For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4–5, KJV)
The Lord recently showed me in the scriptures why we pray before eating. If you are a Christian, especially those brought up in a Christian home, you know it is second nature to pray for your meals before you eat. Practices such as this one easily become routine, traditional and mechanical to such an extent we do them without thinking of why we do them in the first place.
Praying before eating is a powerful spiritual undertaking and we must not allow it to become an empty religious practice. It is full of spiritual power! Paul speaking about foods to Timothy his spiritual son said every creature of God given to us for food is good and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving. He goes further to say the food is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Herein lies two mysteries that take place when we pray before eating: thanksgiving and sanctification.
Our Lord Himself always gave thanks to the Father before meals. God gave us the good things in life to enjoy, including good and tasty foods and He expects us to receive them with thanksgiving. We should be grateful. And our thanksgiving is more than a mere expression of gratified to the Creator. It is a spiritual sacrifice being offered to God. Each time you open your mouth and say “thank you Lord”, you have just offered what the priests in the Old Testament were attempting to do by offering God burnt offerings etc. Thanksgiving is the real spiritual sacrifice that pleases the Father more than any goats or bulls. Before you eat that next meal and as you open your mouth to say “thank You Lord”, remember that those words are not just empty religious routines. The Father is well-pleased with them. You are the true worshipper and the words of your mouth are better than a million goats the priests could offer in the Old Testament!
The second mystery that takes place in our praying before eating is sanctification. Paul says above that the food is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Sanctification implies dedication to God, set apart for Him and also cleansing. Do you remember Paul saying that whatever we do, whether we eat or drink , let us do everything to the Lord because we are living for Him? ( 1 Cor. 10:31). As you pray over the food, you are declaring you are eating for God! Not only that, sanctification also implies cleansing. Jesus said if you eat any deadly thing, it shall not hurt you. Why? Because the power of God cleanses the food spiritually from every deadly poison! Prayer sanctifies! Prayer is also a medium to give God the calve of your lips in the mystery of thanksgiving! When is your next meal due? From today onwards, remember why you say that short prayer before eating and say those words with understanding and faith to the Lord!
Do you usually pray before eating? What would your attitude of praying before eating be after reading this devotional?
APPLY THE WORD
Prayer before meals if often short, but remember the power is in the words spoken, your understanding of their spiritual significance and you believing them. Say those words with confidence, boldness, and power!
Thank the Father for blessing us with the good things of life to enjoy!