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-- One of my family's dear friends -- a Godly woman and a caregiver to our children -- taught her young charges the simplest of table blessings. Even 2-year-olds could fold their hands and say: Thank you, dear Jesus, for this food. Amen.

If you re looking for a prayer to use prior to turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving Day, though, you might want something a bit more formal. We asked the prayer experts members of the clergy for examples of table blessings that could be adopted by coastal Alabama families.

We d also like to hear from you. If your family has a favorite Thanksgiving prayer, feel free to add it in the comments below or email it to cmcphail@al.com. We ll post a Best of list next Tuesday on AL.com.

(Here are their offerings.)

Almighty and most merciful God, from you comes every good and perfect gift. We give you praise and thanks for all your mercies. Your goodness has created us, your bounty has sustained us, your discipline has chastened us, your patience has borne with us, your love has redeemed us.

Give us a heart to love and serve you, and enable us to show our thankfulness for all your goodness and mercy by giving up ourselves to your service, and cheerfully submitting in all things to your blessed will; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

-- Rev. Bill Price, senior pastor, Spanish Fort United Methodist Church)


We give thanks to thee, oh Lord, for the many bountiful blessings you have bestowed upon us -- blessings, oh Lord, too numerous to name. But we pause to say thank you for family, friends, food, and fellowship and the gift of your grace, your mercy and unconditional love. Help us to be mindful of what you have given to us that we may in turn give to others.

As we share this time together, may we remember those who are less fortunate, those who are hurting, and those who are helpless. Bless them this day and continue to keep us all in your care. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

-- Rev. Charlotte Greene, president, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Mobile


Heavenly Father, on this special day, we enter into your gates with thanksgiving and into your courts with praise. We are thankful to you and bless your name.

We remember the great blessings you have given to each of us. We thank you for your love, mercy, grace, and your goodness and kindness that is ours each day.

We thank you for family and friends. We thank you for the freedom to worship you and to pursue our goals and dreams in a land of freedom.

We thank you for our daily bread and our daily forgiveness. We want to express our thankfulness to you every day by the life we live and the words of our mouth.

We express our thanksgiving in the Name above every name, the Person of Jesus Christ our Lord, who loves us and gave Himself for us.

In Jesus name, Amen.

-- Rev. Fred Wolfe, senior pastor, Luke 4:18 Fellowship, Mobile


Dear Heavenly Father, giver of all good gifts, we ask you to bless us with happy hearts, hands that help and words that encourage others. During this season of Thanksgiving, may we always think of those in need and be a true blessing to the lonely stranger.

Let our light shine in the darkest of places and may we be people of hope to the lost. Lord, give us eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to make a difference in this world, being grateful for what we have and willing to share with those who have less.

-- Rev. Nancy Plum, children s pastor, Christ Anglican Church


Dear Lord,

I thank You for the gift of life.

Life is a miracle.

But living life is a choice. We have chosen to live it together today.

When all is said and done, perhaps what was said is equally as important as what was done. Who we said it to may be even more important. So today, may our words be seasoned with both grace and love for those that mean the most in our life: our family.

God, we thank you for this gift of time we call life. We did not ask to receive it; we recognize that it is not the accumulation of possessions but of memories and relationships that makes it valuable.

It is not the wages we earn but the people we love that enrich us. It s the gentle pain of living and the joy of giving that makes life truly rich.

So Lord, we do thank you for our daily bread, and for these moments together. We ask You for a memory today. One that we may wrap up in our hearts and take it with us when we leave this place so that when we are apart, we may bring it out like one that brings out a treasure and be warmed again by the love that we have shared today.

In Christ s Name we pray. Amen.

-- Rev. Kevin Cooley, lead pastor, Harvest Church, Mobile

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