I tweeted a question last week asking people if they prayed before they ate and why.
The question spawned out of my past experience and a sense the tides were shifting. I can’t remember the last time I prayed before a meal (outside of a group). It’s been at least two years, if not more.
The main reasons I stopped praying before eating are:
- It became too ritualistic.
- It felt like I was repeating the same thing every time.
- It lacked authenticity.
I know the Bible has examples of thanking God before a meal (Matthew 15:36, Acts 27:35), but I argued with myself thankfulness should be a lifestyle. That if I lived a life that was consistently thankful to God and His provision, two or three meal prayers a day wouldn’t be necessary.
If you know anything about me, you know I hate doing things just for the sake of doing them. So after awhile, it seemed stupid to keep praying before eating.
I’ve had a change of heart thanks to some gentle reminders from some friends.
While it can become very ritualistic, it never hurts to thank the Lord for the food He has provided. ;) ~Brannen W.
You should not stop thanking God until you stop being thankful. ~Brad C.
It can be a witness to people around and shows you’re not embarrassed to pray in public. ~Terry T.
Stopping for a second to thank him for the food he provided is a good reminder to me that we didn’t earn all of the stuff we have … it all comes from him. ~Elizabeth H.
To me it goes back to all Jesus sacrificed for us. Can we not take a second before we eat all the bounty this Earth has provided, to thank Him for all He has done for us? ~Katie P.
Cause something seems like a routine doesn’t make it wrong or inappropriate … more so it can be a discipline to be reminded of His many gifts … it’s an opportunity to engage the heart when it feels like we’re mumbling words … ~Fola S.
My new reasons to prayer before a meal:
- Why would we not take advantage of every opportunity to thank God?
- If we truly acknowledge His role/provision in our lives, we should be thanking him way more than we do.
- In public, it is a way to stand out and declare your faith in a subtle way.
As my friend Fola said, praying before meals is an opportunity to engage the heart when it seems routine.
So that is my new mindset.
Not to say a quick prayer before a meal (so I can get to the good part of eating), but to pause for a second and reflect on all that is good about God.
And then thank God for that (in addition to the yummy food I’m about to eat). ;)
Thoughts, comments? What are you most thankful to God for right now?