Sample prayer before meal

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.

sample prayer before meal

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.

sample prayer before meal

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A Sample Prayer for Personal Character

Abba Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. May I never disappoint you in the way I treat others. May they see in me the qualities of character that can only be attributed to your presence in my life. To you be the glory and the honor, forever and ever, through Jesus my Lord. Amen. ~Phil  Ware

A Sample Prayer of Personal Renewal

(When you are unsure of where you will spend eternity) Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen

Graduation Prayer

Father, I have knowledge, so will You show me now, How to use it wisely and find a way somehow To make the world I live in a little better place, And make life with its problems a little bit easier to face. Grant me faith and courage and put purpose in my days, And show me how to serve Thee in effective ways. So my education, my knowledge and my skill May find their true fulfillment as I learn to do Thy will. And may I ever be aware in everything I do, That knowledge comes from learning, and wisdom comes from You. Amen.

Prayer of Commitment to Marriage

Heavenly Father, thank you that you love each of us and want us to experience wholeness and hope in our lives. You see when we fail to live according to your ideals and instead find ourselves in a broken relationship. Help us to be willing to accept our own responsibility in this and be willing to ask for forgiveness and to extend forgiveness. May we never retaliate when we feel wronged, but help us to make choices that would show that we have made a commitment of love which we will keep. May we never take this commitment lightly but choose to work at our marriage. May we also realize that sometimes renewal of relationships takes time. May each of us determine to demonstrate patience, kindness and love in how we interact with each other. We ask this in the name of our loving Lord. Amen. – Anne Nickel

A Morning Prayer

“Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do Your work; I give You my feet to go Your way; I give You my eyes to see as You see; I give You my tongue to speak Your words; I give You my mind that You may think in me; I give You my spirit that You may pray in me. Above all, I give You my heart that You may love in me – love the Father and love all humankind. I give You my whole self, Lord, that You may grow in me, so that it is You who lives, works and prays in me. Amen.”

Benediction Prayer

Therefore, may the blessing of the LORD be upon you, and may you know the joy of putting his name upon others.  For indeed, blessed are those who walk in the light of God’s face.    ~Jill Carattini

→ How to Walk under the direction of the Holy Spirit

A Prayer – When You are Fearful

Father God, I am feeling fearful today. Life seems to be uncertain and out of control. I recall that the Bible tells me ‘Perfect love casts out fear’. You alone are Perfect Love, so would you please cast out the fear I feel and replace it with confidence in your sufficiency. Psalm 121 tells me that you never slumber or sleep, so I will trust you to take care of me – moment by moment, day by day. In Jesus name. Amen

A Prayer about Commitment

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. For it is your business, not mine. You will know every shade of my suffering; You will care for me with your perfect fatherhood. -George Mac Donald

→ How to Commit your Spirit to God

Please Make Me New!

Heavenly Father, Thou hast made me, be pleased to new-make me. I am thy work, complete me; I am thy harp, tune me; I am thy child, teach me. – Charles  Spurgeon

→ Article on How to Become a New Person

In God’s Will

Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will. Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it. -Corrie Ten Boom

→ Knowing God’s will for your Life

A Prayer of Confession

Forgive us, Lord . . . for the things we have done that make us feel uncomfortable in Your presence. All the front that we polish so carefully for men to see does not deceive You. For you know every thought that has left its shadow on our memory. You have marked every motive that curdled something sweet within us. We acknowledge–with bitterness and true repentance–that cross and selfish thoughts have entered our minds; we acknowledge that we have permitted our minds to wander through unclean and forbidden ways; we have toyed with that which we knew was not for us; we have desired that which we should not have. We acknowledge that often we have deceived ourselves where our plain duty lay. We confess before You that our ears are often deaf to the whisper of Thy call, our eyes often blind to the signs of your guidance, Make us willing to be changed, even though it requires surgery of the soul and the therapy of discipline. Make our hearts warm and soft, that we may receive now the blessing of Your forgiveness, the benediction of Your “Depart in peace . . and sin no more.” Amen -Peter Marshall

→ How to Remain Guilt Free

A Prayer for When You Need Wisdom and Direction

Father God, there are so many decisions to make and I don?t seem to know what is the best for now or for the future. You said if we lack wisdom, all we need to do is ask you. I really need you to pour wisdominto my mind today. Thank you!

