Blessing the food; ways to say “grace” before meals

Photo by Nicole Michalou on

Copyright by Bob Rogers

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
Jesus also blessed the food and gave thanks for it when He fed the 5,000, and when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Thus Christians all over the world make it their regular practice to pray a prayer of blessing and thanks before their meals. But scripture does not record the words Jesus prayed, which is probably a good thing, as it has allowed Christians to develop many different prayers. Here is a collection of prayers I have found from various sources. Of course, it is best to pray from the heart, and avoid getting in a rut. But perhaps by sharing these prayers, it will prompt you to pray some fresh thoughts as you thank God for His blessings each time you eat. Here are the prayers. Where I know the source, I list it in parentheses:


“Thank you, Lord, for the food we are about to receive, and for the nourishment to our bodies. For Christ’s sake, Amen.”

“Humble our hearts, Oh Lord, and make us thankful for these and all our blessings. In Christ name Amen.” (Shared by Brenda Holloway and Darren Thomas)

“Lord, bless this food to our nourishment, and us to Your service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” (Traditional prayer I heard in my family.)

“Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive, through Thy bounty through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.” (Traditional Roman Catholic prayer.)

“Christ God, bless the food and drink of Thy servants, for Thou art holy, always, now and ever, and to the ages. Amen.” (Traditional Eastern Orthodox prayer.)


“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.” (Traditional children’s rhyme.)

“ABCDEFG Thank you, God, for feeding me.”

To the tune of Superman Theme: “Thank you God for giving us food. Thank you God for giving us food. [Both hands pointed up.] For daily bread, that we are fed. [One hand moves to the hip on ‘daily bread’ and then alternate with other hand on ‘we are fed.’] Thank you God [hands up], for giving us food” [hands move to the hips and voice deepens.](Shared by Joseph & Beth Copeck)

“Thank You for the food we eat, yum yum! Thank You for the friends we meet, ho ho! Thank You for the birds that sing, a-ling a-ling! Thank You, Lord, for everything, Amen!” (Robin Anker Peterson of Perth, Scotland, sang this happily to his young children.)

To the tune of Frere Jacques (“Brother John”): “God our Father, God our Father, We thank you, We thank you, For our many blessings, For our many blessings, A-men, A-men.”


“Good food, good meat, good Lord, let’s eat. Amen.”

“Lord, bless this bunch as they munch their lunch.”

“Grace in the kitchen, Grace in the hall, please O God, don’t let them get it all.” (Shared by Buddy Wasson)

“Lazarus rose, Moses led, Noah built, Jesus fed. Amen.” (Debbie T. Alsup)


“Heavenly Father, bless this food, and bless our friends and family who’ve come to dine with us today. Amen.”

“God, we give you thanks for the delicious food on our table, for the loved ones gathered around, and for you, who make it all possible. We are humbly grateful. Amen.” (Norman Vincent Peale, A Prayer for Every Need)

“Dear Lord, we’ve gathered to share good times, good conversation, good friends, and good food, which we thank you for all. Amen.”

“Bless the food before us, the family beside us, and the love between us.” (Shared by Lynda Easterling Stinson)


“Give us grateful hearts, O Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (1928 Book of Common Prayer)

“For food in a world where many are in hunger; For faith in a world where many walk in fear; For friends in a world where many walk alone; We give you thanks, O Lord. Amen.” (Huron Hunger Fund, Anglican Church of Canada)

“Oh Lord, make us grateful for this food that we are about to receive, as we remember those who do not have enough to eat. Amen.”


“Thank you, Lord for this food, and bless the hands that prepared it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” (Traditional prayer I heard in my family.)

“God, many hands made this meal possible. Farmers grew it. Truckers drove it. Grocers sold it. We prepared it. Bless all those hands, and help us always remember our dependence on you. Amen.” (Norman Vincent Peale, A Prayer for Every Need)

“You are mighty Lord, and all providing. We thank you for this food we have been given for nourishment and delight. We ask a special blessing to those who prepared this meal with love and care tonight. Amen.”


