When Did Jesus Pray? Part 2

When Did Jesus Pray? Part 2

Matthew 14:19 – Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Mark 14:23 – And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.

Luke 22:19 – And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Just as food nourishes our body, so prayer nourishes our soul. And, praying over our meals combines the two so that our body and soul are nourished.

Jesus prayed at mealtime

Mealtime prayers seem to be going out of fashion, but even a quick survey of the Gospels will show Jesus continually praying over meals.

Jesus not only prayed that God would provide daily bread, he thanked God for the provision before he ate it. In Matthew 14:19 we read this:

“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”

Jesus understands that God is deserving of thanks for all provision, and he is intentional about thanking God for the provision of something you and I often take for granted–food. In some cultures, Christians pray at the end of the meal, thanking God especially for the parts they liked the best. That’s fine too.

Most of you reading this live in a culture of abundance. Even if you do not have much money, chances are you don’t go a day without food to eat and water to drink. When was the last time you thanked God for that “ordinary” provision? There are millions in the world who do not know if they will eat today. Perhaps thanking God at mealtime shouldn’t be so perfunctory.

Jesus continually blesses “ordinary” meals, but he also blessed special meals. In Mark 14:23, we read, “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.” And in Luke 22:19: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Don’t pray the same thing every time! Don’t be rote with your mealtime prayers.
You may also want to be careful and thoughtful with what you pray. Often with good intentions, the prayer is uttered, “Lord bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.” But, that’s exactly what he made it to do. It is a bit like praying, “Lord make this water wet.”

Pray from your heart. Thank God for the particular food, thank God for the particular people who prepared it, and thank God for the particular people you’re eating with.

Reflection:

  1. Do you commonly pray over your meals in a meaningful way? If not, today is a good day to start.
  2. Do you thank God for your daily provisions?

To order “Pray Like Jesus”, click HERE and for a free e-book study guide, click HERE.

Mark Driscoll
hello@markdriscoll.org

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