BY AMY WALTON |
Saying grace before meals is something deeply ingrained in me.
As far back as I can remember, I have almost always said the Moravian Table Blessing before meals, either audibly or silently. My mother taught me this blessing when I was a toddler, and our family always prayed it before eating. We never said the entire blessing, just the first couple lines:
Come, Lord Jesus, our Guest to be,
And bless these gifts bestowed by Thee.
This is the table prayer I taught my children and the one we said as a family. I still pray it unless I’m with a friend or friends of another Christian faith, then we usually join hands and pray straight from the heart.
Wait! What exactly does “straight from the heart” mean? Does it mean we are praying very personal, spontaneous prayers, or can we pray a common prayer, such as our beloved table blessing, straight from the heart?
On a recent morning I thought, “How can I make this beautiful blessing a little more personal rather than just falling into a robotic rhythm?”
So, I slowly and mindfully prayed its verses, taking time to ponder each one. Here is a representation of what came to mind, verse by beautiful verse:
Come, Lord Jesus:
Yes, come, Lord! Join me at my table and in this meal. You gave me both, as well as the promise of eternal life. Come, come, and sit by me or across from me. I invite You here. Join me in this feast!
Our Guest to be:
You are my Lord, my Savior, and my most special guest at the table. I have a place here for You at every meal of everyday. I soak in Your presence and take comfort in knowing You are here with me, the King of kings and Lord of lords. My simple table and settings come nowhere close to the great heavenly banquet that awaits me. With Your presence here, however, they are somehow transformed into a regal event. Come, and be by Guest.
And bless these gifts:
Yes! Bless the food and beverages I am about to receive. May they provide the nourishment my body needs. Bless every person who had a part in this meal before me: The growers, the harvesters, the transportation folks, the grocers, the preparers. May I be ever grateful for all of them, especially those who work so hard for so little pay, and may I never take any of this for granted.
Bestowed by Thee:
Everything comes from you, Father. Everything. Thank you, most gracious God, for giving this food to me. I praise you for knowing what I need and for providing it. You are, indeed, Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. From the depths of my heart, I thank you.
And bless our loved ones everywhere:
Yes, Lord, bless my loved ones: My family, my friends, my co-workers, neighbors, church family, and other friends near and far. Bless all your people, O Lord-the underserved, the prisoners, the unborn, refugees, those with special needs, the elderly and infirm. Bless us all and may we all seek to be You to others.
And keep them in Your loving care:
Protect my loved ones and all Your people on this day, Jesus. Envelop us in Your presence, that we may soak in and bask in Your love. We love because You first loved us. Let us love one another and trust our loved ones to Your care.
Consider trying your own personal reflection on the Moravian Table Blessing from time to time. Invite Jesus to dine with you. Welcome Him as your Guest. Ask His blessings on your meal and everyone who had a part in it. Acknowledge Him as the Giver of these good gifts. Ask for His blessings and care for your loved ones and for all His people.
Invite Him in every single day… straight from your heart.
About the author
Amy Walton is a certified life coach, certified Christian life coach, speaker, and writer who has lived in coastal Virginia for nearly 30 years. A native of Mayodan, North Carolina, she was baptized, confirmed, and raised in Mayodan Moravian Church, where she remains an Associate Member. Connect with her at www.amy-walton.com or