Many years ago, we were about to have breakfast with some friends when our four-year-old son announced, “We don’t pray over breakfast!” We’ve prayed over breakfast and all of our meals since then.
The Bible documents several times when Jesus blessed the food before a meal. We see this when Jesus joined two of HIs disciples on the road to Emmaus on the day He arose from the dead. The Scripture states in Luke 24:30, “When He (Jesus) had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.”
Paul, too, gave us an example of giving thanks before a meal in Acts 27:35 (ESV): And when he (Paul) had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.
Before a Meal, I Pray
I spent much of my life traveling the world for my work. During those travels, I’ve eaten in some very sketchy places. So I sincerely pray before a meal. I have no doubt these prayers have saved me from significant discomfort. I believe this because the Scripture in 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NLT emphasis added) states, “Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.“
Whether we “say grace,” or “give thanks,” or “ask God’s blessing,” or “pray” before eating a meal, we are following the example that Jesus established. He set the precedent for us.