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Why do people pray before meals?

Saying "Grace" or praying a prayer of thanksgiving before eating a meal is a long-held Christian tradition. Praying before partaking gives God glory by identifying Him as the ultimate provider of the food.

We see examples of prayer before eating in the Bible. When Jesus fed thousands of people on two occasions (Matthew 14:19–21; 15:34–36), He first gave thanks. When, on the road to Emmaus, He met two men and had a meal with them. But first, He gave thanks (Luke 24:30). We follow Jesus' example when we pause to acknowledge God's provision before we dig in.

Paul did the same. When a sailing ship he was on suffered a two-week long storm, forcing the 276 people onboard to forego eating, Paul gave thanks before breaking the unplanned fast (Acts 27).

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to ask the Father for daily bread (Matthew 6:9–13). As He answers, we ought to thank Him. We are to acknowledge that God is the source of all things (Ephesians 5:20; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16–17).

It may seem like our food is a result of our own hard labors and we have no one but ourselves to thank for it. But it was God who made the land, who created the way seeds turn to plants and produce fruit, who provides the sun and water, and who gives people the energy and knowledge to turn the raw materials into meals. It is God who gives us the skills to do our jobs that provide us with the money to buy food. It is God who gives us the creativity to make food into a pleasurable meal. And on and on it goes. God’s provision is behind every bite we take, whether we give Him full credit or not.

We are told to pray without ceasing, always giving thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). Praying before our meals is one way to do this; it will also be a consistent reminder that we ultimately rely on God.


Related Truth:

What is the importance of saying grace before we eat?

What is the meaning of praying for our daily bread?

What does 'amen' mean? Why do we end prayers with 'amen'?

What types of prayer are mentioned in the Bible?

What is the importance of daily prayer in the life of a Christian?


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