A Heritage of Thanksgiving

David CerulloBy David CerulloNovember 24, 20222 Minutes

The giving of thanks for God’s provision and protection is a tradition that goes back to the founding of our country.

After taking office as the first president of the United States, George Washington called for a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” In the first official presidential proclamation issued in America, Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving message to the people recommended:

… that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country …

Later, when the nation’s existence was severely tested in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued another thanksgiving proclamation:

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to … fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.

In addition to being an important national observance, thanksgiving is also the capstone to a life of prayer. The apostle Paul instructed the church in Philippi regarding prayer:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6, NASB).

As we celebrate Thanksgiving it is good to take notice of all we are grateful for. May this be a time of peace and celebration for you and your family as you gather to give your thanks to God for the blessings in your life. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

God bless you,

David Cerullo