Open your Heart to Thank God
Text: Thanksgiving and Prayer
We must SPARK to Give Thanks and Know the Lord
A little boy was asked by his father to say grace at the table. While the rest of the family waited, the little guy eyed every dish of food his mother had prepared. After the examination, he bowed his head and honestly prayed, “Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I thank you for it, and I’ll eat it anyway. Amen.”1384
Thanksgiving might not be celebrated in the United States today, were it not for a patient, persistent woman named Sarah Hale.
It is well-known that the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621 to give thanks for their winter in the New World.
In 1789, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation to commemorate the first Pilgrim celebration. But Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States discontinued it, calling Thanksgiving, “a kingly practice.”
After this, Thanksgiving was observed by some individual states, and on whatever date suited their fancy.
Then in 1828, Mrs. Hale, the editor of the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book and author of the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” began campaigning for the restoration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
She wrote letters and sought appointments with national leaders from the President down. Time after time she was politely rebuffed, sometimes being told it was “impossible” and “impractical,” and sometimes being dismissed with a this-is-none-of-your-business scolding.
Finally in 1863 President Lincoln listened seriously to her plea that North and South “lay aside enmities and strife on (Thanksgiving) Day.” He proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November to be the official “National Thanksgiving Day.” This day was finally ratified by the U. S. Congress in 1941.