Praying at Mealtime – I Corinthians 10:30

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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My wife and I were blessed to attend a large Christian university in preparation for our life’s work. There was required attendance at evening meals in a huge dining common that seated 3000 people who ate at tables family style. Ministerial students took turns leading the entire group in giving thanks prior to eating. It was a neat experience to have so many pausing in prayer before meals. I often thought, wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone likewise paused in thanksgiving? This should be a regular practice for all who know Christ as Savior, and doing so can even be a good testimony.

In the days when the final books were being written to complete our Bible, there was a big controversy about Christians buying and eating cheaper meats that had been offered, in part, to idols. In I Corinthians Chapter 10, the Apostle Paul made a statement we could easily miss: “…why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks” (vs. 30)? In other words, Paul is saying it was his practice to stop and give God thanks for everything he ate. Regardless of how hard we may work to put food on our tables and a roof over our head; ultimately all we have is a provision from the Lord. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). This means that our jobs are a blessed provision from the Lord, as is being healthy enough to work, and that makes anything we eat a provision from the Lord, for which we should always pause to give thanks. We would, or at least should, express our thanks to someone who graciously invites us into their home for a meal or helps provide food in our home during a time of need. Likewise, but even more so, we should willingly and sincerely give God thanks for the food He provides for us each day. The Apostle Paul confirms this principle again when he writes, “For every creature of God is good [for food], and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified [meaning set apart for a holy purpose] by the word of God and prayer” (I Timothy 4:4-5).

Whether in private or in public, we encourage you to pause before every meal to give God thanks for His loving provision.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."