Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013 “When You Have Eaten”

“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10)

Good Morning Thankful Friends!

 “God is great! God is Good! Now we thank Him for our food!” I would speculate that there are many of you who faithfully follow this blog (and thank you for doing so), who learned this or a similar prayer as a child, and who perhaps have taught it to your own children. It is, perhaps, one of the very first prayers you ever lifted up to God as a child. This verse in Deuteronomy is traditionally regarded as the reason we say grace before or after a meal. It’s quite fitting that we do this. Over the years, I have had the privilege of getting to know and observe lots of people and families at mealtime, and their particular prayer traditions, (or lack thereof). Many use the prayer I referenced. Others have a more spontaneous one. Still others dispense with it altogether. Often, if I am a guest, knowing I am a pastor, I am accorded the honor of offering the prayer. Sometimes I will watch folks at restaurants. Some will join hands and pray as a family. Others do what I call the “drop the napkin” prayer…a little embarrassed to pray in a public setting, they will mutter a prayer as inconspicuously as possible, sometimes when bending over to pick up a purposely dropped napkin.

Interestingly, the purpose of this directive in Deuteronomy was not simply a directive to pray before or after a meal. Thanksgiving, after all, is always appropriate. Its purpose was more of a warning. It was meant to warn the Israelites not to forget God when their needs and wants had been satisfied. It’s not difficult to cry out to God with a particular need or desire. Many will make such prayers. It becomes more of a challenge to pray when we are satisfied and are content with our life situation. Let your table prayers serve as a constant reminder of the Lord’s goodness to you and also as a reminder of your duty to minister to those that are less fortunate. The result is a generous spirit and a grateful heart which pleases God. Let’s pray!

Gracious God; You are certainly the giver of good gifts. We are so thankful for the bounty of your grace and mercy. We enjoy and are thankful for the daily bread provided by your Almighty hand. There is more than enough for us, and much to share with others. We praise you for this good land in which we live. May we never take these blessings for granted, but in every way, may the realization of our blessing result in praise and generosity. We make our prayers in Jesus’ blessed Name. Amen

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