Prayers for family and loved ones, Thanksgiving blessings and prayers

3 Important Prayers at Thanksgiving

As we approach another Thanksgiving, I encourage you to think about the important things you want your loved ones to know.

Thanksgiving 2021 was a quiet family gathering for us. Our two adult children and my 87-year-old parents joined us for the festivities. After dinner we sat in the living room, going around to each person to answer the questions, “What are you thankful for about the person seated to your right?” and “How is God working in your life?”

I didn’t know how thankful I would be for that activity.

Later that evening, my husband was experiencing severe indigestion. When he felt unable to breathe, I drove him as quickly as possible to the nearby hospital. A short time later, I heard the alarms go off as his heart stopped. I was quickly ushered into a small room where I dropped to my knees to pray, knowing that I had witnessed my husband die and was unsure if the doctors could revive him.

God gave me His assurance that He would heal my husband. I just didn’t know if it would be here on earth or in heaven.

After what felt like an eternity, the doctor came to tell me that they were able to revive him. His heart valve had ruptured, filling his lungs with blood and depriving his organs of needed oxygen. He was in critical condition and his chances for survival were grim. At this point, I realized I had to call our two children to come to the hospital because they might need to tell their dad goodbye.

Although my husband didn’t regain consciousness at the time, our children were able to see him briefly before he was taken for more testing and connected to multiple life support machines. As the three of us sat in an empty waiting room, God gave me the strength to tell my kids that I knew 100% if their dad died, he would be in heaven with God, not because he was a perfect person, but because Jesus was perfect and their dad believed Jesus was his Savior. I also told them that their dad loved them and was proud of them. I knew they would believe me because he had lived his life telling and showing them both of these important truths.

What is most important to you and your family?
Consider these 3 things: 
  1. Jesus tells us what is most important in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  2. Faithful forefathers of the United States claimed the importance of honoring God: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
  3. Moving our focus from the things around us, our false idols, and the things that distract us from God to, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:2a. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
3 Important Thanksgiving Day Prayers
  1. That each of my loved ones has a personal growing relationship with their Heavenly Father and that gives them the assurance of His continual presence with them and their eternal home with Him.
  2. That they love and enjoy God and the people in their lives and tell them so!
  3. That they live each day in a way that glorifies God and gives them no regrets.
Take a step further and incorporate the 4 Steps of Prayer

Praise—We can pray that our loved ones and ourselves get to know God and fall more deeply in love with Him through finding out Who He is through His Word.

Confession— We can pray that our loved ones and ourselves will confess God is in control and we are not, so we can, “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Thanksgiving—We can pray for thankful hearts that look for and thank God for how He is working. Also, thank and enjoy the people around us.

Intercession—We can pray that we run to God with everything for ourselves and others. “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” Philippians 4:6 (MES)

My husband survived and continues to thrive. Our family believes that God must have more plans on earth for him. We are incredibly grateful for the prayers of so many! God answered through helping him survive the many surgeries, relearn how to breathe, walk, eat, and talk after the extended time on life support systems, and to discontinue dialysis 8 months after his heart attack. God also answered by reassuring us of His presence and through experiencing His peace, even during the storm.

God, we ask that you will help us embrace each day as a gift from You, share our love and thanks with the people around us, and look to You to get us through whatever the day may hold. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Carla Morgan is the Moms in Prayer Missouri State Coordinator. She started praying for her kids and their schools in 2002 when her first child was entering kindergarten. Carla and her husband Lionel have been married since 1986 and are blessed with two wonderful children, Ben and Amy. She loves spending time with her family and enjoying the beauty and diversity of God’s creation. She feels privileged to help women learn about Moms in Prayer and the powerful joy of praying together.

Comments 23

  1. Dear Carla,
    Thank you for your testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness in healing your husband Lionel and bringing your family through such a challenging time. Just this evening, I learned about Moms In Prayer (MIP). I’m reading Jodie Berndt’s book, “Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children: Trusting God with the Ones You Love.”, and Moms In Prayer is mentioned on page 54. I look forward to learning more about MIP. May the Lord continue to bless the work of MIP.

    In Christ,

    1. Sheila, I am so thankful you learned about Moms in Prayer! God is so generous to hear our prayers and give us the gift of praying with others!

  2. Praising God for You and Your Family and Your testimony. Thank you for sharing it! God is so good… and He listens/answers are prayers. Selah! Amen!

  3. I love reading and re-reading God’s Faithfulness to you Carla and how its a testimony we all need to heed. I just wanted to let you know, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you, Lionel’s recovery and the story you shared!

  4. Carla, what an honor and privilege to walk through this past year with you and to pray for you and your family! Thank you for using your story to always point back to Jesus, and how we can incorporate everything into our prayers. While this Thanksgiving may bring mixed emotions and memories, being able to look back on God’s goodness to you and Lionel, and His provision and healing at each step of the way, is truly something to joyfully celebrate! May this Thanksgiving be the best ever for you!

      1. I am in tears reading this one year tribute to God’s amazing grace! Thank you for sharing your story again! We continue to pray for Lionel’s strength and for his story to bring glory to God for many other people’s lives.

  5. Bless your heart, Carla, and your whole precious family! What a powerful testimony and encouragement of truth. Our awesome God will never leave us nor forsake us! We raise a Hallelujah! Rejoicing with you, thanking and praising Jehovah Rapha, our God who heals. Love you, our MIP sisterhood, how we pray for each other and see our Father’s will be done. O give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever!! Nothing can separate us from His love… So we can Rise up bold in the strength of the LORD! <

    1. Thanks, Susan, for those powerful verses! Another verse that I prayed multiple times a day was, “God Himself is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He rejoices over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17. We know we can’t save ourselves, but our Mighty, Loving Father can!

  6. Carla,
    Thank you for sharing your heart, your faith and your story. We can stand together with you in spirit knowing our God knows all things and answers prayer in powerful and mighty ways! You are a blessing as a sister in Christ.

    1. Pat, you are so right! I am so thankful that God always knows what is best and that I don’t have to figure it out!! And we are so incredibly grateful and in awe that God would give so many sisters in Christ to stand with us and gift us by taking our needs to Our All-Knowing, All-Loving, All-Powerful Father!

  7. Thank you Carla for sharing because it’s a reassurance of God’s Faithfulness and how MIP family is a ministry for such a time as this ❤️ and always.

    Forever grateful

  8. So thankful for your superb example of using Scripture to face the battles in our lives. His Word is truth and can see us through anything that He allows. You are an inspiration and example of how we can trust in Him with our whole heart and lean not on own understanding.

    1. Perri, you are so right it is God and His word with the power to hold us up! I can tell you 100% it is all God. He is so loving and kind to be with us always and in everything. I know I could not have gotten through any of this without Him carrying me through!

  9. Carla, You articulated so well your story and the importance of sharing our stories with our kids and grandkiddos! Thank you and thank God for all the progress and healing that has happened! Hugs to you, friend!

    1. Thanks, Jan! God’s word is the best encouragement! During the 40+ days my husband was in the ICU I would sit by his bedside and read the attributes and the verses on the Moms in Prayer prayer sheets. I was so thankful to have that resource and the multitude of Moms in Prayer friends praying for us!

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