Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. . .

Some time ago on this blog, I sort of took issue with the “Common Table Prayer” commonly used by Lutherans, prayed in unison before a meal.   Remember that I did not grow up in this tradition, and I considered it more of a rhyming sing-song children’s prayer, favoring instead the prayer in the catechism with its use of the Psalm (“The eyes of all look to you, O Lord. . .”) or a spontaneous personal prayer.  How presumptuous I was in questioning a devotion hallowed by untold numbers of Christians for generations!

Since then I have come to appreciate and to use that prayer.  Above all, it is a prayer that focuses upon Christ’s presence–asking Him to come into our lives, into our vocations, into our family as everyone is seated around the table–and acknowledges Christ’s gifts, that the food we are about to eat comes from His hand and that ordinary life is the sphere of His blessings.

Along those lines and to go even deeper into the Biblical dimensions of this little prayer, you have got to read the piece by Dr. David Loy in the latest Lutheran Witness.  It deserves to become a classic.  You need to read the whole thing, but this is the summary:

“Come, Lord Jesus,” we cry with the Church, longing for our Lord to return in glory and set us and this entire sinful world right. “Be our guest,” we ask Him, knowing that the house that receives Jesus in faith receives His salvation. “Let Thy gifts to us be blessed,” we pray, trusting that the food on our tables will be sufficient to nourish us to do the work the Lord has given us in this world. It is such a simple prayer, and yet it gives voice to so many longings that our faith produces in us. We long for Jesus to come again, we long for the salvation He brings, and we long to be nourished to do the work He gives us.

via The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – The Lutheran Witness.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://cosmthb.wordpress.com Bob Smith

    This prayer is also very old. A decade or so ago, List Wittenberg members started to look for it. It was originally spoken in German. As far as I know, it has never appeared in an LCMS in print before this Lutheran Witness article. It does not appear in classic Lutheran prayer books. There seems to be mention of it in Moravian publications. The best explanation is that it goes back to Saxony, perhaps before Luther. If anyone knows of a printing of the prayer, I’d love to know.

  • http://cosmthb.wordpress.com Bob Smith

    This prayer is also very old. A decade or so ago, List Wittenberg members started to look for it. It was originally spoken in German. As far as I know, it has never appeared in an LCMS in print before this Lutheran Witness article. It does not appear in classic Lutheran prayer books. There seems to be mention of it in Moravian publications. The best explanation is that it goes back to Saxony, perhaps before Luther. If anyone knows of a printing of the prayer, I’d love to know.

  • helen

    Might it be in Lutheran prayer books other than LCMS, Bob?
    It’s interesting if this prayer would be, as some might say, “pure tradition”. :)

    I first heard it in German. Most of our community came from Waldeck (sp?) (if that helps anyone with the search). I don’t think I ever learned it for my own use. The father of the family usually said it (or mother, in his absence). I was still saying the children’s response, “Abba, lieber Vater, Amen” when the family switched to English (most of the time) and English prayers. (But it was the same prayer.)

  • helen

    Might it be in Lutheran prayer books other than LCMS, Bob?
    It’s interesting if this prayer would be, as some might say, “pure tradition”. :)

    I first heard it in German. Most of our community came from Waldeck (sp?) (if that helps anyone with the search). I don’t think I ever learned it for my own use. The father of the family usually said it (or mother, in his absence). I was still saying the children’s response, “Abba, lieber Vater, Amen” when the family switched to English (most of the time) and English prayers. (But it was the same prayer.)

  • SKPeterson

    Growing up out of Swedish Lutheranism in the old Augustana wing of the LCA, “Come Lord Jesus” was the first or second prayer I learned as a child. “Jesus, Tender Shepherd” was the nighttime prayer. I still say those and I’ve taught them to my family as well; and it was well-used and spoken by both sides of my family (all Swedes, tho). So, maybe it was Saxon in origin, but it migrated into Sweden fairly early – either as an old Catholic prayer, or perhaps with the Reformation, or in the aftermath of Swedish intervention in Germany during the Thirty Years War. Hard to say, but an interesting commonality.

  • SKPeterson

    Growing up out of Swedish Lutheranism in the old Augustana wing of the LCA, “Come Lord Jesus” was the first or second prayer I learned as a child. “Jesus, Tender Shepherd” was the nighttime prayer. I still say those and I’ve taught them to my family as well; and it was well-used and spoken by both sides of my family (all Swedes, tho). So, maybe it was Saxon in origin, but it migrated into Sweden fairly early – either as an old Catholic prayer, or perhaps with the Reformation, or in the aftermath of Swedish intervention in Germany during the Thirty Years War. Hard to say, but an interesting commonality.

