When a welcome dish, snack or cup of coffee comes along, you might want to offer up a prayer.
Posted in , Mar 11, 2016
For millennia now, observant Jewish parents have taught their children from infancy to love God and His words by placing a dab of honey on a page of scripture as they simultaneously read and give the child occasional tastes of the honey.
The idea, of course, is for the child to learn to associate God’s words with sweetness and pleasure, as the psalmist prayed, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103, NIV)
What a wonderful custom—and one that might suggest a way to enhance our prayer lives, even as adults, by associating certain foods with specific prayers.
For example, when I am handed the bread basket at a meal, why not pray, silently or aloud, “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3, NIV) or “I cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4, NIV).
Or what if my first cup of coffee each morning prompted a prayer like, “I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” (Psalm 59:16, NIV).
An egg or fish dish might prompt me to remember Luke 11:11-13: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Any fruit could remind me to pray for the fruit of the Spirit in my life, for more “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).
And a pastry or dessert might evoke the psalmist’s prayer: “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:4-6, NIV).
With a little practice, meal times and snack times might be transformed into times of prayer—and God knows, I need the latter far more than the former.