You know for years I never said grace before I ate. I was not opposed to saying a blessing, its just that I felt like it was not sincere and maybe just a formality but not from my heart. Then I had children. It’s funny how you have a different outlook on things when you are raising little ones. Now we always pray before we eat. It has become a habit so much a part of us that we don’t even think about it anymore. It’s as natural as using a fork and knife. Is it always sincere and heartfelt? Probably not always…..but sometimes it really is.
One writer wrote: “Grace before meals signifies a pause, a moment of reflection, a moment of gratitude. It draws a line across which many pass in haste. It is a civilizing influence in any home and gives the meal unity and dignity.” I find that it slows us down and helps us to be mindful and more aware of the moment. It sets a tone for the meal.
I truly appreciate it when my children or husband remembers to thank me for the meal. Sometimes my dear husband even thanks God for ” all of Mom’s hard work” when he prays. I appreciate this and it lifts lifts me up. So if I value the thanks and acknowledgment for my efforts, I think our family should remember to also thank our creator who has so abundantly blessed us. Sometimes when we pray we just say what is on our heart. Other times we sing a prayer or recite a memorized prayer. I like to add some variety especially for the children. I would like to share some of my favorite prayers with you. I hope you will share them with your family.
One of my favorite prayers I found in a Mennonite poem book called “poems for memorization”. We sing it to a popular hymn melody.
“We fold our hands that we may be…..
from earthly work and play set free.
We bow our heads as we draw near….
the king of kings our Father dear.
We close our eyes that we may see…..
nothing to take our thoughts from thee.
Bless now this food before we take….
and this we ask for Jesus sake. Amen ”
“Come, Lord, and with us dine, Into our darkened hearts please shine, direct our speech to all things pure, that we may live steadfast and sure. Amen”
“For life and health and common things, which every day and hour brings, for home and love and happiness, we thank thee Lord, Amen”
“Be present at our table, Lord, be here and everywhere adored, these mercies bless and grant that we, May strengthen for thy service be. Amen.”
“Bless, O Lord, this food to our use… and us…. to Thy service, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The Hebrew Blessing: “Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu Meleku ha-olom, ha-motzee lechem meen ha-aretz.” “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
” Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu Melech ha-olom, boray pri hagafen.” “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.
” Children’s Prayers: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest, and let your gifts to us be blessed.Amen”
“Bless this food, dear Lord, we pray. Make us thankful every day. Amen”
“For warm, safe homes, for clothes to wear, for food to eat and food to share—Thank You, Lord. Amen.”
“Dear Jesus, now I bow my head, Before I eat this daily bread. To you, O Lord, my thanks I say, For food and drink another day. Amen.”
“Dear Lord, hear us pray, Bless our food today. Lord, we pray again: Bless us too. Amen.”
“We thank you, Lord, for happy hearts, for sun and rainy weather. We thank you for the food we eat, and that we are all together. Amen.
” The Johnny Apple seed Song: “O, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need, The sun and rain and the apple seed, the Lord is good to me.” Amen
I hope you and your family can enjoy some of these blessings. Whether we use spontaneous prayers, memorized prayers….whether we express our thanks before during or after the meal is not really so important but just than we all continue to have grateful hearts. We are so blessed.
Thank you for reading my ramblings.