Should Christians PRAY BEFORE MEALS?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by ROBERTGUWAPO, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. ROBERTGUWAPO

    ROBERTGUWAPO
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    A lot of us pray before meals just because of habit. And a lot of us pray the same prayer "verbatim" over and over again. And a lot of us love to, "Can we ask brother so-and-so to pray before partaking of this meal?" to avoid being the one to pray. And a lot of us pray so that to avoid being labeled a "someone-who-doesn't-pray-before meals."

    Should we really pray before meals even if we don't feel like praying? Or, would a "thankful heart" suffice?
     
  2. Marcia

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    Didn't Jesus set an example by thanking God before eating? I think this is why we do this.

     
  3. ROBERTGUWAPO

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    But what if you don't feel like praying? Should you force yourself to pray just to pray? Just asking.... [​IMG]
     
  4. HeDied4U

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    ROBERTGUWAPO asks...

    Let me ask a question in return. When it comes time to go to the Lord in prayer, be it at the end of your day or at the beginning or whenever, and you don't feel like praying, what do you do? Granted, I can only speak for myself, but I find that no matter if I "feel" like praying or not, I pray, thanking Him for the day and all He has provided. Why should it be any different at mealtime? Whether I'm in a mood to pray or not, I always take the time to thank Him for what He has provided, be it a cheeseburger from White Castle, or a wonderful T-bone my wife has fixed.

    Growing up, my family said the same prayer the exact same way every night before dinner. Nowadays, when my wife and I "say grace," I always try to mix it up from day to day.

    That's my two cents worth...God Bless!!!

    Adam
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

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    What if God didn't feel like giving us food for our meal? Do you think He should force Himself to do it anyway...?

    I figure if God puts food in my mouth, the least I can do is thank Him for it!

    Another advantage (for the wife) is when the husband thanks God for the food, he can hardly complain about how it tastes! :D

    What if you didn't feel like going to work? Should you force yourself to go just to be going? What if your child didn't feel like going to school? Should you force him/her to go just to be going?

    We are not to live by our 'feelings' because they change so rapidly. We are to live by the Word and the Word says "in EVERYthing, give thanks".

    JMHO,
    ┬žue
     
  6. HankD

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    Sure as long as they do it in one of their closets:

    Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    Actually, this means to do it secretly.

    ???

    HankD
     
  7. Pastor J

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    In the Scriptures you gave, What did Jesus do? He Thanked God and blessed it.

    When we eat, I thank my wife for preparing it and I thank God for giving it to us. It is not a long prayer. It is simply telling God thank you. Sometimes it is as simple as (Father, Thank you for this food, please bless it, Amen)
     
  8. Greg Linscott

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    In Christ's model prayer, he prays, "Give us this day our daily bread." It carries with it the concept that we are acknowledging that this food has been provided by God.

    In response to Robert's question, I would think that you need to discipline yourself to pray- feelings aside. Eventually, you should feel like it, but it is a matter of training. We make our children pray, even if they "don't feel like it." We also make them apologize and ask forgiveness when they have wrongeed someone else- again, regardless of how they are "feeling." The goal is to develop in them the right feelings, so they will eventually want to.
     
  9. Pastor J

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    Well said Greg
     
  10. Marcia

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    As someone in full-time ministry, I live on donations so I am sharply aware that the food before me has come from God. I would not enjoy eating it if I did not acknowledge God's graciousness and goodness in providing it to me.

    After becoming a believer in late 1990, I gradually became more and more aware through God's word how everything I have is provided by Him. I do not have myself to thank. Thanking Him comes naturally.

    I also think the more you cultivate a grateful heart and attitude, the more joy you have. Just for awhile, write down every day what God gives you each day (your job, your food, your shelter, your family, your church, your friends) and you will want to thank him for that food!
     
  11. ROBERTGUWAPO

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    Thanks to all your replies; they have been very helpful. Another variation of the question: But do we sin if we don't pray before meals?
     
