This weekend I got a great idea for a new book. I thought about it all day as we drove off to Long Beach, Washington to spend some time for spring break. But here is what I was thinking—a prayer book for everyday life—with written prayers for all kinds of everyday things and events. One section of the prayer book would be “Prayers Before Eating Food” and under that there would be some collects, maybe some original material but also some familiar prayers everyone knows. But then there would be sub-sections. I’ve included some subsections and some sample prayers.
Prayers Before Eating Food Prepared at Home
Dear Lord, we affirm the ancient creed said by Dorothy from Kansas—there is no place like home. Thank you for a wonderful home in which to eat our meal together. As we eat today, may the warm love of friends and family burn brightly in our hearts. Help us to speak peace around this table and to edify ourselves in you. Bless the food, as it is a reminder of your provision and a faint hint of the bread and cup we partake of at church. Amen.
Prayers Before Eating Food Prepared By Unskilled Hands
Dear Lord, Dad (fill in name here) cooked tonight. Please help us all to have the courage to fake that this tastes good. May whoever has to clean up the kitchen after his mess be blessed with solid, hard-working dish soap. We love our dad (name), but open his/her eyes to the realization he/she can’t cook. Amen.
Prayers Before Eating Food in a Restaurant
Dear Lord, the food has arrived and doesn’t look nearly as tasty as it did on the menu. Please let it not taste as bad as it smells. We give you thanks that so far the restaurant looks clean, but we’re still uncertain about our server. May none of us get sick from what we are about to eat, and that the cook actually washed his/her hands before returning to work. Amen.
Prayers Before Eating Food of Uncertain Provenance
We don’t know who made this food Lord. It looks yummy, but as you have taught us looks can be deceiving. We pray that it has been prepared by skilled hands with good intentions. We ask that it be sanitary and meet all health department regulations for food prepared in our nation. Amen.
Prayers Before Eating Food Outdoors—For a Picnic
Jesus, eating outside reminds us of the Children of Israel who ate manna from the ground and quail from the sky. But they often grumbled about their meal, so we ask that our potato salad and fried chicken taste better than manna and quail. We also pray that you see fit to keep the ants away, the bugs at a distance, and the birds from soiling our spread. Thank you for this wonderful place to eat and for the many hands that made these dishes. Amen.
Okay, that is about all I have time for here. But I think I might include “Prayers Before Eating Food While Traveling,” and “Prayers Before Eating Food at Athletic Events.” I wonder if I might not need a special category for pre-packaged food, something like, “Food Bought at the 7-11.”