December 5, 2020

Thank You, Lord

Garden of Gratitude, Caroline James

A Prayer of Thanks
By Chaplain Mike

Thank you, Lord,
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…

For life itself, the gift I take most for granted.

For my baptism and introduction to the Gospel when I was but a helpless, trusting infant.

For my family and my heritage.

For my birthplace and upbringing in a good, prosperous, and free land, as part of a generation that lacked for little.

For an incredible variety of friends and experiences over the years.

For protecting me during the foolishness of my youth.

For guiding my steps, though I have been almost totally clueless when it comes to making choices in my life; somehow a way has always been set before me.

For my teachers, formal and informal, who have been second only to my family in shaping my life.

For a spiritual awakening in my teen years that kept me from being a statistic.

Course for Gratitude (detail), Spurrier

For my family—my wife, children, and grandchildren—for whom my heart aches and breaks and prays each day.

For baseball, game of my life.

For the Marx Brothers, Bogart, the Wizard of Oz, Woody Allen, It’s a Wonderful Life, and all the characters I’ve met and alternate worlds I’ve entered through darkened rooms.

For music, joy of my life.

For Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and all my muses.

For a calling to ministry, the never-ending well of the Bible from which to teach, and the many opportunities to serve that have come my way.

For all the churches that taught me how to be a pastor more than I taught them how to be congregations.

For Luther, in all his tenderness and storminess, and his unyielding focus on Christ.

For the life-affirming privilege of working with the dying and their families on a team of remarkable people.

For hearing me when I pray Kyrie Eleison at the beginning of each worship service, and for Word and Sacrament to nourish me with all pilgrims as we journey on.

For one true holy catholic and apostolic church—even when it looks hopelessly shattered in a billion pieces.

For grace beyond measure, hope without end, and a Savior to whom none can compare.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Chaplain Mike

P.S. My list would not be complete without saying “thank you” for Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk. Without his gracious gifts of friendship and trust toward me, you would not be reading these words.

May God bless Denise, Clay and Taylor, Noel and Ryan on Thanksgiving Day and every day to come.

And thanks for Jeff and all our IM contributors, and you our community of readers. I’m grateful for each and every one of you.


  1. Salsapinkkat says

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you guys over the pond- and thanks for your daily writings at IM… greatly appreciated!

    • Another “happy thanksgiving” to all you IM people over the pond. And also thank you for your writings – I as well appreciate them very much.

  2. From the land Down Under, a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you over in the ‘States!

  3. I sent Thanksgiving cards this year. It was a spur of the moment thing – I actually considered it an epiphany. With each personal note I closed with the words “I thanked God for you today.” It may not be for everyone, and it’s probably too late for this year, but it came in a moment of inspiration. I wrote about it here:

    I contribute to the Life in Mordor blog. If you give my friend Mike a few pages views, he would probably also be thankful. Thank you Chaplain Mike, and a happy Thanksgiving to all. There is much to be thankful for.

  4. Also: love that picture Mike. When I was writing about Michael being sick, I looked for a picture of us together and never found one. I saw him every single day; I never thought about taking our picture.

  5. Wonderful post, Chaplain Mike! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and to all the imonkers here. This is such a great place to read, learn, be inspired. I thank you, Jeff, Lisa, Damaris and your guest bloggers for the excellent writing you present here. It takes a lot of your time and is greatly appreciated. You may never know how many hearts you have touched.

  6. Well said Mike.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving, CM, and all the contributors to Internetmonk…You make all of our days a little more interesting!


  8. Mike ~ thank you so much for this prayer. I laughed with joy at your words about Luther. Just right. I thank God for him every day, for the freedom he fought for and won for us. And thank you for the series on the church calendar. I have been “re-thinking” many things about church and our arrogance at thinking we are “doing something new and unique.” Your articles have been very helpful. Blessings to you.

  9. Well said , Chap Mike; and thank you for carrying the torch, with lots of help from Damaris and friends. This blog is a special place, next to impossible to explain to others: I just tell them to “taste and see”, words just don’t do this community justice.

    A blessed and Spirit filled Holy day to all my friends here.

  10. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving from this side of the Atlantic.

    I’ll hold my tongue on Luther, but probably, in the long run, yes – he did give us the needed kick up the backside to actually implement the reforms various people within the Catholic Church had been trying to get off the ground for years. So all right – thanks, Marty.

    Calvin and Knox can stay standing in the corner, though. I am not saying thank you to anyone for Oliver Cromwell.


    • Amongst many other things of course, I’m thankful for you Martha! You are always insightful and gracious. Please stick around! 🙂

  11. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Among other things, I am thankful for this site. It has become a part of my daily routine and I have learned quite a bit from its contributors.

  12. This past year of reading and listening in on the conversations at imonk have been a refreshing and safe spot for me to stop and spend some time each day. Thanks CM, Jeff and y’all.

  13. Thanks from Switzerland to a wonderful global community that must be a little like the early church, cyber-style! Thanksgiving is for all of us!

    • Like the early church, but with added atheists!

      Happy Thanksgiving to all the Leftpondians

      • I sometimes think St. Thomas (good old “Doubting Thomas”) must be the patron saint of atheists; how much more rational can you get than “But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” ?

        So if you have a patron saint, welcome, brother, you’re as much part of this cyber-church as the rest of us!


  14. David Cornwell says

    Happy Thanksgiving to all at the Internet Monk. Thanks for providing a place where believers in Christ can gather, discuss, and argue in a civil way. Thanks for inspiring me to read and think and pray.

    Here at home I’m thankful for a wife and partner I’d be lost without, food, warmth, books, children, and grandchildren.

    And above all else for God’s love.

  15. Mike, I am thankful for you and all the posts you do here on IM. I am so thankful that Michael asked you to keep IM going. Lovely prayer.

  16. I hope all my fellow imonkers have a most excellent and blessed Thanksgiving.
    And I’m thankful that I finally got my internet service back after several months in the dark ages. I didn’t really realize how much of a blessing this website is until I lost access to it. Thank you, Mike, for keeping it going.

  17. kenneth gallagher says

    Family healing and increasing faith through [ God’s] trials of life, Amen. God is love!

    God Bless and a greatful Thanksgiving to all.
    Numbers 6: 24-26