Editorial: 101 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, the Prescott community shared a prayer
On this Thanksgiving Day the Courier editorial board looked back 101 years for perspective.
The United States was still healing from a terrible world war. Its citizens were in the middle of the deadly Spanish flu pandemic that infected 500 million people – nearly one-third of the world’s population at the time – striking in four successive waves. U.S. cities were experiencing “Red Scare” bombings, race riots, worker strikes, police strikes, veterans competing for jobs, May Day demonstrations, armed resistance movements and hurricanes killed hundreds. Many historians rate 1919 as “America’s worst year.”
In the midst of all this turmoil and strife, on Nov. 27, 1919, the Prescott Journal Miner (now The Daily Courier) broke editorial tradition and published a prayer on the front page of the Thanksgiving Day edition.
The words of that community prayer offered by our forerunners may even be more relevant today than they were 101 years ago, and can still provide solace and hope for Prescott area residents in 2020:
Almighty God, Who in earlier days led our fathers forth into a large inheritance, give us grace, we humbly beseech Thee to pass through these days of unrest and turmoil in confidence and courage that what has been so well begun will come to rich completeness.
Bless our land with the fruits of honest toil. Save us from the discord which misunderstanding brings. Keep our feet in the path of righteousness. Teach us to love liberty and justice and to practice them to the upbuilding of the entire world as well as our own native land. Fashion into one people the multitudes brought hither out of many countries and make them true Americans.
Give us grateful hearts for the abundant harvest of the year. In the time of our prosperity temper our self-confidence with the recollection that “every good and every perfect gift is from above.” Let no anxiety rob us of the consciousness of Thine abiding love. In the day of trouble suffer not our trust in Thee to fail. Be patient with us when our purposes break down or our endeavors seem of no avail.
Go with us into Thanksgiving Day. Teach us to give thanks for all the blessings of the time, to dread nothing but the loss of Thee and to perceive the sun of Thine enduring love forever shining behind every cloud.
Bless us all at the Thanksgiving Board. Be with those who cannot be with us as well as those who can. Make us, wherever we may be, one in that unity of hope and faith and love which neither time nor distance can destroy. And send us forth into the future with Thanksgiving faces and Thanksgiving hearts — eager to labor, strong to endure, and useful to the land we love. Amen.