Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why pray before meals?

I was thinking a bit more yesterday about these verses I read in that first section of 1 Timothy 4
4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
I even talked about them a bit with Jim yesterday.

Sometimes it pains me with how much I can dismiss things as being unimportant. Or that if I don't do them, it's no biggie. I grew up in a Christian home, it was expected that we do certain things, such as pray before meals. It was just an expected thing, I don't recall it being explained WHY we do it, just that we do it because that's what Christians do. We pray before meals.

Yesterday when I read those two verses it was like a lightbulb moment...OH>>> so that's why praying before meals is a good idea.
  1. means that I can thank God for the food he's given me
  2. means that I can live a more holy life since if I pray for his blessing upon my meal, that it's being made holy, and by extrapolation I would think that eating holy food is a good thing :)
  3. means I'm showing him my dependence upon him
  4. means that I am recognizing that all that the Lord God made is a good thing
I went to e-sword this morning as well to see if the commentators there would shed any additional light on these verses.

Vincent's word studies pointed this out to me:
Not declared holy, but made holy. The declaration confirms the last clause of 1Ti_4:4. Thanksgiving to God has a sanctifying effect. The food in itself has no moral quality (Rom_14:14), but acquires a holy quality by its consecration to God; by being acknowledged as God's gift, and partaken of as nourishing the life for God's service.
Prayer has a sanctifying affect on that which is prayed for. neat huh? :)

As I've considered this I've also be drawn to remember how Jesus prayed before the meals with fish and bread, and how Paul prayed in Acts with the seamen before their meal and so forth. Prayer before meals is shown in the bible, and now I know why it's important. :)

Things we learn and think about. (even if re-reading this I feel a bit ...duh!...but that's okay, we all have our duh! moments) :)

Means that as I teach Justin about prayer, that now I can teach him WHY we pray as well. Right now that would be fairly simplistic, but as he gets older hopefully I can teach him that NOT praying before meals actually means something too so that hopefully he will (as a believer) continue to show his dependence upon God too, in this real tangible manner. (probably didn't phrase that all right, but I'm sure you get the gist).

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