  • Bob Smith

    As far as I know, it is not in any prayer book. That’s what got my attention. The Swedish use is new to me. Interesting…

  • Bob Smith

    As far as I know, it is not in any prayer book. That’s what got my attention. The Swedish use is new to me. Interesting…

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Growing up Lutheran (and remaining one, mind you!), this prayer has long been near and dear to my heart, alongside other slightly sing-songy prayers that just haven’t left my head, such as “for what we’re about to receive our Heavenly Father, give us thankful hearts, in Jesus’ name we pray.”

    Though I have no children myself, my job as a Lutheran schoolteacher has convinced me that cadence and rhyme are far from being hindrances to inculcating wisdom and good doctrine, and are quite often helps, especially for children — in the proper setting, that is (it’s important to distinguish between what’s appropriate in Divine Service, and what’s appropriate in a classroom). More often than not, it is the manner of teaching and presentation which largely determine the seriousness of the prayer, though there is certainly a threshold for the content of the prayer itself (ixnay on the Johnny Appleseed prayer, at least in my class, and, in the future, my household — sorry!). Conversely, much can be done to make even the most beautiful and doctrinally rich prayer lame and insipid.

    Anyway, I digress: I wanted to share a supplemented version of the Common Table Prayer which was taught to the schoolchildren of Zion Lutheran Church in Corvallis, Oregon, when I was a child, by then sixth-grade teacher Kirk Einspahr. My family made it a permanent addendum to our mealtime blessing, and I have since taught it to the children at the parish school where I now teach. I find it to be a lovely, poetic, and sacramental addition to what is already a fine prayer. It goes like this:

    “Come Lord Jesus, Be our guest,
    And let Thy gifts to us be blessed,
    And may our souls by Thee be fed,
    Ever on the Living Bread. Amen.”

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Growing up Lutheran (and remaining one, mind you!), this prayer has long been near and dear to my heart, alongside other slightly sing-songy prayers that just haven’t left my head, such as “for what we’re about to receive our Heavenly Father, give us thankful hearts, in Jesus’ name we pray.”

    Though I have no children myself, my job as a Lutheran schoolteacher has convinced me that cadence and rhyme are far from being hindrances to inculcating wisdom and good doctrine, and are quite often helps, especially for children — in the proper setting, that is (it’s important to distinguish between what’s appropriate in Divine Service, and what’s appropriate in a classroom). More often than not, it is the manner of teaching and presentation which largely determine the seriousness of the prayer, though there is certainly a threshold for the content of the prayer itself (ixnay on the Johnny Appleseed prayer, at least in my class, and, in the future, my household — sorry!). Conversely, much can be done to make even the most beautiful and doctrinally rich prayer lame and insipid.

    Anyway, I digress: I wanted to share a supplemented version of the Common Table Prayer which was taught to the schoolchildren of Zion Lutheran Church in Corvallis, Oregon, when I was a child, by then sixth-grade teacher Kirk Einspahr. My family made it a permanent addendum to our mealtime blessing, and I have since taught it to the children at the parish school where I now teach. I find it to be a lovely, poetic, and sacramental addition to what is already a fine prayer. It goes like this:

    “Come Lord Jesus, Be our guest,
    And let Thy gifts to us be blessed,
    And may our souls by Thee be fed,
    Ever on the Living Bread. Amen.”

  • Joe

    My grandfather used to say it in Norwegian. I did not grow up LCMS but LCA/ELCA.

  • Joe

    My grandfather used to say it in Norwegian. I did not grow up LCMS but LCA/ELCA.

  • Mary Jack

    @ 2 Helen

    So you prayed “Abba, Lieber…” in response to the common table prayer? That little prayer by itself is what my toddlers pray, as a tradition from my husband’s side of the family. Neat! I should look into this further. Learn a little history. :)

  • Mary Jack

    @ 2 Helen

    So you prayed “Abba, Lieber…” in response to the common table prayer? That little prayer by itself is what my toddlers pray, as a tradition from my husband’s side of the family. Neat! I should look into this further. Learn a little history. :)

  • Helen F

    Not to betlittle this great prayer that many pray still, but I recently came upon another one that has the same intention, although I do not know to whom it is attributed. Sounds like it may be from Luther.

    “At this table, be our host
    Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
    Food and drink are from above,
    Tokens of Thy heavenly love.”

  • Helen F

    Not to betlittle this great prayer that many pray still, but I recently came upon another one that has the same intention, although I do not know to whom it is attributed. Sounds like it may be from Luther.

    “At this table, be our host
    Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
    Food and drink are from above,
    Tokens of Thy heavenly love.”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Hey SKPeterson (3),
    just wondering if this is that other prayer you are referencing?

    Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me:
    Bless Thy little child to-night;
    Through the darkness be Thou near me,
    Keep me safe till morning light.

    All this day Thy hand has led me,
    And I thank Thee for Thy care;
    Thou hast warmed me, clothed me, fed me;
    Listen to my evening prayer.

