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 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
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.
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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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I was called to serve a mission in Argentina. One of the first things I learned about the Argentine people is they didn’t like root beer. They think it tastes like medicine.
Sacrificing root beer for two years was going to be a problem for me. I loved it; I am a root beer connoisseur. My favorite stop throughout High School had been an A&W Drive-in where roller skating waitresses served the golden brown liquid in tall, frosted mugs. Oh, how I would miss blowing off the froth and feeling the sharp sting of carbonation stab my tongue and burn my throat! Pure bliss!
When I arrived in my mission, I soon discovered that other North American missionaries were also suffering from root beer withdrawal. To curb the craving, they would write home and ask their mothers to send them little vials of root beer extract so that they could brew a batch. But the Argentine postal service was unreliable. Corrupt postal workers sometimes stole such packages, or, if a parcel happened to make it through, months could transpire before delivery.
About twelve months into my mission, after having completed the 12-Step Recovery from Root Beer Program and had nearly put root beer out of my mind, I was assigned to a companion whose mother had managed to send him a boat load of root beer extract and packages of Fizzies. (Am I revealing my age again? Does anyone out there remember Fizzies?)
My companion had gathered such a vast stash of root beer extract and Fizzies that we were able to make and drink something new every day. My companion was an aficionado of fine Fizzie and root beer. He took no shortcuts. His gourmet taste required that his root beer and Fizzies be made with dry ice, a process that I frequently observed with fascination. The result was always the same-delicious nectar!
A few months later, I was transferred to a city where four Elders worked and shared an apartment. My companion was a South American native and thus hated root beer. The other two missionaries hailed from the United States, and the eldest was scheduled to soon go home.
Throughout his entire mission he had begged his mother to send him some root beer extract. Recently she had relented, and upon the extract’s arrival, he was in heaven. Each day, as we gathered at our apartment to eat lunch, he would judiciously dip an eyedropper into his precious vial, drip several drops of root beer extract into an empty glass and squirt it with seltzer water.
He was so desperate for root beer that he had convinced himself that the drink was delicious! “What a waste of good root beer extract!” I thought.
One day, I approached him carefully. “You know, I can make root beer the right way.”
“The right way?” Obviously, he had never learned the lesson of Eve and the serpent.
“Yes. I know how to make root beer with dry ice.”
He swallowed my temptation hook, line and sinker. After some discussion, we decided that tomorrow we would celebrate lunch with authentic root beer. I was to procure all the necessary ingredients and we would meet at noon and imbibe. Tentatively, he handed me his little bottle of root beer extract.
The next day was filled with excitement. I bought a large package of dry ice, and my companion and I returned home early so that I could create the concoction. Because he was South American, he opted out of the root beer festivities and decided to fast. He retired to a bedroom to read scriptures while I labored in the kitchen.
The label on the bottle of extract read that the contents would make five gallons of root beer. I determined to make all of it. I began to explore every cupboard in the kitchen but found nothing that could contain that amount of liquid. Not to be denied, I recruited every pot and pan that I could find-five of them–and filled them with water. Then I estimated the amount of extract needed for each container. The thick liquid hit the water and snaked its way to the bottom. I mixed the brew until it was brown.
Now came the time to add the sugar. Suddenly, a shock of fear shot through me. I could find no white sugar! I looked everywhere. Nothing. All I could locate was brown sugar. Now let me pause here to admit that I have never been much of a chef. Ask my wife. Toast and hotdogs are the extent of my cooking skills. So you’ll understand why I shrugged my shoulders and thought “Sugar’s sugar,” and I dumped it in.
When I poured in the dry ice, the entire kitchen became a volcano spewing white clouds of root beer brume into the air. Each pot boiled root beer onto the counters and the floor with the din of the rapids of a great river. For a few minutes I couldn’t see through the dense vapor. It was glorious.
The bubbling finally subsided and I checked the clock. Where were my companions? I wondered, as I prepared my lunch. Finally, I sat down to eat. I waited and waited until I could wait no longer. The root beer was beckoning me and I had to test it. I dipped my cup and took a sip.
It was terrible! Nothing could be worse than root beer made with brown sugar!
Suddenly the weight of what I had done seared my mind. I had destroyed this Elder’s little bottle of root beer extract. There was no way to repair what I had done. I had concocted five gallons of putrid root beer, which still was foaming in five pots in the kitchen. How could I explain this to him? He had been waiting his entire mission for a bottle of root beer extract, and now I had obliterated it!
I felt so bad. I didn’t know what to do. I sat down to my lunch and did what I had been taught to do: I offered a quick prayer. “Heavenly Father, I feel terrible about what I have done to this root beer. The extract was this Elder’s only bottle.
I sure would appreciate it if you could make it taste better.”
The Elders never returned for lunch that day. I ate my lunch alone, then poured the root beer into containers, shoved it into the refrigerator, and my companion left for the afternoon to go tracting.
When we returned that night, I stepped into the kitchen where I found two Elders guzzling root beer. They said they had been teaching a lesson and had not been able to come home for lunch.
“This is the best root beer we’ve ever tasted!” they exulted.
I tried not to act surprised. “Well, of course,” I said. “I told you I could make it.”
Then one of the Elders handed me a glass, and I hesitantly lifted it to my lips. I took a tiny sip. It was delicious!
We drank root beer for a week, and I learned two lessons from that experience. First, God listens to our every prayer, even the ones we casually offer over our food; and second, He has a wonderful sense of humor.
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Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness. —Martin Luther
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous. —Thomas Lye
Furnish thyself with arguments from the promises to enforce thy pravers, and make them prevalent with God. The promises are the ground of faith, and faith, when strengthened, will make thee fervent, and such fervency ever speeds and returns with victory out of the field of prayer…. The mightier any is in the Word, the more mighty he will be in prayer. —William Gurnall
Prayer is not appointed for the furnishing of God with the knowledge of what we need, but it is designed as a confession to Him of our sense of the need. In this, as in everything, God’s thoughts are not as ours. God requires that His gifts should be sought for. He designs to be honoured by our asking, just as He is to be thanked by us after He has bestowed His blessing. —Arthur W. Pink
Prayer is not intended to change God’s purpose, nor is it to move Him to form fresh purposes. God has decreed that certain events shall come to pass through the means He has appointed for their accomplishment. —Arthur W. Pink
Prayer is the way and means God has appointed for the communication of the blessings of His goodness to His people. —Arthur W. Pink
The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. —Arthur W. Pink
Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him. —Arthur W. Pink
Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. —Arthur W. Pink
I have benefited by my praying for others; for by making an errand to God for them, I have gotten something for myself. —Samuel Rutherford
Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan. -John Bunyan
He who prays as he ought will endeavour to live as he prays. -John Owen
If we would talk less and pray more about them, things would be be better than they are in the world; at least, we should be better enabled to bear them. -John Owen
Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels. —Thomas Watson