Prayers for meal

“O God, thank you for this food. Help us to be good stewards of your bounty, for your glory and the blessing of others.”

Meal Prayers for all Occasions
Many families say grace before a shared meal, usually dinner. But what about the other times that we nourish our bodies?

I decided to write several new prayers – often built around a classic line – to capture the spirit of a new time. I’ve also included a few old standards. Below are prayers and blessings over food for many different occasions and meals.

At Breakfast
God, with this food, you give us strength. Thank you. Give us a vision for the hours ahead and help us to use this day to glorify you.

At Home Alone
Good Shepherd, be the guest at my table today. May this food refresh my body as you restore my soul. Lead me in the paths of gratitude, today and always.

At Home with Others
1. O God, thank you for this food. Help us to be good stewards of your bounty, for your glory and the blessing of others.

2. Bless our home. Bless this food. Feed our spirits with the bread of life, and help us to know your peace at this table, then as we work and play and sleep.

At a Picnic
God, thank you for the opportunity to gather outdoors, to celebrate the joys of your creation: the fresh air, the colorful trees, the tasty food, our sociable companions. Bless this meal and our time together. Teach us again, this day, to accept your gifts with grateful hearts.

At a Sickbed
God, thank you for this food and its nourishment. Transform it to healing strength and energy, for your glory.

At a Community Gathering
At this abundant table, we thank you, the giver of all good gifts. We also thank the farmers, the cooks, and the servers for their time and attention. Bless them and all of us gathered here, and teach us more about gratitude—for conversation and community, for taste and smell, for life and laughter.

Grace after Meals
(If the entrée is over before you’ve remembered to say grace, you can claim the ancient Jewish custom of praying after the meal – see Deuteronomy 8:10.)

God, we thank you for all the good we have received, especially the satisfaction and nutrition of this food. As it restores our energy, revive our spirits, so we can serve and glorify you today.

A Rhyming Classic

Heavenly Father, great and good, We thank you for this daily food. Bless us even as we pray; Guide and keep us through this day.

Revived by Godspell (M. Claudius; trans. J. M. Campbell; public domain)

All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above; Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for all his love.

From Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name. We declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.

Evelyn Bence is author of Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality (Upper Room Books). Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Books & Culture, US Catholic, among others.

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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 5:16-18a VOICE)

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. 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:

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

Meals are an important aspect to spending time together as a family. If you are wanting to grow closer to Christ, reciting a daily devotion before you eat is just one way to seek blessings and give your thanks. Here is a look at some great non denominational prayers for meals you can share.

Prayer #1

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
…to those who planted the crops
…to those who cultivated the fields
…to those who gathered the harvest.

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
to those who prepared it and those who served it.

In this festivity let us remember too
those who have no festivity
those who cannot share this plenty
those whose lives are more affected than our own
by war, oppression and exploitation
those who are hungry, sick and cold

In sharing in this meal
let us be truly thankful
for the good things we have
for the warm hospitality
and for this good company.

Prayer #2

Let us think thrice while we are gathering here for this meal.
First, let us think of the people we are with today, and make the most of the pleasure of sharing food and drink together.
Then, let us think of the people who made the food and drink and brought it to us, who serve us and wait on us, and who clear up and clean up after us.
Finally, let us think of all the people all over the world, members with us in the human family, who will not have a meal today.

Prayer #3

We are thankful for the food on this table.
We are thankful for this time together.
Our thoughts go out to family and friends;
We hope that they are safe and well.

Prayer #4

For the meal we are about to eat,
for those that made it possible,
and for those with whom we are about to share it,
we are thankful.

Prayer #5

Let us enjoy good food and good drink,
And let us thank all whose efforts have set them before us;
Let us enjoy good companionship,
And let us each one be good company to the others;
Let us enjoy ourselves, without guilt,
But let us not forget that many are less fortunate.

Prayer #6

We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
Who have helped to bring it to our table,
And vow to respond in turn to those in need
With wisdom and compassion.

Prayer #7

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Prayer #8

The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

Prayer #9

I slept and dreamt that life was joy;
I awoke and saw that life was service;
I acted and behold, service was joy!

Prayer #10

For the food that nourishes our bodies . . .
for the fellowship here that feeds our souls . . .
for all things good and beautiful with which our lives are filled . . .
we give our thanks today.

Prayer #11

Teach us to use our freedom to help to preserve and strengthen the freedom of all;
By respecting and upholding its laws;
By supporting our law enforcement agencies;
By informing ourselves on current issues;
By voting regularly and wisely; and
By honoring the rights of other people;
And now bless this food to our use and us to Your service. Amen.

Prayer #12

Bless this day
keep me safe and whole
kind and compassionate

Bless my path today
Help me to act with wisdom
and live in perpetual gratitude

Bless my human family
who are everywhere & everyone
Bless the creatures and plants
May all life be blessed on this day

Prayer #13

We bless this food before us,
May we be grateful for our meal,
our family, our home and our blessings,
Bless those who do not have enough to eat,
May they soon eat their fill and be blessed with enough.

Prayer #14

We are blessed today, with enough to eat,
May we be grateful.
We are blessed with clothes to wear,
May we be grateful.
We are blessed with shelter from the elements,
May we be grateful.
We are very well blessed today.
May we remember that there are many people
who do not have these blessings.
May we be grateful enough to help others when we can.

Prayer #15

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that we long to see!
With Earth as our mother, family all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

Here is a great example to a reflection of praying before a special meal such as Thanksgiving. Remembering to give praise before you dig in to eat is an important aspect of showing gratitude and thanking the Lord for all that he has provided you with.

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