One of my favorite prayers found in The Book of Common Prayer is one that we pray at Evensong. It is known as The General Thanksgiving. The poetic language moves me at each recitation.

During prayer, I'm always mindful that God knows what is in my heart. God doesn't need me to remind Him/Her of what my concerns are. And, over the course of my life, I have found that the shape of my prayers has changed considerably. A friend of mine once commented that too many believers pray to God as if God is Santa Claus - giving a litany of wants and wishes. Perhaps it's that mindfulness that makes me so drawn to The Great Thanksgiving. It is a prayer of nothing but gratitude, and the only thing it asks is that we be made aware of our many blessings and live the life that results from that full knowledge.

I plan to make this prayer part of my daily Lenten practice. I hope you might pray and find beauty in it as well.

            Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.