Thanksgiving is a time of sharing all the blessings of life with family, friends, and others who are special to us. Sometimes not all individuals who are present at our meal follow the same religion or have the same beliefs.
This selection of inclusive prayers for Thanksgiving provides a great way to bless your food, thank the divine for what you are grateful for, and remain respectful of all of your guests.
Inclusive Thanksgiving Prayers
Here are several beautiful inclusive prayers for Thanksgiving to show gratitude and love at your special meal. Remember that you don't have to be religious - or even believe in any particular god - to express your thanks and be grateful for all the good things in your life.
1. From Robert Frost
We give thanks for this food
For earth and home and all things good.
For wind and rain and sun above
But most of all
For those we love.
2. Simple prayer for blessings
Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food.
Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it.
Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed.
Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.
Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food,
To bring it to our tables, To nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Blessed be our friends, our families, and our loved ones.
3. Acknowledging different beliefs
Let us pray silently together, each one of us, according to our individual beliefs.
Let us offer thanks for our food and the blessings of fellowship around us.
Let us be a source of hope for those in need, and contentment for those who are lonely.
Let the feelings of love, kindness, and a well-directed, yet gentle spirit always be reflected in our actions.
In this celebration let us remember too, those who have no reason to celebrate. Those who cannot share in this bounty and those whose lives are more affected than our own by war, oppression, and exploitation. Let us remember too those who are hungry, sick, and cold.
May we be truly thankful for the good things we have, the warm hospitality, and this good company.
4. Connection and compassion
May we take this time to offer our gratitude for the food we are about to eat, and may we acknowledge all that has gone into this meal: the plants, the animals, mother Earth, divine love, and the love of those who have taken the time to prepare this food. May we remain ever-thankful, ever-loving, and compassionate to those around us. May we remember those who do not get to share this moment as we are, and may we wish them good fortune and hope.
5. Loving kindness
As we eat, let us turn our minds to every individual we know, and wish them plenty, love and comfort on this day and every day.
As we sit together, let us turn our minds to those we do not know, and wish them plenty, love and comfort on this and every day.
As we celebrate, let us turn our minds and hearts to love, always love, of everyone in this world.
6. Together through good times and bad
Divine Spirit of all there is, we thank you for this opportunity to gather together in one another's company.We thank you for the light you bring to this family gathering.
Please grant us the vision to see the highest in one another, grant us the opportunity to continue to be there for each other in good times as well as bad. Give us strength and fortitude to ride the tides of change, and empower us always to be nurturing and loving with one another.
Open our spiritual eyes that we may see one another for who we truly are... and love one other in the same spirit. May sadness, disappointment and anger be minimal; may happiness, positive thoughts and good experiences together be bountiful. May we always cope, and hope, with each other... with grace.
We thank the Divine for this delicious meal, prepared with love. May all consumed here tonight fill us with health and well-being. Amen. (Laurie Sue Brockway)
7. From Rev. Lynn James
We gather today in gratefulness.
Delighted and humbled by our bounty, we celebrate gifts of food and shelter, of colors that dance at dawn and dusk; we relish the scent of cooking foods, of burning leaves and summer's wet grass, of snowflake, of animal fur.
We marvel at the intricacy of spiders' webs and fish bones, newborn babies and lines etched on the faces of grandparents who come for a visit today.
When our meal is completed, leftovers stashed, and naps taken, we will leave replete, energized, and eager to go generously into the world and share our good fortune.
8. Beauty in creation
Great and Eternal Mystery of Life, Creator of All Things, I give thanks for the beauty You put in every single one of Your creations.
I am grateful that You did not fail in making every stone, plant, creature, and human being a perfect and whole part of the Sacred Hoop.
I am grateful that You have allowed me to see the strength and beauty of All My Relations.
My humble request is that all of the Children of Earth will learn to see the same perfection in themselves.
May none of Your human children doubt or question Your wisdom, grace, and sense of wholeness in giving all of Creation a right to be living extensions of Your perfect love.
9. From the Book of Common Prayer
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
10. Indigenous prayer
Spirit of Life and Love that goes by many names, We thank you for the gift of this food.
We send blessings of peace and love to all whose bodies and energies went into bringing us this nourishment.
We honor you in our enjoyment of this meal.
May it bring us health and joy, Reminding us of our interconnections with All That Is.
As we receive, so do we give back
And give thanks for this gift in the Cycle of Life.
Amen and Blessed Be!
11. Hindu prayer
This ritual is one.
The food is one.
We who offer the food are one.
