This is a guest post by Fr. Eric Werts.
This is the season of thanksgiving. There may be many of us entering this season with illness, pain, worry, burdens, grief, loneliness, problems in relationships, and the like. We can be so overwhelmed by these that we find it difficult to be grateful.
Our faith tells us to turn to God. First let us allow God to remind us that he/she loved us into being. We are first and foremost one of God’s beloved, one of God’s chosen. No one of us is ever alone. We each live in the presence of God. Our existence is a gift. All we have and all the people in our lives are gift. The city, state, nation, planet, and universe we live in are all gifts.
Our faith in God, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the promise of eternal life are the most wonderful gifts of all.
We bring our burdens to God, praying at the same time our prayer of gratitude. Through such prayer God will lighten those burdens.
It may be good to join your prayer for help with a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are ill give thanks for all the parts of your body that are healthy and working. If you are having a problem with a relationship, give thanks for the caring, supportive people in your life. If you have lost a loved one, give thanks for the time with him or her and for the loving people who remain in your life.
I am not suggesting that such prayer will take the burden and suffering entirely from you, but I am confident that God’s companionship will ease these. Gratitude will also give you strength and hope, and may even open your heart to the joy that can be found in your life.