the very identity of Jesus.

So I just thanked God for the faithful who remain.

I started to give thanks for my country; but it’s so fragile these days with threats to our security from the outside and threats to our sanity and goodness on the inside.

So I just thanked God for the privileges and freedoms of being an American with the hope that we’ll be around for a while longer.

I started to give thanks for my health; but then I remembered friends in the hospital and those who are dying. So I just thanked God for another day to walk and breathe and savor the beauty and goodness of His creation.

I started to give thanks for my family; but then I remembered a 40-year-old husband and daddy and 18-year-old son who died in the past few weeks.

So I just thanked God for my wife, children, parents and sister and so on and begged more time to savor them.

I started to give thanks for our Thanksgiving meal; but then I got five calls from the poor with nothing to put on their tables.

So I asked God to inspire and enable me to meet their needs.

Around that time, I turned my eyes of faith to Jesus and gave thanks for the love that will never let us go. I found peace.

For no matter what happens—no matter what else proves so fragile and nothing more than cause for temporal thanks—His steadfast loves endures forever.

I repeated John 3:16-17.

That’s when I rediscovered the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Dr. Robert Kopp is the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park.

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