    May my sins be all forgiven;
    Bless the friends I love so well;
    Take me, Lord, at last to heaven.
    Happy there with Thee to dwell. Amen.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Hey SKPeterson (3),
    just wondering if this is that other prayer you are referencing?

    Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me:
    Bless Thy little child to-night;
    Through the darkness be Thou near me,
    Keep me safe till morning light.

    All this day Thy hand has led me,
    And I thank Thee for Thy care;
    Thou hast warmed me, clothed me, fed me;
    Listen to my evening prayer.

    May my sins be all forgiven;
    Bless the friends I love so well;
    Take me, Lord, at last to heaven.
    Happy there with Thee to dwell. Amen.

  • SKPeterson

    Bryan @9 – Yes, very close, although I only memorized the first verse. Also, in the second line, I learned it as “Keep thy little lamb tonight”. Possibly a later edit to tie into the Shepherd motif.

  • SKPeterson

    Bryan @9 – Yes, very close, although I only memorized the first verse. Also, in the second line, I learned it as “Keep thy little lamb tonight”. Possibly a later edit to tie into the Shepherd motif.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Thanks, SKPeterson (10), I like that (especially the first verse) prayer. I never learned that one, but perhaps I still can. I also like the second line like you learned it a bit better than the one above which I just found via googling. Thanks!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Thanks, SKPeterson (10), I like that (especially the first verse) prayer. I never learned that one, but perhaps I still can. I also like the second line like you learned it a bit better than the one above which I just found via googling. Thanks!

  • LB

    Having married into a Lutheran family, I was in college before I ever heard this blessing. At first it seemed juvenile or Catholic to me. Adults saying a prayer in unison was foreign to me! But I have come to greatly appreciate it, and our family says it together before every meal. I grew up saying:
    God is great. God is good.
    Let us thank Him for our food.
    By His hands we all are fed.
    Give us Lord our daily bread.
    Amen.
    The first thing that struck me about the Lutheran Common Table Blessing versus “God is Great” was that the prayer was not directed to God on High. It was asking Jesus, our savior, to come be in our presence and dwell among us. This was a very new thought for me 17 years ago. It had never occured to me to ask my savior to come dwell with me – I thought he was already there watching everything I was doing and judging me. So the Common Table Blessing was just another way the Lutheran Church has imparted the true Gospel to me, and I cherish this tradition.

  • LB

    Having married into a Lutheran family, I was in college before I ever heard this blessing. At first it seemed juvenile or Catholic to me. Adults saying a prayer in unison was foreign to me! But I have come to greatly appreciate it, and our family says it together before every meal. I grew up saying:
    God is great. God is good.
    Let us thank Him for our food.
    By His hands we all are fed.
    Give us Lord our daily bread.
    Amen.
    The first thing that struck me about the Lutheran Common Table Blessing versus “God is Great” was that the prayer was not directed to God on High. It was asking Jesus, our savior, to come be in our presence and dwell among us. This was a very new thought for me 17 years ago. It had never occured to me to ask my savior to come dwell with me – I thought he was already there watching everything I was doing and judging me. So the Common Table Blessing was just another way the Lutheran Church has imparted the true Gospel to me, and I cherish this tradition.

  • katy

    Adult converts, my husband and I are still a little “meh” about the prayer, although we use it at every meal with our children. Those who learned it in childhood seem to cherish it more, and I suppose our own kids will, too. We also sing Luther’s blessing from the Small Catechism (the tune found on Sing the Faith CD:

    http://www.cph.org/p-3422-sing-the-faith-cd.aspx?SearchTerm=catechism)

    Eventually we’d like like to return thanks, too. My mother-in-law (Reformed) came across “Come Lord Jesus” in both English and German Reformed literature (pre-19th century).

  • katy

    Adult converts, my husband and I are still a little “meh” about the prayer, although we use it at every meal with our children. Those who learned it in childhood seem to cherish it more, and I suppose our own kids will, too. We also sing Luther’s blessing from the Small Catechism (the tune found on Sing the Faith CD:

    http://www.cph.org/p-3422-sing-the-faith-cd.aspx?SearchTerm=catechism)

    Eventually we’d like like to return thanks, too. My mother-in-law (Reformed) came across “Come Lord Jesus” in both English and German Reformed literature (pre-19th century).

  • Joe

    Katy – as a born and breed Lutheran (even if my foundation was a little shaking in the LCA/ELCA) I say, whenever you have the impulse to use the catechism you can be assured your impulse is correct!!!!!!

  • Joe

    Katy – as a born and breed Lutheran (even if my foundation was a little shaking in the LCA/ELCA) I say, whenever you have the impulse to use the catechism you can be assured your impulse is correct!!!!!!

  • Stephen

    My daughter of 3 has learned “Come Lord Jesus” and she reminds me to say it at every meal! It’s what I grew up with as the son of an LCMS pastor who was the son of an LCMS pastor who was the son of a missionary from Saxony. I recently found it in German.

