Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do you have to pray for your food every time you eat?


There are numerous examples in the New Testament of Jesus and others praying or “giving thanks” for their food before they ate.

When Jesus fed the 5000, He blessed the meal:
  • “Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds” (Matthew 14:19).

When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper the Bible says He “Gave thanks”:
  • “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

The Apostle Paul gave thanks for food while on board a ship:
  • “Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat”. (Acts 27:35)

Paul wrote by inspiration when discussing how some false teachers were forbidding people to eat certain foods:
  • “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer”  (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

Answer: 
  • I do not believe that every time a person puts food in their mouth they are required by God to pray/give thanks for it. (As I type this post, I am eating some mints that I did not pray over, but I am thankful that I have). 
  • I do however think that their are enough passages to prove that it should at least be a habit in our lives to do so often. It is not that difficult to take a moment before we eat and give thanks to God. (This could be done out loud when with a group, or under your breath or even in your heart when by yourself.) The more time we spend in prayer the better our life will be (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
  • The model prayer in (Matthew 6:11) gives us the example of praying to God and asking Him to “give us this day our daily bread”. The Bible lets us know that all we have is a blessing from God and if our daily bread is a blessing from God, it would do us good to take the time to say “thank you”. 
  • Even when there are times in which we do not pray before we eat, we should at least have an attitude of gratitude for the blessings we have received. 
  • I teach my children to always say “thank you” when a person gives them something or does something for them. When counting our blessings I am sure we will find numerous times to say “thank you God!”, and even when we do not say it, hopefully our actions will show it.
CS