By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

As we are on day 95 of homegrown prayers, I know we are nearing the end of our 100 day journey. These prayers and reflecting on them have sustained me and helped me draw near to God in a summer that continued to be full of surprises, pivots, and change. Even now our summer tomato garden is nearing the end of its harvest, school has started, and the mornings are just that much cooler, so summer does feel as if it is coming to a close.

But don’t fret! Fall had spiritual practices too. Jo Forrest has a new devotional to introduce for the season ahead—one about gratitude. I won’t steal her thunder she will have more to say about gratitude. But I do want to point out that prayer and gratitude are so intimately linked, maybe not two sides of the same coin, but more like riverbank and aquifer, natural and innate places to sustain and quench our thirst for God.

So hold on to that phrase “thank-offering” from today’s prayer, it connects to what comes next. I picture little scraps of paper each with a scribbled note container a different prayer of thanks, held in a wicker basket, and brought forward to the altar of grace. May “thank-offering” be a sustaining prayer practice for you today.

Let us pray:

O God, you have so greatly loved us, long sought us, and mercifully redeemed us.
Give us grace that in everything we may yield ourselves, our wills and our works,
a continual thank-offering to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Westminster Divines, 1647

A link to Ryan Belongie’s Solo, The 13th Century Gregorian Chant, “Ave Maria”