Thanksgiving Prayer for Children

Contributor: Amy Finley
Family praying during thanksgiving dinner

Are you looking for a Thanksgiving prayer to share with your child? This special time of year is an excellent opportunity to teach children how to pray and contemplate all of their blessings through prayer and reflection. Children's prayers of thanks can help make this special day even more meaningful.

Prayers of Gratitude for Children

A number of traditional prayers that focus on thanking God are ideal for Thanksgiving. You probably have heard some of these before, such as A Child's Grace and Child's Mealtime Blessing.

One thing that these types of prayers prove is that every day of the year can be a day of thanking God for all the blessings in your life. Although many of the unique prayers below focus on Thanksgiving, some can be used for everyday praying, too.

General Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for family,
Thank you for friends,
Thank you for each moment I play
Thank you for my happy world
And I will thank you every day
Amen.

By Adrienne Warber

Blessings Prayer

Dear Lord,
I thank you for the blessings in my life.
I thank you for my family, especially for _________.
I thank you for my home,
A warm roof over my head,
And plenty of food to eat.
I thank you for all the things You give to me
Even the ones I haven't thought of.
Thank you for my blessings, God.
Amen.

By Lori Soard

The Future

Dear God,
I thank you for the future you have promised to me.
I thank you for wanting good for me and for watching over me.
I thank you for Thanksgiving, when all of my family will arrive.
I thank you for the food you'll bless us with,
And for how lucky we are to get to celebrate with family and friends.
I thank you for the good things to come.
I love you.
Amen.

By Lori Soard

Child at Thanksgiving Dinner

God,
Thank you for this dinner,
And our family and friends so dear.
We truly do appreciate all you do
for us during this time of year.
Thank you for the turkey,
and the mashed potatoes, too.
Thank you for your grace,
And bless us in all we do.
Amen.

By Lori Soard

Family Tree

Lord,
Please bless our family tree.
Each branch is special to me.
God, I thank you for those I love.
And for all great gifts from above.
Amen.

By Lori Soard

Bless the Hands

God,
I thank you for today.
I thank you for cousins with whom to play.
I thank you for the food we eat.
I think you for all the tasty treats.
Bless the hands that made this food.
Thank you for everything because it's good.
Amen.

By Lori Soard

Thank You for This Food, Lord

Children praying

Thank you, Heavenly Father,
For the food we eat each day
and for this Thanksgiving
With the feast that's on display.

I'm thankful for the food you give,
and the blessings you provide,
The delicious juicy turkey
and all the dishes on the side.

Thank you for corn on the cob,
Green beans and salads galore,
Potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce -
Everywhere I look there's more!

Dressing, rolls, and yams,
Pumpkin and apple pie with ice cream, too...
Help us to remember, Lord,
That it all comes from you.

Thank you for Thanksgiving
and for friends, family, and food.
Amen.

By Amy Finley

Thankfulness Prayer to God

Today, Dear God,
I want to say,
How thankful I am
in every way.

You've made me special,
Smart and strong,
With family and friends
To help me along.

Thank you for blessings,
big and small,
From my home to my safety
You provide it all.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time
To say thank you and to share
The love and mercy that you give
With people everywhere.

God, help me to remember to be thankful
For your love and presence
Not just on Thanksgiving
But on each and every day.
Amen

By Amy Finley

Group Thanksgiving Prayer for Children

We gather together on Thanksgiving Day
To be thankful
To celebrate
To thank you, Holy God,
For loving and providing for us
Always.

We love you, Lord and Savior,
and Praise your wonderful name,
Because of the blessings you've given.
We'll never be the same.

Help us to remember
To be thankful every day,
To walk in the way that you have done
and praise your Holy Name.
Amen

By Amy Finley

Tips for Child-Friendly Prayers

Using pre-written prayers of praise and thanksgiving, whether they are from classic children's prayers that are well known or fun original prayers of thanks for food or blessings, are a great way to encourage children to pray and be a meaningful Thanksgiving activity. Depending on your specific beliefs and religion, you may have certain aspects that you want children to focus on, and modeling prayers can help them learn. Thanksgiving is a special holiday and one that often accompanies special prayers. To get children involved in this aspect of the holiday, consider the following tips:

  • Practice - If you are planning a formal meal or traditional Thanksgiving celebration and a child will be reciting a prayer, have the child practice in advance. It will make him or her more comfortable when the moment comes. Practicing is also important if a group of children will be reciting a prayer during a Thanksgiving service or before a meal at church. An adult leader can be nearby to mouth the words to help younger children remember the prayer as well.
  • Keep it short - Keep recited prayers for meals or presentations on the short side; younger children especially may forget words or get frustrated if the prayer is too long. Prayers done in a short Thanksgiving poem format may be easier to remember.
  • Print it out - To alleviate worry, consider writing out the prayer the child/children will recite. If you do this on placemats or cards, it can also serve as a keepsake for guests.
  • Plan in advance - If you are allowing children to create their own Thanksgiving prayers to say before a meal, talk about it in advance and have the child practice what he or she wants to say.
  • Share ideas - Take time on Thanksgiving Day to talk as a family about the gifts that God has given. Ask kids questions about what they are thankful for, and share what God has blessed you with in your life. Letting them doodle or draw pictures of what they are thankful for may help them come up with ideas for their own prayers.
  • Use Bible verses for inspiration - Share examples of places in the Bible where people praise or thank God. This can help inspire kids for their own prayers of thanksgiving.

Simple and Meaningful

Sharing a prayer of thanksgiving with your child can make the holiday more meaningful and help you both contemplate this special time of year. The best prayers are those that come from the heart and state what the child truly is most thankful for.

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Thanksgiving Prayer for Children