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Margaret, we find in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." NASB "giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," Ephesians 5:20. Most importantly we have examples from our Lord.... In the two instances where Jesus miraculously fed multitudes of people with a few loaves and fish, He “gave thanks” (Matthew 14:19-21; 15:34-36). In the first instance, He fed 5000 men, plus women and children, with five loaves of bread and two fish. In the second, He fed over 4000 with seven loaves and a few fish. At the Last Supper, Jesus again set the example of thanksgiving. When He passed the cup and the bread to His disciples, telling them to eat and drink these elements which were symbols of His body and blood, He gave thanks. When He appeared to the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection, He stopped briefly to eat with them, and “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them” (Luke 24:30). Most important is your heart. I've heard many Christians give prayer for a meal but it is so repetitive and routine it has now real value to our Lord. I prayer during large family meals or events where the impact is truly heart felt. I don't pray over every bowl of cornflakes or ham sandwich.....
Jewish tradition requires that we personally bless the LORD for each detail of our daily experience. Such a requirement points to a deep inward appreciation for the good things God personally provides us throughout each day. These Hebrew blessings vocalize our gratitude to God for His daily provision and care: Bread Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam hamotzi lehem min ha'aretz. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Wine & Grape Juice Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam borei p'ri hagafen. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. Fruit Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam borei p'ri ha'eitz. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree. Vegetables Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam borei p'ri ha'adamah. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the ground. Grains Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam borei minei mezonot. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates varieties of nourishment. Miscellaneous Food (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, candy) Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam shehakol niyah bidvaro. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, at whose word all came to be.
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