    We also say this when we return thanks:

    “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good” (Daddy’s part)
    “His mercy endures forever” (Mommy and daughter’s part)
    “Amen” (all together)

    Thanks for the extended version of “Come Lord Jesus” too Trent, and the German response Helen! I don’t remember exactly when the eschatology of that prayer hit me, maybe around the time of the beginning of the Iraq War when I found myself becoming more conscious of the “Amen. Come Lord Jesus” in the liturgy that comes after the Words of Institution. That remains a significant connection for me within that little sing-song prayer I’ve said a million times – that every meal is a reflection of the Heavenly Meal and the Resurrection we anticipate:

    1 Corinthians 11:26 “26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

    I think of the Emmaus Road experience of the presence of the resurrected Lord Jesus. I also like these from the Psalms:

    Psalm 104

    27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
    28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
    when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.

    and

    Psalm 107

    8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

    I like these as well as the verse from Psalm 145 in the Catechism, especially when we have a special meal with extended family. I have also been known to read an entire Psalm. I know a pastor who has memorized them ALL!

  • Stephen

    My daughter of 3 has learned “Come Lord Jesus” and she reminds me to say it at every meal! It’s what I grew up with as the son of an LCMS pastor who was the son of an LCMS pastor who was the son of a missionary from Saxony. I recently found it in German.

    We also say this when we return thanks:

    “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good” (Daddy’s part)
    “His mercy endures forever” (Mommy and daughter’s part)
    “Amen” (all together)

    Thanks for the extended version of “Come Lord Jesus” too Trent, and the German response Helen! I don’t remember exactly when the eschatology of that prayer hit me, maybe around the time of the beginning of the Iraq War when I found myself becoming more conscious of the “Amen. Come Lord Jesus” in the liturgy that comes after the Words of Institution. That remains a significant connection for me within that little sing-song prayer I’ve said a million times – that every meal is a reflection of the Heavenly Meal and the Resurrection we anticipate:

    1 Corinthians 11:26 “26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

    I think of the Emmaus Road experience of the presence of the resurrected Lord Jesus. I also like these from the Psalms:

    Psalm 104

    27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
    28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
    when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.

    and

    Psalm 107

    8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

    I like these as well as the verse from Psalm 145 in the Catechism, especially when we have a special meal with extended family. I have also been known to read an entire Psalm. I know a pastor who has memorized them ALL!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I grew up in Texas (in the LCMS) with the Common Table Prayer at meals. The only exception was at fancier dinners like Thanksgiving, when my dad would trot out “The eyes of all” (quite possibly because he was the only one who knew it in the KJV; I still have a hard time saying “satisfiest the”), along with the plates and silverware we reserved for such occasions.

    When I moved out here to Oregon (and the WELS), I was routinely caught off guard by pre-fellowship prayers in which they added, after the traditional Common Table Prayer lines, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his mercy endures forever”. That extended version is now the table prayer at our house.

    But I have to admit, I’ve never been crazy about it, myself. I like the “O give thanks” part, as that’s to be found all over the psalms and a good reminder. But, while I appreciate the take that Dr. Loy offers, it’s frankly the first I’ve heard of it.

    He seems to view it as basically three petitions. It always seemed like two to me: (1) Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and (2) let these gifts to us be blessed. Read like that, the request to “come” sounds less like a reference to Revelation 22:20 and a prayer for Christ’s return, and more like an invitation to be with us at this time. Which is why I’ve never been all that crazy about it.

    Of course, if people get what Dr. Loy gets out of it, more power to them. Somewhat ironically, I took the opportunity afforded by Dr. Loy’s reference to the Small Catechism to look up Luther’s pre-meal prayer, and my wife and I decided to start using that, instead.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I grew up in Texas (in the LCMS) with the Common Table Prayer at meals. The only exception was at fancier dinners like Thanksgiving, when my dad would trot out “The eyes of all” (quite possibly because he was the only one who knew it in the KJV; I still have a hard time saying “satisfiest the”), along with the plates and silverware we reserved for such occasions.

    When I moved out here to Oregon (and the WELS), I was routinely caught off guard by pre-fellowship prayers in which they added, after the traditional Common Table Prayer lines, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his mercy endures forever”. That extended version is now the table prayer at our house.

    But I have to admit, I’ve never been crazy about it, myself. I like the “O give thanks” part, as that’s to be found all over the psalms and a good reminder. But, while I appreciate the take that Dr. Loy offers, it’s frankly the first I’ve heard of it.

    He seems to view it as basically three petitions. It always seemed like two to me: (1) Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and (2) let these gifts to us be blessed. Read like that, the request to “come” sounds less like a reference to Revelation 22:20 and a prayer for Christ’s return, and more like an invitation to be with us at this time. Which is why I’ve never been all that crazy about it.

