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:
Table of contents
- 1 1. A Prayer That This Food May Fuel Us to Do Your Work
- 2 2. A Prayer in Remembrance of the Hungry
- 3 3. A Prayer of Confession
- 4 4. A Prayer for Family Mealtime
- 5 5. A Prayer for Mealtime Fellowship
- 6 6. A Prayer for When Someone is Missed at the Table
- 7 7. A Prayer for Dining Out
- 8 8. A Prayer in Remembrance of the Last Supper
- 9 9. A Prayer for When Food is Scarce
- 10 10. A Prayer for the Drive-Thru
- 11 Children’s Prayers
- 12 Prayer Before Meals (Catholic)
- 13 Dinner Time Prayer (German)
- 14 The Selkirk Grace
- 15 Irish Grace
- 16 Meal Prayer
- 17 What is your favorite mealtime prayer?
- 18 Looking for more prayers?
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.
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.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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.
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When I was a child we did not pray at meal times but as I have grown in my relationship with the Lord I have learned the importance of the mealtime blessing. Traditionally, some families use the same prayer at every meal, yet others lift up an original thank you to the Lord for meals.
Praying before meal times is something that we find in the Bible. Take a look at these popular passages:
“And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.” (Paul speaking in Acts 27:35)
And he said unto them, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Jesus speaking to the Apostles at the last supper Luke 22:15-20)
Here are 7 Christian dinner prayers that you might consider when you would like to thank the Lord for His provision.
I used to say this one with my children at breakfast and lunch time.
A Rhyming Meal Prayer
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat, Thank you for the birds that sing, Thank you God for everything. Amen.
As a child whenever we had a Girl Scout outing we would sing this as a dinner time blessing. It was not until years later that I learned it was a song from a Disney movie. I also sang this one with my children.
Johnny Appleseed Song
♪♫ The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For givin me the things I need
The sun and rain and the apple seed
Yes, He’s been good to me.♫♪
(View a video of this song in the upper right of this page)
Prayer Before Meals (Catholic)
Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Dinner Time Prayer (German)
Komm Herr Jesus.
Sei unser Gast
Und segne was Du uns bescherret hast.
Come Lord Jesus,
Be our guest
And bless what you bequeathed us.
The Selkirk Grace
Some have meat and cannot eat;
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we have meat and we can eat
Sae let the Lord be thankit!
Bless, O Lord, this food we are about to eat; and we pray You, O God,that it may be good for our body and soul; and if there be any poor creature hungry or thirsty walking along the road, send them into us that we can share the food with them, just as You share your gifts with all of us.
Lord God and Giver of All Good Gifts, we are grateful as we pause before this meal, for all the blessings of life that You give to us. Daily, we are fed with good things, nourished by friendship and care, feasted with forgiveness and understanding. And so, mindful of Your continuous care, we pause to be grateful for the blessings of this table.
– Pause for silent reflection –
May Your presence be the “extra” taste to this meal which we eat in the name of Your Son, Jesus.
What is your favorite mealtime prayer?
Share your favorites in the comments below.
Looking for more prayers?
Take a look at these from our archives
10 Popular Bedtime Prayers
Prayers from the Bible
10 Short Prayers for Protection
The Holy Bible, King James Version
The Selkirk Grace: Burns, Robert 1759-1796
Meal Prayer: Hays, Edward, Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home (Kansas: Forest of Peace Books, 1979), 110.
YouTube video: Johnny Appleseed Song
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Tomorrow I’ll be going to my brother’s house for Easter. We’re not really a religious family, so there’s no big anxiety in going. We’re the type of family who celebrates all the different holidays without any of the religious mumbo-jumbo attached. Christmas is always Family + Presents, and Easter is always Family + Chocolate Bunnies (Though x2, because I’m half Greek. Woohoo!). The in-laws are pretty much the same way, though they’re religious enough that they occasionally go to church, and they had my nephews baptized (and I’m the Godmother…they kind of don’t know I’m an atheist. Whoopsie). They do traditions, but I’ve never heard them talk about it or treat it too seriously.
This usually leads to great fun when it comes to the dinner time prayer, especially since my not-exactly-religious brother is seen as the new “head of the house.” He’s achieved greatness far beyond my dad, who’s longest prayer was probably “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub” to the chagrin of my Greek Orthodox grandparents.
This Thanksgiving was my favorite so far:
Sister-in-law: Why don’t you say a prayer?
Brother: (who has had a little to drink by now) Um, sure. Give me a second. (looks very contemplative) Dear God, thank you for bringing us together today, for our health, and for this meat that we have killed and smoked. Amen.
My side of the family: (desperately tries to stifle giggles)
Sister-in-law: I don’t know, what about our sons? (who were born premature, are fine now)
Brother: (innocently) They were part of “health.”
Sister-in-law: (sigh) Really, for the meat we smoked and killed?
Brother: No, no, killed, then smoked. What you said would just be cruel.
Sister-in-law: (exasperated wife-ly look)
Now you know why I’m excited for tomorrow!
Anyone else have some classic dinner time prayers?