A prayer before dinner

Mealtime prayers are essential conversations with God. Paul tells us to: “Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Poverty and starvation are an everyday reality for some, while others of us quench their thirst and put hunger at bay at our leisure. No matter which side of the pendulum we find ourselves on, praying God’s will over our lives and our meals is important. “… for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18b NLT)

Praying God’s blessing over our meals is a simple way to make a big difference on the daily alignment of our hearts. Use dinner time and all other times of eating to recall God’s goodness in your life. It helps us remember that our blessings come from our Creator… who deserves credit for all.

Here are 10 prayers that will fit any mealtime situation, from formal family dinners, to meals on the go at the neighborhood drive-thru:

1. A Prayer That This Food May Fuel Us to Do Your Work

Father, Praise You for the nourishment the You provide. Thank You for meeting our physical needs of hunger and thirst. Forgive us for taking that simple joy for granted, and bless this food to fuel our bodies forward into Your will for our lives. We pray that we will be energized and be able to work for the glory of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2. A Prayer in Remembrance of the Hungry

Father, You are mighty and strong to sustain our bodies. Thank You for the meal we are about to enjoy. Forgive us for forgetting how many pray for food to relieve their starvation. Bless and relieve the starvation of those who hunger, Lord, and inspire our hearts to seek out ways that we can help from our abundance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

3. A Prayer of Confession

Father, This meal is the work of Your hands. You have provided for me, again, and I am grateful. I confess my tendency to forget to ask Your blessing upon my life, through the comforts that You have given me to enjoy. So many people lack these daily comforts and it is selfish of me to forget about them in their need. Show me how to make the most of Your blessing in my life, for everything I have is a gift from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

4. A Prayer for Family Mealtime

Father, We have gathered to share a meal in Your honor. Thank You for putting us together as family, and thank You for this food. Bless it to our bodies, Lord. We thank you for all of the gifts you’ve given to those around this table. Help each member of our family use these gifts to your glory. Guide our mealtime conversations and steer our hearts to Your purpose for our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

a prayer before dinner

5. A Prayer for Mealtime Fellowship

Father, Praise You for friendship and family! Thank You for bringing us together today to share a meal. The people in our lives bring us such joy, and we are grateful for time spent in fellowship together. Help us use this time to bond closer as a group, and learn to love each other more. Bless our appetites, both physical and spiritual, to honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

6. A Prayer for When Someone is Missed at the Table

Father, We are coping with an empty seat at our table. Be with the one we are without, today, and help us to trust in Your timing, purpose, and great love for us all. As we miss ____________ today, we pray Your blessing over him/her/them, and us, and the space in between now and when we see them next. Until then, may this food bless our bodies, and give us strength to endure the day ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

7. A Prayer for Dining Out

Father, Bless this establishment and employees as they prepare and serve our food. Thank You for the opportunity to have our meal brought to us, and the ability to relax and enjoy this time with one another. We understand our privilege to be here, and we pray to be a blessing to those we encounter in this place. Bless our conversation, and may we honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

8. A Prayer in Remembrance of the Last Supper

Father, As we sit here today preparing to eat this food, we remember Your Son. How He came here as a human being, and ate with His family and friends just like we do. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, and that we can look to Him knowing He understands our hunger. Bless us, Lord Jesus, and stir our hearts to remember You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

9. A Prayer for When Food is Scarce

Father, We come to You hungry, today. It’s hard to understand why we don’t have enough to eat, but we come to You for strength, knowing that You are our provider. Help us to trust that You will sustain us through times of abundance and times of scarcity. Bless us and help us get back up on our feet again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

10. A Prayer for the Drive-Thru

Father, Thank You for the drive-thru, that saves our time on busy days. We pray for those who prepared our food, and we ask that we would be a blessing to them during our brief encounter today. We remember that they are your children, and that they should be treated with kindness and respect, so that they will be able to see You in our actions. Bless this food to our bodies and keep us safe on the road today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

Prayer for Healing

Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerSinner’s PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessPrayer for GuidanceIntercessory PrayerPrayer for PeacePrayer for FaithPrayer for Love

Now available is our new Daily Prayer devotional! An easy way to find start your day with prayer, read today’s prayer and sign up to receive by email.