    Of course, if people get what Dr. Loy gets out of it, more power to them. Somewhat ironically, I took the opportunity afforded by Dr. Loy’s reference to the Small Catechism to look up Luther’s pre-meal prayer, and my wife and I decided to start using that, instead.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @16 – You realize that by using Luther’s meal prayer you’re slavishly following a sinful man, and not the divinely ordained word of the Common Table Prayer instituted by the Holy Apostles, right?

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @16 – You realize that by using Luther’s meal prayer you’re slavishly following a sinful man, and not the divinely ordained word of the Common Table Prayer instituted by the Holy Apostles, right?

  • Booklover

    Before every meal, we prayed:

    Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
    Let this food to us be blest.

    . . .except for the Sunday noon meal, at which we prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

    We were LCMS, descendants on both maternal and paternal sides from German people who had left their land in the 18th century to farm the Volga River region at the request of Catherine the Great of Russia. When Russia failed to keep its promises to the German people at the turn of the 20th century, these ancestors moved to the U.S. and settled in the midwest to farm, and later own, acres of sugarbeets.

    We were thankful for and blessed with our food. Our table was laden with farm produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, etc.), dairy milk, and Montana beef. And it was good that the Lord Jesus was our guest, because with five children who had just hoed the beets and milked the cows, we’d had tussles enough already!

  • Booklover

    Before every meal, we prayed:

    Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
    Let this food to us be blest.

    . . .except for the Sunday noon meal, at which we prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

    We were LCMS, descendants on both maternal and paternal sides from German people who had left their land in the 18th century to farm the Volga River region at the request of Catherine the Great of Russia. When Russia failed to keep its promises to the German people at the turn of the 20th century, these ancestors moved to the U.S. and settled in the midwest to farm, and later own, acres of sugarbeets.

    We were thankful for and blessed with our food. Our table was laden with farm produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, etc.), dairy milk, and Montana beef. And it was good that the Lord Jesus was our guest, because with five children who had just hoed the beets and milked the cows, we’d had tussles enough already!

  • cattail

    My husband, who was Hungarian (and Lutheran), taught this same prayer to our children in Hungarian (Edes Jesus…). (I remember it but can’t spell the rest of it.) I suspect this prayer is widely traveled. I personally prefer Psalm 104, but “Come Lord Jesus” is, IMHO, more appropriate when there are young children at the table.

    I too am a little unhappy with coupling “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good…” with the common table prayer. Not only the WELS but my current ELS congregation does this. I always thought that giving thanks is supposed to be done after the meal!

  • cattail

    My husband, who was Hungarian (and Lutheran), taught this same prayer to our children in Hungarian (Edes Jesus…). (I remember it but can’t spell the rest of it.) I suspect this prayer is widely traveled. I personally prefer Psalm 104, but “Come Lord Jesus” is, IMHO, more appropriate when there are young children at the table.

    I too am a little unhappy with coupling “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good…” with the common table prayer. Not only the WELS but my current ELS congregation does this. I always thought that giving thanks is supposed to be done after the meal!

  • helen

    cattail @ 19
    I always thought that giving thanks is supposed to be done after the meal!

    When I was young, it was, and nobody left the table till the adults were finished talking and it was said.

    Now, we are so “busy” that we can’t wait, and so say both beforehand.
    (So it was explained to me; actually I met the combination first at a pot luck, where it made sense, in a way.)

  • helen

    cattail @ 19
    I always thought that giving thanks is supposed to be done after the meal!

    When I was young, it was, and nobody left the table till the adults were finished talking and it was said.

    Now, we are so “busy” that we can’t wait, and so say both beforehand.
    (So it was explained to me; actually I met the combination first at a pot luck, where it made sense, in a way.)

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    When I lived in Texas we prayed Come Lord Jesus… before a meal and O give thanks… after the meal. In Minnesota the tradition seems to have both prayers before the meal. Weird.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    When I lived in Texas we prayed Come Lord Jesus… before a meal and O give thanks… after the meal. In Minnesota the tradition seems to have both prayers before the meal. Weird.

  • dm

    Concerning the “rhyming sing-song children’s” thing, I still summarize my theology with,
    “Jesus love me, this I know,
    For the Bible tells me so.”

  • dm

    Concerning the “rhyming sing-song children’s” thing, I still summarize my theology with,
    “Jesus love me, this I know,
    For the Bible tells me so.”

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    learned the table prayer from my Danish grandparents-

    BTW-I know where the Lutherans – willing to speak out- are–
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/danish-lutheran-church-takes-stand.html

    Wonder if there are any Danish Lutheran churches in the US…
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    learned the table prayer from my Danish grandparents-

    BTW-I know where the Lutherans – willing to speak out- are–
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/danish-lutheran-church-takes-stand.html

    Wonder if there are any Danish Lutheran churches in the US…
    C-CS

  • helen

    21 Andrew July 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm
    When I lived in Texas we prayed Come Lord Jesus… before a meal and O give thanks… after the meal. In Minnesota the tradition seems to have both prayers before the meal. Weird.

