Let Us Thank Him For Our Food

By Katie, 5:18 am

God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food…

As a child I was always taught to say a short prayer of thanks before sitting down to a meal. Fortunately it’s a habit that’s stuck; saying grace is practically ingrained in me.

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For a long time, however, my pre-meal prayers were so habitual and ritualistic that they lost their authenticity. I was just going through the motions…sometimes quite literally, simply repeating the memorized prayers of my childhood. I wasn’t thinking through the words I was reciting; I wasn’t expressing any genuine gratitude.

What brought me out of this robotic state was actually my rocky relationship with food. Not surprisingly, I used to find meal times especially stressful; I wanted to relax and enjoy them, but any situation involving food was a loaded one. :-?

As I began to make peace with food and meal times, taking two minutes to be quiet and thankful before digging in took on much greater significance. I needed that time to take some deep breaths and re-gain my larger perspective on life. Saying grace was about thanking God for the food and for giving me the strength to appreciate it. It was about praising Him for guiding me through my struggles, and calling on Him to continue to do so. And it was about remembering to step outside of my own little bubble and pray for others…particularly those whose struggles with food are about not having enough of it to survive.

Taking a few moments to be quiet, thankful, and reflective before a meal has been a large part of my journey toward making peace with food. It is in those minutes of stillness and gratitude that I am able to gain my footing, find my strength, and be genuinely thankful for my many undeserved blessings.

Do you usually pray or take a few moments of silence before meals?

26 Responses to “Let Us Thank Him For Our Food”

  1. I don’t normally, but I think that it would be a great thing to do.

  2. I usually do before dinner. It’s a nice time to just stop and reflect before eating. I especially love praying in the family setting before a big meal. It makes that time so much more meaningful, I think.

    But I love what you said about praying before meals as a way to make peace with food. You have such a great perspective. Reflecting on things outside of ourselves and the blessing that the food is to us brings so much more meaning to what we are about to eat.

  3. Tina says:

    I admit that I don’t really pray before meals. I do pray throughout the day but meals are always a crazy scenario in our house with trying to keep food on M’s plate and eat in time for other things. I did pray a lot about food when overcoming my past issues. Every single morsel was prayed over then. It makes me sad that I stopped.

  4. homecookedem says:

    My family always prayed before meals and I guess I just stopped when I went to college and started my own life with Andrew. I pray silently, but I need to start doing it more before dinner b/c we all have so much thanks to give to be able to sit down to a healthy and delicious meal. Great post!!

  5. While I am not religious and my family does not say a prayer, i really do love this post because I think it is SO important to be thankful for the food infront of us. Many people in the world are not as blessed as we are.

  6. tanyasdaily says:

    I still do it for breakfast sometimes lunch and always for dinner. Great post!

  7. I don’t usually, but I do think it’s important to be grateful for our food, so you’ve got me thinking :-)

  8. katie says:

    its ingrained in ME TOO!! I have to say a prayer before.. especially when im on lunch dates with people too.. just thankful for FOOD. we take it for granted sometimes, america is so freaking spoiled.

  9. Jessica says:

    Yep, always. Gotta thank the One who gives us everything.

  10. i always pray – either internally or out loud – before every meal. why wouldn’t i thank God for always providing and sustaining my every need? :)

  11. Josie says:

    i pray before meals, but i’m bad to pray from rote memorization. i have come a long way, but it takes work every day. i love your quiet reflection and your plea for others; that’s just beautiful.

  12. I don’t, but I should. Thank you for this important reminder.

  13. I don’t because I’m not religious, but I do believe it’s important not to take our food for granted. I’m so thankful for all of my meals!

  14. Jessica says:

    My son actually says our prayer before meals(and he constantly catches my husband with is eyes open during prayer and puts him in his place about it – too cute!) We recently started the practice of using our meal time to “chat” about what we are thankful for and what makes us happy. We don’t do it all of the time but I really love it when we do.

  15. Dorry says:

    I’m in the habit of saying a little prayer before I eat – at least most of the time. :) My niece has a precious prayer she learned that we all say at family meals.

  16. Carolyn says:

    I do. Like you, I found myself just reciting my childhood prayer without really taking time to think about it, so my husband and I recently started taking time to each thank God for something in our lives before we eat.

  17. My family wasn’t particularly religious as a child. Ironically, my mom and I are now and go to church almost every Sunday. So we never said Grace except at Thanksgiving or Christmas when my grandparents were there to say it. I think this is a really great post though. I kind of genuinely don’t like food much,I mean I am not a real natural foodie, but I am starting to realize that that doesn’t matter, my body still needs it anyway. We forget so many times that we are lucky to have that nourishment and I think I am going to try to start incorporating something like this before I eat, even just to be thankful for God to give me strength.

  18. Arielle says:

    I used to but somehow… eating most of my food at work or by myself, I got out of the habit of doing it. I feel guilty when I eat with my family because I’m not used to doing it anymore.

  19. Nicole, RD says:

    That’s the very same prayer we said at home when we were growing up. My parents still say grace before every meal. The Mr. and I need to be better about that – he usually digs right in and I spend the next 15 minutes trying to get a good photo. In all seriousness, you bring up some great points about taking a moment out before eating…it’s good for a lot of things. At least for me :)

  20. I am really bad about praying in general. It is always something I want to correct but never do. Ugh….

  21. hey Katie, i just found your blog and it looks awesome! great post as well. (that prayer at the start was also a part of my childhood :) ) i think you’re right, it’s important to think about what you’re praying, not just go through the motions. great reminder :)

  22. Jennifer says:

    I have always prayed before eating, but like you, sometimes it simply comes from habit. It’s almost like I’m in a rush to get out a blessing so I can dig into my food. But now I think, what’s the hurry? Can I not take a few extra moments to thank the God that actually provided all of this for me? Those thoughts definitely made me slow done. You bring up some good points though about associating it with your fears involving food.

  23. i always make the sign of the cross and give a quick thankyou to my food, my body, and the opportunity to have both in good harmony and health. makes me enjoy my food so much more <3

  24. Run Sarah says:

    Great post – I have become so repetitive with saying grace over the years I do it on auto-pilot and don’t actually think about the true meaning of my words. Thanks for the reminder.

  25. This is really an interesting take on this. You may be on to something here. I am going to make an effort to get out of the ritual pre-meal prayers and really take time to be thankful for the food.

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