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I think this is a good question because 'saying grace' is something that a lot of us do automatically at every meal and pretty soon something automatic can become meaningless. Let me say first why we don't do it. We don't say grace to protect ourselves from bad food. Saying grace is not like saying a magic spell or incantation to ward off evil spirits. Saying grace will not save you from food poisoning if the food is bad. The way to do that is by preparing food in the proper way and only eating at places that practice good hygiene. So why do we say grace? We do it in humble acknowledgement that we are in the hands of an almighty God who created us and sustains us at every moment of our lives. We have nothing without him and we are dependent on his grace for what we do have. Saying grace is a reminder to us of this. We also thank God for what he gives us from day to day in order to remind ourselves not to take it for granted. The food that we have and the life that food sustains is all from God. It is a gift and we acknowledge that as Jesus did. So we follow his model Luke 22:19; Mark 14:22; Luke 9:16 So saying grace is not a magic spell to protect you but it will remind you that you depend on God for everything - even your food. And that's a good thing to remember. Regards Phil
"Thank You for this food and bless the hands that prepared it. Please sanctify this food and bless it to my body, in Jesus' name." This is a way to worship the Lord through thanksgiving and to show appreciation to the one that prepared the food. It is a way to protect yourself from any harmful contaminants that may have entered the food source. This is also a reminder of the Lord's promise to protect us from harm. The Lord's word says to put him in remembrance of His promises. He also says that he watches over His word to perform it, and that His word will return not void unto Him. Isaiah 55:11 He also says we are sanctified by His truth and that His word is truth. John 17:17 As and elder and pastor I always pray God's promises. Jesus said to Peter after washing his feet that his word had made made His disciples clean. John 15:3 So how powerful is the word of God? It is more powerful than hell. It is more powerful than death. It is more powerful than hate, jealousy, and greed, etc.
There is no biblical mandate or command that we are to say "grace" before every meal. It is recorded that Jesus did "give thanks" a very few times but ate many meals recorded in scripture and "grace" was not recorded as being said in almost all those cases. That being said, we are to give thanks to God for everything we have; be it food, shelter, clothing, family, etc. If we only thanks to God for our food, we fall quite short of real thanksgiving. In all things, give God the glory.
A number of years ago I had lunch with a guy that I worked with and I asked him to ask the blessing. He said "O God remove the curse which thou hast placed upon this food, amen!" I was astounded (so much so that 30 odd years later I can still remember verbatim what his prayer was) so I asked him where he got the idea that food is cursed. He said God cursed the ground two times in Genesis, "cursed is the ground for thy sake" in 3:17 and again in 5:29 where we find this "because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed" he said that anything that grows from the ground is cursed therefore and anything that eats anything that grows from the ground is also cursed which includes all meat. I asked him if he didn't think that Jesus Christ removed this curse at Calvary. He said no.
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