Now Thank we all our God
My first pastor of many years ago spoke a homily I never forgot. He mentioned how two collection baskets with written pleas were returned to the altar. One had many requests for healings and other needs. The second basket was for notes of thanksgiving to God. The first was usually overflowing while the second contained very few.
Words that should get our attention whether it is for grace before meals or a reminder that we owe more to the Lord than a quick passing phrase. The standard prayer before meals is not giving thanks to God since the words ask him to bless us from his bounty. This Statement will garner criticism from many readers who are staunch catholics and may get upset over deviating from traditional prayers. It’s alright to have standard verses for praying to God, especially since most of us grew up passing down from one generation to the next. When change is introduced it is like rocking the boat. Many people do not like change.
However, even when Jesus answered the request from the disciples to teach them how to pray, he did hand on to all believers a simple but powerful prayer with the Our Father. Each stanza is a line of who the Father is, and holy. His kingdom is coming and as Jesus said later it is already here. We continue with adhering to the Father’s Will here and in heaven. Our request is for daily sustenance and seeking forgiveness with a mandate to forgive equally each other. Not leading us into sin is the grace to refrain from the temptations that will confront us.
None of us would’ve come up with a theological premise like Our Father without the teaching from Jesus. However, attempting to compose our own words when praying to God is a blessed thing because it comes from the heart and not from memory.
The quest of this reflection is giving thanks to God for everything we have received. Using standard prayers is ok but the real essence of our needs will be found with each word we formulate out of our mind and with an actual desire to get closer to the Lord.
One prayer before meals, as a guide only; “O Lord we give you all the praise and glory today or this evening, thanking you for the blessings on those we pray for, and ask your grace on all of us Amen.”
Asking God to bless us in any situation is like calling him on the phone and having a personal conversation as you would with a personal friend. That is just what God is. A friend who will listen and be a personal confidant, never revealing your utmost secrets.
We should begin each day and every special moment of that day with words of thanksgiving to God. Asking for answers when in need is essential, but thanking God first is most important.
Ralph B. Hathaway