Prayer at dinner table

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.

prayer at dinner table

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.

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prayer at dinner table

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Thanksgiving is a meaningful holiday because it’s the one day of the year when we all take the time to express appreciation for how God is working in our lives. Your Thanksgiving gathering might be small or large, loud or quiet, but no matter the style, every gathering is significant in its own way. Typically, at Thanksgiving dinner we say a word of gratitude for what God has done for us. Use one of these 7 Thanksgiving dinner table prayers at your family gathering this year.

Often, Thanksgiving is known to be something of a landmine of family tension because of the coming together of different political views, beliefs, and behaviors. Take heart – the prayers below are meaningful yet not offensive.prayer at dinner table

In the post 7 Prayers to Say at the Dinner Table, I listed prayers you can use with your family at dinner every night. Many of those prayers would also be suitable for a Thanksgiving table blessing.

Be sure to download our free The Holy Mess Thanksgiving Printable Planner to make your holiday organized and beautiful.

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7 Thanksgiving Dinner Table Prayers

Use one of these Thanksgiving dinner table prayers for your holiday gathering this year.

Simple Thanksgiving Meal Prayer

God,
Thank you for all that you’ve given us.
Bless the cook and bless all those who go without.
Amen.

-from Fr. Jake Martin, SJ

A Prayer from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Prayer 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Traditional Table Blessing

Bless us, Oh Lord,
and these thy gifts which
we are about to receive from thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.

Thanksgiving Blessing Prayer

O Lord,

Thank you for all the good gifts you have given us.
Thank you for the fine delicate balance of the natural world.
Thank you for the amazing variety of fruit seeds and grains.
Thank you for the beauty of autumn when the greens turn yellow, gold and crimson.

Lord, help us to enjoy this beautiful season,
And the wonderful food you have given us.

Amen.

From www.lords-prayer-words.com

Thanksgiving Prayer for Children 

(a prayer for young children to say)

Lord, thank you for the flowers and thank you for the trees.
Thank you for my special friends and all the fun they bring.
Thank you for the food I eat and thank you for my drink.
But most of all I thank you for the way you love me.

A childrens prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com

Thanksgiving Table Blessing

By Patricia Gore

Thank You, God
For the food we are about to eat,
For those who are here
To share these blessings,
For the generosity of our hosts
That make this possible.
Bless those who are here
And those who are in our hearts,
And all those who are not
As fortunate on this day.

Amen.

A Short Prayer of Thanks

God, sometimes life gets me down and I find it hard to see things to be thankful for. Open my eyes to see the gifts you’ve given me in my life. I’m going to start by thanking you for loving me enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever. Amen.

– Wendy van Eyck, Contributor, crosswalk.com

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More Thanksgiving Meal Prayers

Here are links to a few other prayers you might find useful.

Digging Deeper with God – A Thanksgiving Prayer – This prayer is wonderful to read yourself on Thanksgiving morning or share with a group before the meal. Includes a free printable.

A Prayer for Your Thanksgiving Meal – Living Grace Omaha – This prayer begins with a child or children reading a Psalm and the adults following with a prayer.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving – Lutheran Church Missouri Synod – A meaningful prayer that includes several Bible verses.

What prayers do you say at the dinner table? Comment below.

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prayer at dinner table

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Prayer should always come from the heart, 

for God can see your motives and know when it’s 

sincere prayer or if you are just going through the motions.

But it’s hard for many of us to pray for a group in public

or be the one picked to pray at the dinner table

with your family/friends.

prayer at dinner table

it’s hard to be sincere about your prayer 

because you are focused on the “right” words to say 

or focused on what other people will think about your prayer.

How can we prevent this? 

How can we give a sincere prayer that isn’t just

“God is good, God is great, thank you for this food, Amen.”?

prayer at dinner table

  1. Write out a prayer you want to say at dinner or in front of a large group, and memorize it. 
  • WHY? Memorizing your prayer doesn’t mean it isn’t sincere. It actually helps you to remember the prayer you wrote without having to focus on coming up with new words, which enables you to focus more on the meaning of the words you are saying to God and for those around you to hear. 
  • REMEMBER: You aren’t praying to those around you, you are praying to GOD. If they have a problem with your prayer not being “good enough” or sounding right, then their motives are wrong when praying and are not focusing on God during your prayer. 

Here’s an example:

  • Dear God…Father….Creator….you created me. You created everyone here at this table today. We are YOURS. You created each and every one of us, as well as each ingredient that was put together to make this food we are about to eat. Please help us to honor and glorify you with our lives, as our lives only exist because of you. Thank you Father for the health, safety, and freedom we are privileged to have today. Please continue to watch over us and help us to remember you in all we do. Thank you for sending your son to die on the cross for our sins. Bless this food and the hands that have prepared it. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

thejesussavinggarden.blogspot.com

I was terrible at prayers. It was hard for me to talk to someone I can’t see or hear. Someone who may or may not be there. Everyone else put their heads down at the dinner table so I needed to do the same or I’ll look suspicious. I did it and just counted to 30 in my head to make it look like a prayer. This one time it was so embarassing cause the waitress comes to us (a table full of JWs) and we all have our heads down. Like we all fell asleep or something. It must’ve been an eerie feeling for her while it was an akward and embarassing feeling for me. It was even worse when they asked me to do a public prayer out loud! It was like one of those “Need a moment?” Twix commercials.

www.jehovahs-witness.com

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