That’s my family’s prayer before a meal. I can’t remember when we began saying it. I suspect it pre-dates me as I am just a lowly second child. Nor do I have a memory of the first time I said it at all. It has just always been there.
My family was by no means wealthy when we were growing up, but we had enough to get by, sometimes by the skin of my parents teeth. But just the same, we always paused and said that prayer before our nightly meal.
It was a ritual we continue even to this day. When we gather together at a table, really any table, we pause and say that prayer before a meal.
The ritual gives the meal more meaning. It has the power to change our focus at the very least remove the scales from our eyes and open our lives to the holy.
It is a reminder no matter how much hustle and bustle our lives are innundated with, we need to stop and give thanks. We need to stop and be with God.
Sometimes it reminds us we just need to stop.
Saying grace has more power than we give it credit. Often it is seen as a throw-away prayer. Something which is hurried through so we can get to the food. We rattle off some words, maybe stumble through them even, without thinking about what we are doing. we don’t give the prayer its due.
Saying grace has power. It has the power any prayer has; it reminds us of the simple fact that God is God and we are not. We do not have to take care of the whole world. We do not have to run and do every little thing. We do not have to stretch ourselves so thin we feel like we are about to break and snap.
We thank Jesus for our food and for our blessings. We remind ourselves we are only human.
And that’s okay.