  12. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I don't know that it is a sin, but in my opinion, it is a sign of a very ungrateful heart and unwillingness to admit that everything we have comes from God. (I am simply answering the question and not directing my remarks to anyone)

    I know when my children receive something from me, I like to hear thank you. If I don't hear it, I might stop giving so readily...

    If we say we love someone and never talk to them; what good is our love?
     
  13. rufus

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    We should unless we want to be 11/10ths hog! [​IMG]
     
  14. Helen

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    That question could only be asked by someone who has always had enough to eat. We had times in our lives when we did not know where the next meal was coming from, and times when a dollar a day was it for food. YOU BET we pray before each meal, and with a very thankful heart.

    Besides, why would any child of God want to miss a chance to talk to his or her Father? Not to mention miss a chance to witness before both man and angel.
     
  15. Salty

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    Interesting question. Do we pray before we eat? Do only "real meals" count? Today I bought a hot dog. How about a candy bar or an ice cream?

    Lets add a real good "what if" What if my wife and I are guests at a friends house, and they do not want any praying in their house?
     
  16. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Speaking for myself I'd only say that it would seem to always be a good thing to give thanks to the Lord for the way he provides for my needs.

    "Oh,give thanks unto the Lord;For He is good:for His mercy endureth forever."(Psalm 136:1)

    Greg Sr.
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

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    I don't eat ANYTHING without thanking God for it.

    If someone doesn't want praying at their house, I can always say a silent prayer. I don't have to speak out loud, fold my hands, bow my head, and close my eyes for God to hear my prayer. No one can stop us from praying. [​IMG]

    I doubt I would be close friends with someone who was that set against praying though... :eek:
     
  18. dh1948

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    What about the motivation for praying before we eat? When in a public place, do we pray so that others will see us and conclude that we must be a Christian? To be honest about it, I have done that. Thanking God for the meal was not my primary motivation. I wanted to make an impression on those around me.

    What about praying over a meal when you are a guest in someone's house? I think you can usually sense what your hosts expect. If they do not pray, or ask you to offer a prayer, it is safe to assume that they do not want you to publicly pray before the meal. I've never had a problem with that. I can very easily and discreetly offer a silent prayer to God for my food.

    What about praying over that candy bar or soda pop we partake of between meals? That's an interesting question. When I pray each morning, I thank God for many things. Included are my family,salvation, my church, the beautiful weather (rain or shine!) shelter, clothing, FOOD, etc. If I overlook stopping to pray over the Snickers, have I shown my ungratefulness and sinned? Since earlier in the day I included food in my prayer of thanksgiving, IMO I have not sinned. If I have, then I also sin each time I walk out of a building and feel the warmth of the sun on a winter day and do not stop, bow my head, and thank God for the beautiful weather.

    As Christians, we want to do what is right. I am afraid that sometimes we want so badly to do right that we fail to see our motivation for wanting to do right. If our motivation is not right, our resulting actions are not right in God's sight. We may impress man, but God sees our hearts. When I pray, whether it is before a meal or at other times, I want to make sure it is a matter of the heart...not the head. I do not agree with the idea that we should pray even if we don't feel like it. (In a recent confrontational situation I was asked by one of the participants to close our meeting in prayer. I told them I did not feel like praying at that moment, and I asked them to call on someone else. At that moment a public prayer from me would have come only from my head.)

    We always explain the Bible command to "Pray without ceasing" as meaning to be in an attitude of prayer at all times. I think that means, in part, that we should always have in our hearts (and it should be reflected in our actions) a spirit of repentance, a spirit of thankfulness, and all those other attitudes we should have if we are saying a "formal" prayer.

    By the way, I do pray over my meals...at home and in public. I don't always do so with the right motivation, especially in public. At the risk of reprimand, I have to say that you probably are just like me in that regard.
     
  19. chipsgirl

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    I might not always pray aloud before each meal but I thank God a lot through the day for all he has given me, including nourishment. I am one of those people who feels the need to pray a lot throughout each day.
     
  20. rjprince

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    On the other hand, David seems to have prayed after some of his meals!

    "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me..." Psa 103:1
     

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