Praying at Meals


Hello and welcome to Beyond the Pew! As the new year begins, many of us are trying to figure out what our new year’s resolutions are going to be. What better resolution to make than to find one that helps us grow closer to our God and grow closer to our kids. One resolution we can make is praying before meals with our family.

Praying before meals is relatively simple. You just have to get everyone together sitting down in one place (which can be a pain) but getting everyone sitting down in one place before a meal and beginning in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And then pray whatever prayer you want to pray.

There is a favorite prayer that many Catholics know and it goes like this:

Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts,
which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

If that prayer feels a little robotic to you, you can make up your own! If you have little kids you can even make up a prayer that maybe is a song or rhymes or has hand motions. That’s always really fun.

One prayer that I like to do in my own family is to thank God for the food that He’s giving me, to bless the hands that have prepared the meal, and ask God to give nourishment to my body, and to feed those in the world who are spiritually and physically hungry, and whatever other that intentions I might have on my heart at the time.

One fun thing that you can with your kids is to sit down with your family and make up your own family meal-time prayer that is fun, that ties you together as a family, and thanks God for the blessings that He has given you.

As your kids get used to it and as it becomes normal for them, you’re going to see it in their life that they will be less afraid to share their faith in other areas of their life as well.

When you have a prayer that you pray together as a family, make sure this is something that you are consistent about. If you forget to pray during meals or before meals, that’s okay, just find a little reminder. Place a statue or centerpiece on your table, a prayer card, somewhere that reminds you to pray together as a family.

Part of that consistency is also when you get a little bit of courage, pray for your meals not only when you are at home but when you are out to eat in public. That can take some courage and getting used to it, but the more you do it the more you grow in prayer, the easier it’s going to be. When you pray in public at a restaurant with your kids, you are showing your kids that you’re not afraid of your faith. Even though you’re not at home, you’re still thankful for the things that God gives you and that does not change when you leave the house.

As your kids get used to it and as it becomes normal for them, you’re going to see it in their life that they will be less afraid to share their faith in other areas of their life as well.

Praying before meals is something so small and simple that you can start doing that has a long lasting impact. We will be praying for you guys!

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