A Prayer for Success

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.” So God granted him what he requested. I Chronicles 4:10 NKJV  

A Prayer for When You are Weak or Ill

Father, I am feeling lousy today. I ache all over and feel very weak. You said that your grace was sufficient for me. Please strengthen me. Give me joy in spite of how I feel physically. Amen

A Prayer for the Young Women of the World

Father God, thank you for all the young women in the world. Give them dreams that are bigger than themselves–so they will have to trust you to make their dream come true. Give them a will and heart to be all you created them to be. Help them to work hard and be successful. Enable them to be generous to those who are less fortunate. Give them hearts full of love and compassion. Give them the strength to say “no” to activities that they would later be remorseful about–that they would do what is right for them and for the world around them. Help them to be kind to others. Protect them from people who would harm them physically, emotionally and mentally. Let them know that allowing You to direct their way is the smartest thing they can do. In Jesus wonderful and powerful name. Amen

→ Getting the Power to Live

A Prayer for Others

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest Your weary ones. Bless Your dying ones. Soothe Your suffering ones. Pity Your afflicted ones. Shield Your joyous ones. And all for Your love’s sake. Amen – Augustine of Hippo

A Prayer for Prodigals

Prayer FROM ISAIAH 33 (Taken from Living in His Presence by Sylvia Gunter) Isaiah 33: 33:2:  Oh Lord, be gracious to us who stand and pray for these wayward ones _____________.  We have long waited for You to intervene.  Be our strength every morning and our salvation in this distress.  Keep us steadfast in intercession with clean hands and a pure heart. 33:5:  Lord, be exalted, for You are the King.  Fill the home of Your covenant families with Your righteousness. 33:6:  Be the sure foundation for our times and provide us a rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.  Let us know the fear of the Lord, which is the key to Your treasury of good gifts and answered prayer. 33:10:  Arise, Lord, stand up and show Your power to all these children of Yours. 33:13:  Stop the wayward ones whose hardened hearts are running away from You.  Make them hear what You have done for them.  We stand in prayer and acknowledge that Your power alone can release these loved ones from their captivities. 33:15:  O consuming Fire, cause _________ to walk righteously and speak what is right, to reject dishonesty, to stay away from wickedness and to reject the conspiracies of destruction and death through the bondage’s and addictions in their lives. 33:17:  Let ________’s eyes see their King, bow their knees and acknowledge that You reign in the universe and have rightful claim on their lives as their Lord. 33:19:  This is spiritual warfare, and the evil one has fiercely and violently contested for ________’s life.  The battle is the Lord’s, and Jesus is the Victor, so their parents and family stand in Your authority to receive Your promises of victory.  Let _______ not be consumed with arrogance, self-centeredness and rebellion any longer.  Free them from the oppression of everything that is foreign to Your purposes for their life. 33:20:  You have the power to make _______’s life an offering of service and worship before You.  You are at work in them to will and to do Your good pleasure.  Set them in Your peace, stability and permanence. 33:21:  Be their Mighty One, a wide river of defense and protection that no enemy can cross to destroy their life. 33:22:  You ARE THE Judge, the Lawgiver and the King.  Save _________ as You promised. 33:24:  Break the power of iniquity that binds them, and forgive them completely of all their sins.  Restore _______ to health?body, soul and spirit.  We ask in Jesus? name, Amen. Used by permission.

A Prayer for When You Need more Faith

“Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will govern all. Amen.” -Elisabeth Elliot

A Prayer When You Want to be Reflecting Christ

Lord, make my life A window for Your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect Your love to all I meet. Amen.

Make Me an Instrument

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”  St. Francis of Assisi

A Prayer When You Feel like You have Failed.

Dear God, The little plans I tried to carry through Have failed. I will not sorrow. I’ll pause a little while, Dear God, And try, again, tomorrow.

A Prayer for a Dream

Father, Once I had such big dreams, so much anticipation of the future. Now no shimmering horizon beckons me: my days are lack-luster I see so little of lasting value in the daily round. Where is your plan for my life? You have told us that without vision, we perish. So, Father in heaven, knowing that I can ask You to deposit in my mind and heart that particular dream, the special vision You have for my life. And along with the dream, will You give me whatever graces, patience, and stamina it takes to see the dream through to fruition? I sense that may involve adventures I have not bargained for. But I want to trust You enough to follow even if you lead along new paths. I admit to liking some of my ruts. But I know that habit patterns that seem cozy nests from the inside, from Your vantage point may be prison cells. Lord, if you break down any prisons of mine before I can see the stars and catch the vision, then, Lord, begin the process now. In joyous expectation. Amen. -by Catherine Marshall

A Prayer for Conflict Resolution

Dear God, when your son Jesus died and rose from the dead, He broke down walls of hostility. Father, you know the conflict I am having right now. I don’t know how to resolve it. You are our Savior. Please save and restore this relationship. Amen

→ Why is M y Marriage in a State of Conflict?