    Very weird, because with me, it was just the reverse!

  • helen

    21 Andrew July 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm
    When I lived in Texas we prayed Come Lord Jesus… before a meal and O give thanks… after the meal. In Minnesota the tradition seems to have both prayers before the meal. Weird.

    Very weird, because with me, it was just the reverse!

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    Helen, that is weird for sure. I was shocked to find both prayers at the beginning up here. My students thought I was weird for wanting to split the prayers up. Then again, I do not play duck duck grey duck.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    Helen, that is weird for sure. I was shocked to find both prayers at the beginning up here. My students thought I was weird for wanting to split the prayers up. Then again, I do not play duck duck grey duck.

  • helen

    C-CS @ 23
    There were two Danish Synods in the US, both now absorbed by elca. There was a small Danish college, closed last year by the elca, in Blair, Nebraska.

    My Danish grandparents belonged to a church in Minnesota which still had Danish services for many years after they arrived here in 1910.
    When I finally got to visit Denmark in 1974, I met a Pastor there who had been called to a Danish speaking congregation in Solvang, CA, spent 10 years there and returned to Denmark. His new church was on or near a farm which had belonged to my maternal great grandparents but was by then bought up and torn down for apartments at th edge of Fredericia, on Jutland.
    [More than you wanted to know!] :)

  • helen

    C-CS @ 23
    There were two Danish Synods in the US, both now absorbed by elca. There was a small Danish college, closed last year by the elca, in Blair, Nebraska.

    My Danish grandparents belonged to a church in Minnesota which still had Danish services for many years after they arrived here in 1910.
    When I finally got to visit Denmark in 1974, I met a Pastor there who had been called to a Danish speaking congregation in Solvang, CA, spent 10 years there and returned to Denmark. His new church was on or near a farm which had belonged to my maternal great grandparents but was by then bought up and torn down for apartments at th edge of Fredericia, on Jutland.
    [More than you wanted to know!] :)

  • helen

    To put the topic back on track:
    My grandchildren are learning to do extemp prayers before meals… I suspect the “married into Lutheranism” Mother did things that way.
    In many cases (not theirs, necessarily) my problem with extemp prayers is that the person doesn’t know when to stop. I suppose that’s my fault for being used to a prayer with an end to it. ;)

  • helen

    To put the topic back on track:
    My grandchildren are learning to do extemp prayers before meals… I suspect the “married into Lutheranism” Mother did things that way.
    In many cases (not theirs, necessarily) my problem with extemp prayers is that the person doesn’t know when to stop. I suppose that’s my fault for being used to a prayer with an end to it. ;)

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    Helen -thank you so much for your personal – historical take–

    Solvang is one of my favorite places to visit- even attended a service or two if I was there on a Sunday—
    A visit to Denmark is on my very short list of travel…
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    Helen -thank you so much for your personal – historical take–

    Solvang is one of my favorite places to visit- even attended a service or two if I was there on a Sunday—
    A visit to Denmark is on my very short list of travel…
    C-CS

  • http://www.lutheransinafrica.com Rev. James May

    To be honest, it rubs me to say “be our guest” as if we are serving him. We usually pray the catechism prayer or this one which is in Doberstein’s prayerbook;

    “At this table be our host, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
    Food and drink are from above, tokens of Thy heavenly love. AMEN”

  • http://www.lutheransinafrica.com Rev. James May

    To be honest, it rubs me to say “be our guest” as if we are serving him. We usually pray the catechism prayer or this one which is in Doberstein’s prayerbook;

    “At this table be our host, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
    Food and drink are from above, tokens of Thy heavenly love. AMEN”

  • helen

    It’s been a long time, but I think the German was something like

    “Come Lord Jesus be our Guest
    Let us and all Thou hast given us be blest.”

    Does that help, Pr. May?

  • helen

    It’s been a long time, but I think the German was something like

    “Come Lord Jesus be our Guest
    Let us and all Thou hast given us be blest.”

    Does that help, Pr. May?

  • Tom Hering

    Praying “be our guest” is just doing what folks in the New Testament did – inviting Jesus to eat with sinners.

  • Tom Hering

    Praying “be our guest” is just doing what folks in the New Testament did – inviting Jesus to eat with sinners.

  • Tom Hering

    “Let They gifts to us be blessed” seems like the problematic line to me. God’s gifts of food and drink are already blessings – blessings that He gives to the wicked and the righteous alike. So in what way are we asking that His blessings be blessed?

