Tammy Dunahoo
Tammy Dunahoo, DLd

“I want you to find a flat rock or marble and a round one. I want you to assign one your grief and the other your gratitude. Hold them, and pray through both as you do.”

These were the words of a friend I had engaged to learn more about prayer. Holding two rocks in a quiet chapel in the woods, I discovered that gratitude and grief go hand in hand. Life is filled with losses large and small. Grieving them is the healthy process God gave us to learn and grow through them.

Yet, in the midst of the grief, there is always space for gratitude, when we look for it. I first assigned the flat rock my gratitude and the large round one my grief. And I remember the day in prayer when that reversed, and my gratitude was large, and joy emerged.

In this challenging year, may we honestly express our grief and embrace our gratitude this Thanksgiving week. The ever-present and faithful One is attending to both, working for our good.

Prayer + Reflection

  1. Are there any areas of unexpressed grief that you have not processed? Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal those to you.
  2. Take time to walk through the things you have to be grateful for, and express that gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts.
  3. Pray for those grieving the loss of their loved ones this year and experiencing their first Thanksgiving since that loss.
  4. As our country faces a second spread of COVID-19, let us pray: “God, we ask your mercy over us, your protection and, where needed, your Divine healing. Please comfort and provide for those facing illness in their communities. Please help us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to minister to them in any way that is safe. Holy Spirit, comfort the lonely and grieving in this season. Father God, protect our frontline workers and the places where they serve from the ravages of disease. And above all, we pray that all people would turn to you and seek you. Amen.”

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is the former general supervisor of The Foursquare Church. She now serves as the dean at Portland Seminary.