Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Sentiments: Mealtime

Sunday Sentiments is an attempt to record what God has been teaching me and the way in which He does it.

Friday night as I sat on my couch, eating dinner and watching TV, I realized I hadn't thanked God for my meal.

This is nothing new, mind you. 

Ever since reengaging my faith post-college, I have fallen out of the habit of praying before meals.  If I'm eating with a friend or family member, we pray.  For some reason, I seem to think I'm exempt from praying when I'm eating alone.

This is not the first time I'm noticed my lack of mealtime prayer but it is the first time I've decided to change.

It puzzles me really.  I pray all throughout the day, thanking God for various things and praying for the people I see or interact with.  Why doesn't this extend to my meal?  I'm not less thankful for the blessing of food than I am for the other things God does in my life.

This makes me wonder though.  If I'm living a grateful life, then does it matter what time of day I'm thanking God.  I could see how mealtime prayer could turn in to something to check off the list, another legalism.

Most of my solo meals are in front of the TV or with a book.  I don't often sit in silence, savoring the food and reflecting on my day.  There is certainly time for reflection but it's not connected to mealtime. And I love food and love eating but unless it's a new recipe or one of my favorites, I generally don't stop to marvel at how delicious it is.

Maybe my entire eating habit needs to change.

Maybe I need to eat in silence more, which will encourage me to ask that my mealtime be blessed and acknowledge my gratefulness that God has provided this food.

Do you take a moment to pray before eating?  Is it important to do so?

4 comments:

  1. I usually do. I also usually forget when I am eating alone. And when eating with friends, I don't always make the friends pray with me, even if they are fellow journeyers in faith.

    I think living in a spirit of gratitude is more important than the mechanics of saying a few words at EVERY meal.

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  2. My family always prays at dinnertime, but I'll admit I don't pray when I eat lunch at work or a quick breakfast on the go. I agree that living in gratitude all the time is more important than a few words before a meal. I agree with the sentiment that sometimes I need be in silence more too though. I had a two hour drive home today through some of the most gorgeous countryside, and I just turned my radio off. I drove in silence, and I thought, prayed, and talked out loud. It was great. Sometimes it takes removing the distractions for me to really think.

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  3. Thank you for this reminder. I have had the same experience. With a group, I pray. By myself I forget.

    I think it's extremely important to be grateful before our meals especially when one considers the sacrifices and work that goes into everything on our plates (the animal whose life was given, the workers who planted and picked the vegetables, the folks who shipped it all over, etc.) And although that's what I think when writing a comment on a blog, I tend to forget that when I've made myself a quick sandwich or picked up some to-go.

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  4. We pray as a family (at home AND out to eat as a family), but when I'm out or alone, I tend to forget. Even Sunday nights when we do small group with the girls, we don't typically pray for our meal... We'll pray at the end of the night, for each other and stuff, but not for our meal. =\
    One time I was at a friend's house and it was just three of us girls eating, and we were like, "Oh! We should pray." But other than that, yeah, not so much.
    It's a good thing to remember!

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