The fire of hunger is also one.
All action is one.
We who understand this are one.
O gods! All your names [and forms] are to be revered and adored; all of you who have sprung from heaven, and earth, we thank you for this meal. (Rig Veda X, 63, 2)
12. Jewish prayer
Though our mouths were full of song as the sea,
and our tongues of exultation as the multitude of its waves,
and our lips of praise as the wide-extended firmament;
though our eyes shone with light like the sun and the moon,
and our hands were spread forth like the eagles of heaven,
and our feet were swift as hinds,
we should still be unable to thank thee and bless thy name,
Yahweh our God and God of our fathers,
for one thousandth or one ten thousandth part of the bounties
which thou has bestowed upon our fathers and upon us.
Hebrew Prayer Book
13. Buddist prayer
May the lamp of love which eternally burns above
kindle divine fire in our hearts,
and fan that innate spark of divinity into flame-
illumining all, opening our eyes and consuming our differences,
driving the shadows from our faces.
May we learn to love one another better even than we love ourselves.
Love is stronger than death, Yes.
Lama Surya Das
14. Pagan prayer
Gracious and lovely Goddess,
Laughing God of the Wilderness,
We give honor and thanks to you both
Ere we eat this food
And partake of that bounty
Which you have created.
15. Directional prayer
O Spirits of the Earth, bless our family and our meal.
Spirit of the North, bringing winter and contemplation
Spirit of the East, bringing springtime and sunrises
Spirit of the South, bringing summer and fruitful work
Spirit of the West, bringing fall and harvest, join us today.
16. Humanist prayer
We give thanks for learning that the universe is natural,
that all the ghosts and gods are myths.
We give thanks: for the freedom to think,
and to express our thoughts for the freedom to investigate,
to guess, to dream and to hope for the freedom to reject the cruelty-filled, so-called “inspired” books
for the freedom to decide our paths for ourselves
for the freedom to reject sanctified mistakes and “holy” lies
for the freedom to joyously be in this world, free from an imaginary hell.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude and love for all of the heroes who gave their lives for the liberty of our minds, for those who died in dungeons bound with chains, or were burned alive as heretics.
We give thanks for those who made a better world for all people
For those who invented medicines to cure diseases
For those who made our world safer and more comfortable
For those who grew, harvested and prepared this food we are about to eat
For all of this, we give thanks.
Robert Ingersoll’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
17. Iriquois prayer
We give thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We give thanks to the rivers and streams, which give us water.
We give thanks to the corn, the beans and the squash, which give us life.
We give thanks to the trees, which give us fruit.
We give thanks to the wind, which has banished diseases.
We give thanks to the moon and stars, which have brightened our nights.
We give thanks to our ancestors, who have protected us, their grandchildren, and have given us rain.
We give thanks to the sun, who has looked up the earth with a kind eye.
Lastly, we give thanks to the Great Spirit.
18. Countless blessings
Lord, on this special day of thankfulness,
we thank you not only for the delicious food,
lovingly prepared and presented,
but also for special gifts
you’ve given to this family —
loved ones we cherish dearly,
a comfortable place to live,
the beauty that surrounds us,
health, spiritual wealth,
and so much more.
How can we show our gratitude for
the countless blessings you’ve provided?
We thank you for giving us clear direction,
through your holy word
on how to show our appreciation,
by obeying Your commands
and by loving and serving our neighbors.
Thank you, Lord.
19. Catholic prayer
Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.
Thank you for all the graces and blessings. You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage. Our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends.
In Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year.
20. Thankful for today
We thank you Creator,
for creating the world
and for preserving it until now.
We thank you for the regular return of day and night,
and of the seasons,
and for the dependability of nature and of time.
We thank you for memory,
which enables us to build on the experiences of the past;
which admits us to a wider world than we could otherwise know;
and for foresight,
by which we plan for the future.
We thank you for your patience with us in our failings;
for friends and family with whom we can celebrate our successes;
and for those closest to us who support us in our times of need.
Bless this meal and us gathered here.
Bless those who have little food or friends to comfort them in body or spirit.
Bless those who are unable to be with us this day,
and those who have gone before us in faith.
We ask this in your name.
- Author Unknown
You can create your own inclusive prayers for Thanksgiving by substituting “Spirit of Life and Love that goes by many names” instead of “God”, “Allah”, “Zeus”, “Jesus”, etc.
Additional prayers can be found online, in books, or made yourself.
Check out the Everything Is Spiritual podcast to hear interviews with people from different faiths and belief systems.