“And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the people…And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said these should also be set before them.” - Mark 8:6-7
“Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed, Amen.”
“Bless us, Oh Lord, for these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
“God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food. By his hand we all our fed, Give us, oh Lord, our daily Bread. Amen.”
These are just a few common table prayers. Praying before a meal is a simple thing, a short thing, one many of us grew up doing, but others did not. It can seem trivial at times, pausing a moment before sating our hunger to give thanks to the one who truly provided the food. Whether you see it as provision through a job opportunity, or the kindness of others, or as the one who oversaw the growth of said food, or who created it in the first place - God is the true provider.
Trivial as it may seem, Jesus, God made man, did it over and over again. Throughout the gospels we see examples of him taking a moment to bless and thank God for their food. If there was anyone in all of history who didn’t have to pray before eating, it was Jesus, and yet he did.
He took a moment, and so should we.
Praying before meals can feel very strange if it’s something you’re not used to doing, and sometimes finding the words can be hard. That’s why common, pre-written prayers have been such a help to new and old Christians alike throughout the years.
If you love to pray off the cuff, then by all means do so, but if you need the words, I encourage you to find a common prayer like the ones above (there are many that can be easily found on the internet as well) and learn it. The benefit of these rhyming prayers is that they stick and are easy to learn. We’ve been saying the same one in my family since I was a child and have now passed it down to my own children. Sometimes we add our own petitions, but other meals (especially if we’re in a hurry), we spare a moment for the prayer and then chow down.
Whether wrote or impromptu, the important thing is to thank God and ask him to bless your food. To remember it is by His grace that we are fed.
Heavenly Father, give us this day our daily bread, and remind me to remember you as I enjoy it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.