Father God, we come to in a grateful heart for all that You have done for us today; thank You for waking us this morning, protecting us last night, for providing all our needs today. We ask that You hear our prayer over our food each day. Bless us to pray over our food before we pray. Teach us how to pray over our food before we eat in Jesus' name. These lessons have been a blessing to our spiritual walk with You, Lord. Lord, we pray in all things, even as we eat our meals. We thank You, Lord. We sanctify our food in Jesus' name. Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and us to thy service, and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others, in Jesus' name. Most Holy, Righteous and everywhere present God, our Father who art in Heaven, we ask thy blessing upon this food. Bless the hearts and hands that provide the same. And when it is ours to pass from time to eternity, own us and crown us heirs to Thy kingdom. These favors and blessings we ask in the name of Christ, our Great Redeemer. Teach us to pray, and bless us to use our time with You, Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN.
Lesson 5 Jesus prayed before meals.
Matthew 14:19; Matthew 15:36; Mark 6:41, Mark 8:7, 14:22, Luke 24:30; Acts 27:35; I Corinthians 11:24
Little Johnny and his family were having dinner at his Grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate he started eating right away. "Johnny, wait until we say our prayer," his mother scolded. "I don't have to," the boy replied. "Of course, you do," his mother insisted. "We always say a prayer before eating at our house." "That's at our house," Johnny explained. "But this is Grandma's house, and she knows how to cook." (LOL)
Praying before meals was a common Jewish practice (and, most evangelical Christians do likewise.) Jesus followed that practice, too.
We see that evidenced:
• when he fed the five thousand with the boy's lunch of bread and fish (Mark 6:41);
• when he fed the four thousand (Mark 8:6);
• when he shared a meal with his disciples in the upper room the night before his crucifixion (Mark 14:22);
• and, following his resurrection, when he shared a meal with Cleopas and his wife in Emmaus (Luke 24:30).
We also see this practice evidenced when Jesus taught his disciples to pray in what we know as the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:11).
Praying before meals is a good thing. It reminds us that we are the beneficiaries of good things. That God has blessed us with the ability to eat as well as the resources to eat. It puts our life into perspective that without God's intervention, his help, we would perish. As we need food and water to survive, we need God's involvement in our lives, too.
Parenthetically, being thankful for God's blessings shouldn't end at the breakfast table.
• What about when you get in your car to drive to work?
• Or stop at the gym to work out? Or fill your car up with gasoline?
• Or pick up a book at the library? Or sit down at your desk at your job?
Let's not make prayer at meals a sacrament, but let's not ignore it either (and all the other benefits and gifts that God has provided.)
May I offer a few suggestions about praying before meal.
1. Pray, but don't preach. Be brief and to the point.
2. Be sincere, but don't be stale. Use variety.
3. In public, be a witness, but don't be a show off. I imagine that Jesus would pray before meals in a public place, but he would not draw attention to himself by praying ostentatiously. He prayed over the loaves and fish but the writers did not record his words, perhaps because they were brief. Remember you can pray with your eyes open and you can offer a silent prayer to God.
4. In public, don't pray, if you aren't going to leave a proper tip. I've been told that, generally speaking, the smallest tips are left at restaurants on Sundays by the church crowd.
Don't be a positive witness through your prayers and then a negative witness through your tipping.
Week # 5 PRIVATE DEVOTIONS TIME: Before Meals (Mark 8:7)
"And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them."
Week # 5 NOTABLE PRAYERS: Solomon (1 Kings 3:6; 8:22)
6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
1 Kings 8:22
22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:
Week # 5 QUESTIONS:
1). Do you pray before your meals?
2). Have you had an experience with God since you started this study?
3). What kind of prayer King Solomon prayed in (I Kings 3:6; 8:22)?
Week # 5 PRAYER FOCUS:
To acknowledge God in all my ways, even before I eat; (Proverbs 3:6) "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Week # 5 PRAYER REQUEST:
Pray for elections to be fair, honest, and without corruption (Proverbs 16:13)
Week # 5 APPLY IT: A Daily Quiet Time with God
I feel I may not ever pray like Jesus, but I am trying to get a lift style as to praying as close as I can like Jesus did. I have been praying more wherever I am, whenever its needed, and focusing on the Lord more than on my situation too.
Week # 5 THOUGHT4TODAY:
"Take charge of your thoughts by reminding yourself of My Presence in the present."
Week # 5 Reading Assignments………………..Book of Genesis Chapters 21-25
Jesus prayed before meals.