Reflection, Prayer & Thanksgiving
by Kimberly B. Southall

This November should be a time of reverent reflection, humble prayer, and joyful thanksgiving for American Christians.

Reflection. We should reflect upon the countless blessings which God has given to us not only as a nation, but also as families and individuals. This is the perfect time to remember the real reason the first pilgrims sailed to America aboard the Mayflower--to escape religious persecution. And once delivered, the pilgrims did not fail to recognize the Origin of their blessings. Below are quotations of just a few of the pilgrims:

Susannah Winslow, wife of Edward Winslow, mother of two: "'Twas not so pleasant spending sixty-six days aboard that tiny ship, the Mayflower. We never knew if we would reach our destination. 'Twas most comforting that God gave us once again the sight of land. How grateful we were when we set foot on solid ground."

Peter Browne, unmarried: "Thanks be to God that we found fields already cleared for planting. Imagine the hours of labor it would have taken to cut down trees, pull out stumps, and carry away rocks. We would not have been able to plant a single seed until late summer and that would have done us hardly any good. Cleared fields assured us of a goodly harvest."

George Soule, widower: "God be praised that we had strength the build seven houses in a very short time. Despite rain and cold and sickness, we did hammer and saw and thatch."

Elizabeth Hopkins, wife of Stephen Hopkins, mother of four: "Praise God, my family is alive and did survive 'the general sickness.' When my dear husband fell ill, along with three or four others a day, I almost gave up all hope. Some days, there were but one or two to care for the others in their retching and fever and, yes, even death. But God in his infinite love took only half our people. He left the rest of us as instruments for his work in this 'new' England."

Prayer. While we reflect upon our Christian heritage and many blessings, we should focus our prayers upon our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world who are now facing persecution just as the pilgrims once did. It is often difficult for us, in our warm, comfortable, and secure homes, to imagine the horrors which countless Christians in foreign countries now face due to their faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ. We must never forget these dear brothers and sisters in Christ. They desperately need our prayers.

Thanksgiving. Most Americans think of the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of November. And there are trivial things, such as turkey and football, which are often associated with Thanksgiving nowadays. We would be wise, instead, to focus our attention on our almighty God to whom we owe all of our thanksgiving.

This November may we unite in reflection upon our heritage and blessings, prayer for persecuted Christians, and thanksgiving to our awesome and loving Father in heaven.

Copyright © 1998-2003 Kimberly B. Southall.  All rights reserved.