    The understanding of a simple prayer ought to itself be simple. If we understand the first request, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest” as inviting Christ to eat with us sinners, then we can understand the second request, “Let Thy gifts to us be blessed” as a continuation of the first – as asking for the blessing, in addition to God’s common blessings of food and drink, of Christ’s presence at our table. So, in this table prayer, we are identifying ourselves with those in the New Testament who invited Jesus to sup with them.

    The prayer is meant, I think, to call those New Testament stories of Jesus eating with sinners to our minds. And so to remind us that He comes to us, not because we are well and righteous (and so would have no need of Him) but because we are sick and sinful, and in need of a Savior. Every day.

  • Tom Hering

    “Let They gifts to us be blessed” seems like the problematic line to me. God’s gifts of food and drink are already blessings – blessings that He gives to the wicked and the righteous alike. So in what way are we asking that His blessings be blessed?

    The understanding of a simple prayer ought to itself be simple. If we understand the first request, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest” as inviting Christ to eat with us sinners, then we can understand the second request, “Let Thy gifts to us be blessed” as a continuation of the first – as asking for the blessing, in addition to God’s common blessings of food and drink, of Christ’s presence at our table. So, in this table prayer, we are identifying ourselves with those in the New Testament who invited Jesus to sup with them.

    The prayer is meant, I think, to call those New Testament stories of Jesus eating with sinners to our minds. And so to remind us that He comes to us, not because we are well and righteous (and so would have no need of Him) but because we are sick and sinful, and in need of a Savior. Every day.

  • Craig

    A additional concluding verse that we have said for years, after hearing our pastor mention it in a semon, is as follows:

    And let there be a goodly share
    on every table every where.

  • Craig

    A additional concluding verse that we have said for years, after hearing our pastor mention it in a semon, is as follows:

    And let there be a goodly share
    on every table every where.

  • l shaffer

    Craig,
    We use that concluding verse, too. I think it came back to our congregation after an LCMS convention one year.

  • l shaffer

    Craig,
    We use that concluding verse, too. I think it came back to our congregation after an LCMS convention one year.

  • Joe

    Craig and 1 shaffer: We use that concluding verse at our congregation too. I had never heard it before we joined our current church about 8 years ago. And, until this thread I have never heard of anyone outside our congregation using it. I thought it was a something our former pastor came up with.

  • Joe

    Craig and 1 shaffer: We use that concluding verse at our congregation too. I had never heard it before we joined our current church about 8 years ago. And, until this thread I have never heard of anyone outside our congregation using it. I thought it was a something our former pastor came up with.

  • l shaffer

    Interesting. Wikipedia says “A Slovak Lutheran tradition adds the second verse”

  • l shaffer

    Interesting. Wikipedia says “A Slovak Lutheran tradition adds the second verse”

  • http://ronaldjayaremiendo.tumblr.com/ Ronald Jay A. Remiendo

    Every time before I’m eating I pray like this.
    “Lord thank you for the food you give to me that symbolize as your body and water as your blood, Thank you for all the blessing you give to me.Amen
    You don’t need to memorized a prayer it should be your own.

  • http://ronaldjayaremiendo.tumblr.com/ Ronald Jay A. Remiendo

    Every time before I’m eating I pray like this.
    “Lord thank you for the food you give to me that symbolize as your body and water as your blood, Thank you for all the blessing you give to me.Amen
    You don’t need to memorized a prayer it should be your own.

  • Michelle

    Bless us, Jesus, Bless this food, to thy glory and our good, Amen
    Danish table prayer

  • Michelle

    Bless us, Jesus, Bless this food, to thy glory and our good, Amen
    Danish table prayer

  • ivan

    i think the hungarian prayer you are looking for might be this:
    edes Jesus, legy vendekunk. ald meg a mit attal nekunk, amen.

    that is most likely incorrect spelling but that’s what we say before meals

  • ivan

    i think the hungarian prayer you are looking for might be this:
    edes Jesus, legy vendekunk. ald meg a mit attal nekunk, amen.

    that is most likely incorrect spelling but that’s what we say before meals

  • sue

    Does anyone know the second verse of this prayer? It involves a prayer of thanksgiving. We used to say this after our meals at my grandparents house, but I cannot remember the after meal prayer only that it said thank you.

  • sue

    Does anyone know the second verse of this prayer? It involves a prayer of thanksgiving. We used to say this after our meals at my grandparents house, but I cannot remember the after meal prayer only that it said thank you.

  • Jean

    Helen… here is the prayer that we continue to say that I inherited (in English) from my father (a 2nd generation German):
    Come Lord Jesus,
    Be thou our guest,
    Let us and all that Thou hast given us,
    This day be blest,
    Amen

  • Jean

    Helen… here is the prayer that we continue to say that I inherited (in English) from my father (a 2nd generation German):
    Come Lord Jesus,
    Be thou our guest,
    Let us and all that Thou hast given us,
    This day be blest,
    Amen

  • Rev. Fr. Jacob

    Dear Loving Rev. Father,

    Greetings of love and Prayerful wishes to you from your spiritual brother in Christ Jesus.

