Children’s prayer teaches us about God, gratitude

Published 12:46 pm Saturday, December 5, 2015

When our family gathered around the Thanksgiving table last week, we joined hands to pray before the meal.

This year instead of selecting one person to say the blessing, we joined our voices together to sing blessing.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.”

We were truly blessed by an abundance of food, enough to eat for lunch and dinner that day.

Sometimes at family gatherings we have asked the oldest person to pray the blessing and sometimes we’ve asked the youngest family member.

I’ve heard prayers before meals that people pray repeatedly.

When we bow our heads before serving our plates, my father-in-law usually says, “Gracious Heavenly Father, give us humble and thankful hearts for these and all Thy many blessings.”

I’ve often heard people pray, “Dear Lord, bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and us to Thy service. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Almost every child learns to say the blessing with words, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. By His hands, we are fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.”

This simple prayer teaches us the characteristics of God, while teaching us to express gratitude. God is great! Grasping that truth can change ones perspective on prayer.

Deuteronomy 10:17 reads, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (NKJ). “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” as the song reminds us.

God is good! “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). “For the Lord God…. bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” ( Psalm 84:11).

God demonstrates His goodness to us by giving – giving His only Son to die for our sins that we can have a personal relationship with Him.

God is great and God is good! He daily loads us with benefits and gives us our daily bread. The Apostle Paul writes “….he who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks” (Romans 14:6 NKJ). Psalms 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (NKJ)

Author / Minister Chuck Swindoll has made several suggestions for saying grace before meals.

First, think before you pray. Look at what’s on the table and call the food by name. For example, “Thank You for the chicken and rice casserole.” Second, involve others in prayer by asking each person to say a sentence prayer. Third, keep it brief!

Jesus gave thanks before He served the bread from a little boy’s lunch (John 6:10-12). Let’s follow His example and not forget to give God thanks for giving us our daily bread.


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at