A Prayer for Thankfulness

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! One of my favorite musicians today who is taking old hymns of the faith and making them new and fresh for today is Sandra McCracken. On her album In Feast or Fallow she has a beautiful prayer for thankfulness as the opening song. The song is called “Petition.” You can listen to it here for free. Here is the background to the song and the lyrics taken from her web-site New Old Hymns.


Gratitude is a shield against fear and self-absorption. It makes the heart quiet and poised to listen. This album, as a faith statement, opens with a prayer for thankfulness. Anne Steele wrote these words in 1738, at the age of 21, after her fiancée drowned in the river the day before their wedding. Her life had much sorrow, and her hymns display beauty that triumphs over grief. (She also wrote “Dear Refuge” and others from the Indelible Grace projects.) Her hymns read like Psalms, timeless and resonant, as the poet preaches truth to her soul and mine.


Father, whate’er of earthly bliss
Thy sovereign will denies
Accepted at thy throne of grace
Let this petition rise

Let the sweet hope that thou art mine
My life and death attend
Thy presence through my journey shine
And crown my journey’s end

Give me a calm, a thankful heart
From every murmur free
The blessings of thy grace impart
And make me live to thee

You raise your hand to still the storms
that rage inside my head
revive my heart with gratitude
Love, quell my doubt and dread

Give me a sure and rested soul
From every fear relieved
Thy spirit’s pow’r and presence mine
To ever comfort me