Praying Before Meals

September 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

Karen and I pray before our meals.

I guess I grew up doing this, so we do it as well.

Pausing to give thanks for God’s provision is a good thing and meals seem to be an appropriate time – you know, “the bounty” and all.

We also typically pray before our meal when we are at a restaurant.*

I don’t think there is a specific command in the Bible about praying before a meal, though we read about Jesus praying before several. [I did find an interesting article over at the Stuff Christian’s Like blog that provides some “insight.”]

Anyway…

Today, I was reading in Matthew and read this:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:5, 6 (NIV)

At lunch, I thought about these verses:

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 10:32, 33 (NIV)

I guess I never thought about our “restaurant” meal prayer in the context of Matthew 6: the thought that it might fit with what Jesus described.

As the same time, I don’t think not praying for a meal is a form of denying Him as Matthew 10 describes.

Over to you:

  • Do you pray before meals in public?
  • What are your thoughts about the two passages from Matthew?
  • If you don’t consider yourself religious, what are your thoughts on this?

*Funny story:

We were at Disneyland years ago with some friends and had just sat down to eat dinner. We were at the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Frontierland and purposely sat near the wall so we could watch people as we ate.

After everyone was settled, we bowed to pray for the food. As my friend prayed, I opened my eyes and glanced up – just in time to see a kid reaching to take one of my nachos!

Everyone was still praying, but I made eye contact with him and quietly said, “Dude, not cool.”

He and his friends made a beeline – “running like the wind!” – never to be seen again.

My friend said Amen, I shared the story, and we all cracked up!

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