by Linda Veath

iStock_000019385413_LargeI grew up using the common table prayer “Come, Lord Jesus” for grace at every meal. So when I ran across the book Grace for Meals (copyrighted 1911)—with 365 mealtime prayers in it—I was intrigued.

One of the prayers I read recently drew my attention. It began by thanking the Lord for the food, followed by a petition: “Teach us to use

[the food] rightly … to Thy service.”

I’m not sure I’d ever thought about food in terms of using it rightly. Or even asking God to teach me how to do that. But images from the past started floating around in my brain.

Like all the times I’d left food on my plate because I ordered too much when I wasn’t really hungry. Or leftovers that got tossed from the fridge because I didn’t want to eat them again. Or maybe I’d let them get too old to eat. What about the money I’d spent on name-brand food? And what about all the potato chips I’d eaten even though they are not on my heart healthy diet?

Then there were the times when I failed to take food to a sick neighbor. Or invite someone over for a home-cooked meal. Or didn’t donate to the food pantry.

Sadly, I think it’s safe to say that I—we—do need to be taught how to use food rightly. It’s one of God’s gifts to us—not only for the nourishment of our bodies, but also for our enjoyment. How blessed we are to have a God who provides for all our physical needs like that.

But it doesn’t stop with our physical needs. God provides for our spiritual needs as well. And one way He does that is through His Holy Word. And when we seek the nourishment of His Word, He teaches us how to use all things—including food—rightly.

Heavenly Father, Forgive us for not using your gifts rightly. Please teach us to use them to Your honor and glory always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I will praise you as long as I live … My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. ~ Psalm 63:4-5 NIV

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