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Are you planning to have a religious wedding ceremony? If you are going by the book, you might as well include wedding prayers before dinner, at your reception.

Grace before meals is a way of thanking the Almighty for giving us a beautiful life, and seeking His blessings. No matter what religion you belong to, prayers and blessings will always be an integral part of every important occasion of your life. Weddings are particularly characterized by a religious ceremony, complete with prayers and blessings. Even if you are not going to have a typical religious affair, you would want to include wedding prayers, before your reception dinner. It sure makes sense to seek the God’s blessings before having your first meal as husband and wife. Here are some guiding tips to arrange for these.

Who Should Give Many couples choose to give the prayers themselves, or ask the minister to do the honors. Oftentimes, they may ask another family member or a special guest to give grace. No matter whom you choose, always inform the person beforehand so that he is prepared for it. If you ask a guest to give a prayer, without prior intimation, he may turn it down if he is wary of public speaking. As far as possible, choose a person who is of same religious denomination as you, since a person of a different denomination may not feel comfortable giving a prayer for your denomination.

What Should be Included The marriage prayers should be short, and written from the heart. If you decide to give it as a couple, you should thank everyone for attending the ceremony, and pray for their good health. A person, other than the couple, should seek blessings from God through his or her prayers. Lastly, thank God for the meal that you are about to eat. If you have been asked to give a prayer at a wedding dinner, make sure you write it down well ahead of time, and rehearse. If you are absolutely clueless, consult a pastor or clergy regarding what to include in the prayer. You may ask the couple about what exactly they expect from the prayer. You can also refer to readings on Internet, such as those given below.

Sample Wedding Prayers By Couple

“Thank you for this beautiful day. You have fulfilled the desire of our hearts, to be together in this life. We pray that your blessings will always rest upon our home; that joy, peace, and contentment would dwell within us as we live together in unity, and that all who enter our home may experience the strength of your love. Father, help us to follow and serve you with an ever-growing commitment because of our union. Guide us into greater love and sacrifice as we care for each other’s needs, knowing you will care for us. May we always be as keenly aware of your presence as we sense it today, on our wedding day. And, may our devotion in marriage be a radiant reflection of your love for us. Thank you Lord for the fellowship around this table, for the good friends, for the hearts of love that manifested themselves through hands that prepared this wonderful feast. Bless us as we eat, and bless us as we fellowship. In the name of Jesus, our Savior, we pray. Amen.”

For Couple

“Lord God, Creator of the universe, Father of us all, we have gathered here around this dinner table to celebrate the love and commitment that have united (bride’s name) and (groom’s name), in a wonderful bond of marriage. Bless, Father, this food that we are about to receive with grateful hearts as a sign of your continuous bounty and providence. May your generous blessing descend also upon these newly married spouses, their families, and friends present here at this joyful banquet. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit of God forever. Amen”

Go through these for reference, and write your own prayer for the couple. Close your eyes, and try to communicate with God, before writing the prayer. This should help you to bring out your deepest, truest emotions so that you can write a heartfelt prayer.

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Before Dinner

The poor shall eat and be filled, and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him; their hearts shall live for ever and ever.

+ Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

+  O Christ our God, bless the food and drink of Thy servants, for Thou art holy, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

+ Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Amen

After Dinner

Thou hast gladdened us, O Lord, by Thy deeds, and in the works of Thy hands have we 
rejoiced. 
The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, hath been signed upon us; Thou hast given gladness to our hearts. 
From the fruit of wheat, wine, and oil have we been filled; in peace in the same place shall we lie down and sleep, for Thou, O Lord, alone hast made us to dwell in hope.

+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

+ God is with us, He that hath mercy and nourisheth us by His grace and love for man, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

+ Through the prayer of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.  Amen

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