By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk.com
Dinner and mealtime prayers are essential conversations with God. Sitting down to eat provides time to reflect on the day, thank God, and bring our concerns before Him. Paul tells us to: “Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Praying before eating food is a simple but powerful way to align with God and express gratitude for His blessings. It is also a way to slow down, savor our meals, and focus on the people we share them with.
Why Should We Pray Before Meals?
There are many benefits to praying before meals. It can help us to:
- Remember who provides for us. God is the source of all good things, including our food. When we pray before meals, we acknowledge His generosity and thank Him for His provision.
- Express gratitude. It is easy to take our food for granted, but praying before meals allows us to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.
- Slow down and enjoy the nourishment. In our fast-paced world, eating on the go and not really tasting our food is easy. Praying before meals can help us slow down and appreciate the simple things in life, like a delicious meal shared with loved ones.
- Connect with God and others. Praying before meals is a great way to start a conversation with God and the people we eat with. It can also be a way to build relationships and strengthen community.
Praying for God’s blessing over our meals and dinner is a simple way to make a big difference in the daily alignment of our hearts. Use dinner time and all other times of eating to recall God's goodness in your life. It helps us remember that our blessings come from our Creator… who deserves credit for all. If you are not already in the habit of praying before meals, I encourage you to try it. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it and how many benefits you experience.
Download your own personal PDF copy of these prayers HERE. Print them and keep them in your kitchen or dining room to remind yourself to come before the Lord with thanks.
Here are 25 prayers that will fit any mealtime situation. Remember to thank God in prayer for everything in your life, including food!
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Dear God, We gather today with grateful hearts to thank you for this food before us. We appreciate the effort and resources that have provided us with this nourishment.
May this meal sustain our bodies and remind us of the many blessings in our lives. We are thankful for the love of family and friends who surround us and for the abundance we enjoy.
Bless this food, our time together, and those who prepared it. May it strengthen us physically and spiritually.
In Jesus' name, we give thanks and pray. Amen.
A Short Prayer Before Eating Food
Dear Lord, Thank you for providing us with this nourishment. We are grateful for Your continuous provisions and the hands that prepared this meal. As we partake in this food, may it strengthen our bodies and energize our spirits. Bless this meal and our fellowship around this table.
In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.
Bless This Food
"Thank you, Lord, for this meal we share,
Bless this food, and show you care.
Nourish our bodies, hearts, and souls,
With gratitude, our hearts console. Amen."
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Father, This meal is the work of Your hands. You have provided for me, again, and I am grateful. I confess my tendency to forget to ask Your blessing upon my life, through the comforts that You have given me to enjoy. So many people lack these daily comforts and it is selfish of me to forget about them in their need. Show me how to make the most of Your blessing in my life; everything I have is a gift from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For Family Mealtime
Father, We have gathered to share a meal in Your honor. Thank You for putting us together as family, and thank You for this food. Bless it to our bodies, Lord. We thank you for all of the gifts you’ve given to those around this table. Help each member of our family use these gifts to your glory. Guide our mealtime conversations and steer our hearts to Your purpose for our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Prayer for Dinner Fellowship
Father, Praise You for friendship and family! Thank You for bringing us together today to share a meal. The people in our lives bring us such joy, and we are grateful for time spent in fellowship together. Help us use this time to bond closer as a group, and learn to love each other more. Bless our physical and spiritual appetites to honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For Food May Fuel Your Work
Father, Praise You for the nourishment that You provide. Thank You for meeting our physical needs of hunger and thirst. Forgive us for taking that simple joy for granted, and bless this food to fuel our bodies forward into Your will for our lives. We pray that we will be energized and be able to work for the glory of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Prayer in Remembrance of the Hungry
Father, You are mighty and strong to sustain our bodies. Thank You for the meal we are about to enjoy. Forgive us for forgetting how many pray for food to relieve their starvation. Bless and relieve the starvation of those who hunger, Lord, and inspire our hearts to seek ways to help from our abundance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Formal Dinner or Gathering Prayer
We come together today in this grand assembly, bound by a common purpose and a shared sense of unity. We acknowledge your presence and are grateful for the blessings that have brought us here.
As we gather together we are reminded of the importance of community, fellowship, and the pursuit of common goals. We ask for your guidance and wisdom as we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
May this gathering be a testament to our shared commitment to you, our Lord and Savior. May it serve as a source of inspiration and strength for each of us and for the greater good.
We also remember those who could not be with us today and those facing adversity. May they find comfort and support in their time of need.
Bless this gathering, the conversations and connections that will take place, and the bonds that will be strengthened here. May our collective efforts lead to positive outcomes and make a meaningful difference in our world.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
"Thank you, Lord, for this food before us. Bless those who prepared it and those who are sharing it with us. May it nourish our bodies and bring us together in gratitude and love. Amen.
A Prayer for When Someone is Missed at the Table
Father, We are coping with an empty seat at our table. Be with the one we are without, today, and help us to trust in Your timing, purpose, and great love for us all. As we miss ____________ today, we pray Your blessing over him/her/them, and us, and the space in between now and when we see them next. Until then, may this food bless our bodies, and give us strength to endure the day ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Prayer for Dining Out
Father, Bless this establishment and its employees as they prepare and serve our food. Thank You for the opportunity to have our meal brought to us, and the ability to relax and enjoy this time with one another. We understand our privilege to be here and pray to be a blessing to those we encounter in this place. Bless our conversation, and may we honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Prayer in Remembrance of the Last Supper
Father, As we sit here today preparing to eat this food, we remember Your Son. How He came here as a human being, and ate with His family and friends just like we do. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, and that we can look to Him knowing He understands our hunger. Bless us, Lord Jesus, and stir our hearts to remember You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Dinner Prayer for Giving Thanks
We gather before you with hearts full of gratitude for the gift of your Son, Jesus, who is the bread of life. Just as this meal sustains our bodies, His love sustains our souls.
