Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving Day. It is a time for our family to strengthen ties with each other, friends, and our God as we sing songs of praise around the piano, not to mention the great feast we all enjoy!! I also love that Thanksgiving is a unique holiday born out of a desire for Americans to rest and show their gratitude to God who is (quoting George Washington) “that great and glorious Being Who is the Author of all that is good” – past, present, and future.

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

George Washington, the first President of the newly formed infant United States of America, made the Proclamation in October of 1789 that the first Thanksgiving Day would be observed among the Thirteen Colonies in November 1789. It was to be a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording our nation’s founders the opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” I knew our nation’s founders had a different idea of happiness than we do in our society today. Noah Webster, known most for forming Webster’s Dictionary is quoted to have said this about Happiness: “He only can be esteemed Happy who enjoys peace of mind in the favor of God.” This proclamation came on the heels of a bloody 8 year war for Independence from the British Empire. General George Washington led the Continental Army to victory after losing several battles and narrowly escaping total destruction. His army was constantly plagued with a poor supply chain leaving his men with desperate shortages of
shoes, shirts, blankets and gunpowder. One unknown writer said “he labored under a terrible strain that would have destroyed a lesser man.” Are you under the strain of some sort of battle because of life’s challenges?

Psalm 119:28 “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy Word.”

James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”

What was the secret to George’s strength as an accomplished leader? Many say it was his Mom.

Quoting Karol Ladd, “George Washington stands out in history as one of America’s greatest heroes. His integrity and leadership led this nation through its challenging formative years. Certainly God’s hand was upon our nation’s first president, but George Washington also credits another important person in his life for success. Consider what he had to say about his mother: ‘My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All that I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.’ What made Mary Ball Washington so influential in the life of her son? Widowed when George was only eleven years old, Mary was a devoted Christian who desired to glorify God in the way she raised her children. One historian writes the Bible was her daily companion.”

Mary and young George read many other books as well that taught biblical principles. It is no wonder that as we read George’s own writings, we see a man of sincere faith and humble, godly leadership. In his personal prayer book, consisting of 24 handwritten prayers, we catch a glimpse of this mighty man’s genuinely thankful heart as he expressed his appreciation to his very personal God.

I am going to close with one of George Washington’s prayers – a good prayer for us to pray as well. I suggest you finish the prayer in your own words that God Almighty would also help you in the personal battle or challenge (whether great or small) that you are facing today and ask Him for victory. Will you also pray a prayer of wisdom and direction for our leaders great and small in our nation or the nation you are a citizen of?

“O eternal and everlasting God, I present myself this morning before your Divine Majesty, beseeching you to accept of my humble and hearty thanks .… Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ), and purge my heart by Your Holy Spirit. Daily make me more and more in the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. THANK YOU for the eternal life that at the appointed time I might attain resurrection. Bless my family, friends and in-laws and unite us all in praising and glorifying You in all our works.”

  • Now pray for yourself, friends and family. For good and lasting gifts.
  • Now pray for your nation, it’s leaders great and small and it’ citizens. For happiness and safety.
  • It is in the blessed name of Jesus we pray. Amen


Love, Mary Visnovsky, Mentor Mom

Continue reading