    Let me take the liberty of introducing myself to you that I am Fr. Jacob Prasad Pulapaka, Parish Priest of Muchintala, from the Diocese of Vijayawada in South India. Having a great concern for the faithful in our parish and seeking their welfare, may I take the liberty of putting on record for your kind perusal some of the important facts of my above mentioned newly erected parish? There are about 500 families comprising of 3,000 Catholics who are “the poorest of the poor,” coming from the lowest rung of the financial ladder, who are mostly working as landless labourers and coolies. These people are devout and God fearing Catholics who are rich in their faith practices. We have started an Association for Legion of Mary, Alter boys association, Youth and Vincent de Paul Society. All are faithful in their faith Practices. There are orphans, widows, aged, landless labourers, unemployed youth and people who are suffering from various physical and mental ailments.

    I am conscientiously led by my own spirit that I have a deep commitment towards the upliftment of these suffering masses. I have a personal plan for some rural development programs. But at this critical juncture I feel that apart from my function as a priest, I am somewhat constrained as far as the financial conditions are concerned. This being a newly erected parish in the remotest part of south India, I have to candidly admit herewith that my commitments are many but the funding resources are few. For the much-needed support of these below the poverty line faith believers, I would want plentiful blessings.

    I am putting this before Our Lord for his Divine Mercy to grant my prayers with supplications since this being a newly erected Parish; we need some genuine help, and some financial support from your generous, benevolent funds for this poor people, who are such wonderful and dedicated believers in the Catholicity of their faith. MAY I REQUEST YOU TO KINDLY PRAY FOR MY INTENTIONS, SOTHAT GOD MAY SEND SOME SPONSORS WHO CAN REALLY HELP ME OUT IN THIS WORK OF EVANGELISATION THROUGH SOCIAL SERVICE.

    I would appreciate if my prayers with lot of supplication are granted with needful as mentioned above in this context. Assuring my sincere prayers and I remain under your fraternal guidance. Thanking you

    Yours Sincerely,
    Yours in Christ Jesus

    Rev. Fr. Jacob Prasad Pulapaka

  • Rev. Fr. Jacob

    Dear Loving Rev. Father,

    Greetings of love and Prayerful wishes to you from your spiritual brother in Christ Jesus.

    Let me take the liberty of introducing myself to you that I am Fr. Jacob Prasad Pulapaka, Parish Priest of Muchintala, from the Diocese of Vijayawada in South India. Having a great concern for the faithful in our parish and seeking their welfare, may I take the liberty of putting on record for your kind perusal some of the important facts of my above mentioned newly erected parish? There are about 500 families comprising of 3,000 Catholics who are “the poorest of the poor,” coming from the lowest rung of the financial ladder, who are mostly working as landless labourers and coolies. These people are devout and God fearing Catholics who are rich in their faith practices. We have started an Association for Legion of Mary, Alter boys association, Youth and Vincent de Paul Society. All are faithful in their faith Practices. There are orphans, widows, aged, landless labourers, unemployed youth and people who are suffering from various physical and mental ailments.

    I am conscientiously led by my own spirit that I have a deep commitment towards the upliftment of these suffering masses. I have a personal plan for some rural development programs. But at this critical juncture I feel that apart from my function as a priest, I am somewhat constrained as far as the financial conditions are concerned. This being a newly erected parish in the remotest part of south India, I have to candidly admit herewith that my commitments are many but the funding resources are few. For the much-needed support of these below the poverty line faith believers, I would want plentiful blessings.

    I am putting this before Our Lord for his Divine Mercy to grant my prayers with supplications since this being a newly erected Parish; we need some genuine help, and some financial support from your generous, benevolent funds for this poor people, who are such wonderful and dedicated believers in the Catholicity of their faith. MAY I REQUEST YOU TO KINDLY PRAY FOR MY INTENTIONS, SOTHAT GOD MAY SEND SOME SPONSORS WHO CAN REALLY HELP ME OUT IN THIS WORK OF EVANGELISATION THROUGH SOCIAL SERVICE.

    I would appreciate if my prayers with lot of supplication are granted with needful as mentioned above in this context. Assuring my sincere prayers and I remain under your fraternal guidance. Thanking you

    Yours Sincerely,
    Yours in Christ Jesus

    Rev. Fr. Jacob Prasad Pulapaka

  • Werner

    I was born in 1947 in Germany.
    The German version I learned in my catholic (!) family was:
    Komm, Herr Jesus, sei unser Gast
    und segne, was Du uns bescheret hast!.

    The verb “bescheren” seemed to my generation to oldfashioned and so it was replaced by the mere “gegeben”.
    We still say it before every “warm” meal.

    Werner Rauch, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany


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