We thank you for the abundant gifts you bestow upon us freely—love, grace, forgiveness, and eternal life. Help us remember Jesus's sacrifice and share His love with others.
As we partake of this meal, may it remind us of your unending generosity and the nourishment you provide for our spirits.
In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen."
A Prayer for When Food is Scarce
Father, We come to You hungry, today. It’s hard to understand why we don’t have enough to eat, but we come to You for strength, knowing that You are our provider. Help us trust that You will sustain us through times of abundance and scarcity. Bless us and help us get back up on our feet again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Short Morning and Evening Prayers Before Meals
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - The Book of Common Prayer
Lord Jesus, stay with us, for the evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen. - The Book of Common Prayer
A Prayer to Be More Grateful
I thank you for what you’ve done in my life. I thank You for each day, for Your work on the cross, and for helping me overcome the toughest battles of my life. Father, forgive me for the times I don’t operate from an attitude of sincere gratitude. Teach me to do so and to openly share your goodness with the world around me. Help me never to grow weary of praising you for all that you’ve done. In Jesus Name, Amen. - Victoria Riollano
A Prayer of Blessing Over Loved Ones
Thank you for your great love and blessing over our lives. Thank you that your favor has no end but lasts our entire lifetime. Forgive us for sometimes forgetting that you are intimately acquainted with all of our ways, that you know what concerns us, and you cover us, as with a shield. We ask for your guidance so that we might walk fully in your blessing and goodness today. We ask that your face would shine on us. You would open the right doors for our lives and loved ones, close the wrong doors, and protect us from those we need to walk away from. Establish the work of our hands and bring to fulfillment all that you have given us to do in these days. We pray that you would make our way purposeful and our footsteps firm out of your goodness and love. Give us a heart of wisdom to hear your voice, and make us strong by your huge favor and grace. In Jesus' name, Amen. - Debbie McDaniel
A Prayer for God to Give Us What We Need
Thank You for knowing what we need, even before we do. Help us release control of our agendas, wants, and the “needs” we think we need, to You. I pray that You would give me, my children, my family, and friends what we need, whatever that may be, to see You and feel Your presence more clearly in our lives. Help us to be men and women after Your own heart.
In Your Mighty Name, Amen - Maggie Meadows Cooper
To Not Worry About Tomorrow
Father, We worry so often about so much! We are also concerned about losing the very things we are thankful for. Help us in our unbelief, Lord! Let your words, reign in our daily thoughts and lives.
Father, help us to see Your active hand of providence in our lives. We are created in Your image, and You care more for us than anything else you have created! Yet, we worry if we matter at all …and if we will have what we need to live the days You have numbered. How patient You are with us, Father!
When we are worried about our safety, ease our minds with the promise of Your presence through Christ Jesus by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are never alone, Father; this we know, but oh- how we sometimes feel isolated, scared, worried, and alone. In those moments, sweep in and shield us by helping us recall Your promise never to leave or forsake us. - Meg Bucher
Prayer for Families
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bless Us with Favor
We praise You for this day, and Your purpose for it. Lord, you guide us always (Isaiah 58:11). You surround the righteous with Your favor as a shield. (Psalm 5:12) Lord, this day we pray You would shield us from sickness, isolation, anxiety, attack, and calamity. Bless our lives with Your favor, God. We want to experience Your joy, that which isn’t circumstantial. Joy that leads us faithfully through pain and marches alongside us in triumph.
Search our hearts, God, and renew a right spirit in us. We pray for Your favor to reign down on our lives, our relationships and friendships, and spread like wildfire to everyone You have placed in our lives, from our spouses to our co-works, church family and those we pass in the grocery store aisles.
Lord, we know even when we cannot see or feel Your blessings, You surround us with them. When we seek You, we will find You. Flip our perspective - allow us to feel the rhythm of Your movement in our lives and flowing through our hearts. In Jesus' Name, Amen. - Meg Bucher
A Prayer to Forgive Wrongs
Father, This is the day You have made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Father, you hold the key to every heart on earth, we do not. Judgment for others is not in our hands, and shouldn’t be on our resumes. As we seek You more each day in prayer and in Your Word, show us how to be forgiving, in Christ. Cleanse us of our tendency to keep records of wrongs and reasons for blame.
Let us not become people who shame others, but show them how to be free through Christ. We want our lives to reflect Your brightness, Your grace, and Your love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Meg Bucher
A Prayer to Embrace and Enjoy Life
Father, Help us to embrace and enjoy the life you’ve given us to live. We are not accidentally here on earth! Each day we awake to breathe, you faithfully meet us with purpose.
We lift our anxiety and worry to you, today, as we seek to embrace your peace and promises. We confess our tendency to condemn, criticize, and compare instead of embracing the peace and blessings you have showered over our lives.
During trying seasons and relatively easy days, help us to see and remember you in all situations. We never know what our world is going to throw at us, but you do. You never change.
Holy Spirit, faithfully nudge and reminds us that we are children of God, freed from the chains of sin by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection and assertion to heaven where He is seated by the Father. Bless our minds to remember and embrace the freedom, hope, joy and peace we have in Christ.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Meg Bucher
Photo credit: Getty/SARINYAPINNGAM
This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Stock Footage & Music Courtesy of Soundstripe.com Thumbnail by Getty Images
Now available is our new Daily Prayer devotional! An easy way to start your day with prayer: read today’s prayer and sign up to receive it by email.