When when we look through the scriptures, we will find prayers said before meals are partaken. These prayers are prayers of thanksgiving for God’s provision, and  reminders of God’s presence. When reflecting on prayers before a meal, I think of Jesus when He blessed the five loaves and two fish to feed the crowd that had gathered to hear him teach. God not only provided enough food with this small amount but he provided to the point that they had leftovers.  Along with the abundance of  food, I am sure that there was an abundance of fellowship and Jesus enjoyed every minute of it.

This week,  a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook in the midst of preparing his lesson for his Sunday School group. The question was; “Why do we pray before meals?”  As I read this question, I realized it is the simple questions about what and why we do the things each day that make us dig deep within our souls.

For me, I was raised in a home where blessings were said before meals. My husband, Jim was raised in a home where blessings were said before meals. Jim and I have raised a son to say blessings before meals. Thus, saying a blessing before a meal is a tradition, a habit, and something that we just do without question.

But, to answer my friend, Reg’s question; “Why do we pray before meals?”  My answer to his question was; “I pray before meals because it is a time to thank God for his provision.” Then, I went to share that for me when the blessing is said before a meal that we are asking Christ to come join us at the table. We are wanting Him to be center of our family, friends and fellowship that is gathered around that table. Yes, at each meal when we pray, we have a guest of honor in our midst. This guest of honor is Jesus.

So, “why do we pray before meals?”  is a simple question with a soul-searching answer. The next time you are seated at the table and about to offer up your blessing to God, think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Then, as you pray, realize that in that moment you have extended an invitation to Christ  to join you at the table for food and fellowship. You see, it is at every meal that we have a guest of honor.

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Blessings

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