Saying grace

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About half of Americans say grace before meals, according to a new study.  Even 11% of those who don’t believe in religion a
say some sort of grace.  (For regional, ethnic, political, age, and denominational breakdowns, read after the jump.)

Religion journalist Sarah Pulliam Bailey writes about the phenomenon, interviewing a number of different people about why they pray.  An atheist, for example, says that he feels that it is important to express some kind of gratitude.  (But to whom?)

She also cites the Lutheran table prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus. . . .” [Read more…]

Why we say grace before our meals

From Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today by John W. Kleinig, on saying grace before our meal:

“Because God provides us with our daily bread and all that we need for our physical journey on earth, we exercise our faith by saying grace before and after meals. This simple custom, this act of daily thanksgiving, acknowledges two profound realities. On the one hand, it acknowledges that we receive our food, like all our apparent possessions, as a gift from God for our nourishment and enjoyment. On the other hand, it also acknowledges that the triune God is the host of the meal who does not just provide us with food but also wishes to bless us by his presence with us. The saying of grace makes every meal a holy meal because it has been sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.” (56)

Now I understand the Common Table Prayer (“Come Lord Jesus, be our guest/And let thy gifts to us be blest”). It has to do with God’s presence at our meal!