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

For health and strength and daily food, We praise your name, O God. Amen

Sample Prayers before Meals

Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, through thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord…Amen

Thank you Lord, for the food for which you have provided and for the friends and family with whom to share it.  Amen

Dear Lord, Bless this food which we are about to partake in and bless our conversation that it may be glorifying to you.  Amen

For health and strength and daily food we give thee thanks Oh Lord

A Prayer for our Children and Grandchildren

Lord, I am so glad that you know each of our children and grandchildren by name. Thank you for sending a whole hedge of angels around each child. Thank you for protecting them all today. Father, would you please turn their minds and hearts toward You and pleasing you. Thank you!

A Prayer for When You are Down-Sizing (Moving)

Lord, I really don’t what to move. I like it here – there are so many memories. I am comfortable here because it is familiar. I know it is to large for me (us) now, to much work, but I have such mixed feelings. I don’t like the thought of all the changes. I am so glad you never change. You are and always will be a constant in my life. Help me to remember that when I am packing and unpacking. Amen.

Prayer for a Pastor

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of leadership you have given to our pastor. It is a holy calling. It’s a calling to watch over himself and the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made him overseer. The church has been bought with the blood of your son, on the cross. The responsibility you have given to our pastor is awesome. He too is tempted and tried by the enemy. He has many responsibilities be it in his family or in the community and so it is our prayer that he would be kept from the evil one and that you would empower him to live a godly life, so that out of his fullness he would share the message of the gospel boldly. Help our pastor this week as he searches the Word and Your will for the congregation. Will you grant him the health and strength he needs to share your message in humility and with clarity. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Prayer for a Pastor’s Wife

Dear Father in heaven, I thank you for my pastor’s wife. I thank you she loves you and serves you so faithfully. I pray very specially for her today. I pray You will help her cope with all the unexpected things that come into her day. Help her to accept the interruptions as opportunities to serve. Help her to support her husband and learn to go with the flow of his full life. Help her to manage her household well. Just fill her with yourself today. Help her to allow your Holy Spirit to have full control of her life and may she take strength from you as she meditates on You and Your Word. Give her a hug today. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

A Prayer to Put on the Whole Armor of God

Heavenly Father, I praise and worship you because you are God.  I am honored to be your servant and I take my stand today against the devil and his schemes against me, my family and my ministry.  Father, as I take up each piece of the armor, please secure it in place on me. I take up the shield of faith and extend it over myself.  It extinguishes all the fiery darts of the evil one. I put on the helmet of salvation, which protects my mind from the enemy’s attacks.  I have the mind of Christ. I put on the breastplate of righteousness, which covers my body with the righteousness of God.  In Christ, every foothold of evil has been washed away and I am clothed in righteousness! I gird my loins with the belt of truth.  Your word, O God, is truth.  Father, sanctify me according to your word and remind me through the Holy Spirit of the truth that destroys the lies of sin.   I shod my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.  I have peace with God through the blood of Jesus.  I have favor with God and with man.  I walk in my inheritance as an adopted son of God and have authority over evil in Jesus’ name. I will use the Sword of the Spirit by speaking the Word of God as it applies to whatever situation I may face today.  Father, please remind me of your Word via the Holy Spirit. I will continue to pray in the Spirit throughout the day, and intercede for all Christians as the Holy Spirit prompts me.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is interceding on my behalf according to my prayers.     Thank you, Father, for the whole armor of God.  Please surround me with your hedge of protection as I move forward on the spiritual battlefield today.  I praise and worship you now and forever, Amen.”

A Prayer for Those in Prison

Father in Heaven we pray for all who are in prison and ask that they would repent of their wrongdoing and thus be freed from the bondage of their sin and shame .  We pray for courage and faith for each of them.  We also pray for all who are affected by their imprisonment.  May they not lose hope.  May we all learn to follow God’s instructions to forgive each other, do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.  Amen

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