An old Scottish blessing: Some hae meat and cannae eat. Some nae meat but want it. We hae meat and we can eat and sae the Lord be thankit. Translated: Some have meat and cannot eat. Some no meat but want it. We have meat and we can eat and [so the Lord be thanked].
Some hae meat and cannae eat. Some nae meat but want it. We hae meat and we can eat and sae the Lord be thankit. Translated: Some have meat and cannot eat. Some no meat but want it. We have meat and we can eat and [so the Lord be thanked].

Some hae meat and cannae eat. Some nae meat but want it. We hae meat and we can eat and sae the Lord be thankit.” (Some have meat and cannot eat. Some no meat but want it. We have meat and we can eat and so the Lord be thanked.) (Scottish blessing.)

Alles das wir haben (All that we have), Alles ist gegaben (All of it is a gift), Es kommt, O Gott, von dir (It comes, O God, from you), Wir danken dir dafuer. (We thank you for it.)” (German blessing.)

Cristo, pan de vida (Christ, bread of life) Ven y bendice esta comida. Amen. (Come and bless this food.)” (Spanish blessing.)

My mom tells the story that when I was a little boy, a family member asked me to say the prayer at a large family gathering. I gave thanks for everything on the table and everything else in sight, and as my prayer went on and on, my mom tried to bring me to an end by interrupting with an “Amen.” I looked up and said, “But I’m not finished praying yet.” I suppose there are two lessons in that story. On the one hand, we need to keep our public prayers short and sweet. But on the other hand, we should never be finished praying from the heart. As scripture says, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, KJV).


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The Prayer Life of Jesus Christ, Part 1: Times and Places He Prayed

The Prayer Life of Jesus Christ, Part 2: Words that He Prayed

The Prayer Life of Jesus Christ, Part 3: Lessons Learned

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About Bob Rogers

Hospital chaplain in Mississippi. Adjunct history professor (online). Formerly a pastor for 33 years in Mississippi and Georgia. Avid cyclist.

Posted on October 25, 2013, in Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. My dad used to say (jokingly), “Praise God and the Holy Ghost, who eats the fastest gets the most!” 🙂

  2. Thank you lord

  3. I need for none of my food or beverages or anything to never be poisoned and they fix all the food and beverages they have messed up and put in things that I don’t like such as eggs. I also need for them to list all the ingredients even in restaurants and I always have an abundance of food and bev, healthy, exp. tasty clean fresh, hot when supposed to cold when supposed to,. (all the goods)feast my favorite meals and they take things out I don’t want and is no good and be generous and treat me and my son kind always and we can eat where we want and not be ashamed and treated s always and my men with me and m and whoever is with me that I want. God bless the food forever!

  4. It is an abomination to say humorous prayers! “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain”

  5. Elizabeth Klym

    I enjoyed these prayers especially the one for children im new to Christianity and im searching for prayers to say over my children before leaving for school if you know of any I would greatly appreciate it

  6. Thank you so much for this. I didn’t know how to pray, but now I’m starting to pray every time before eat.

  7. very nice prayers! I’m in need of prayer mentioning my Children, Great Grandbabies, Grandchildren that are not with me that im so worried where their at, are they safe, Do they have food, shelter! To please be safe of sound mind no more mental disorders, please heal and set them free of all addiction and graving, To be free, at peace, comfort happiness have jobs available help with your knowledge Dear Father, Be of sound mind, let pain,hurt, anger etc.go, let all pass go, leave in the future for the future?

  8. great prayers

  9. Rub a dub dub thanks for the grub. Amen.

  10. Does anyone have a general grace before a lunch meal that could be used after everyone returns from the cemetery

  11. Robin Anker Peterson, who has a wonderful healing ministry at Blackruthven House in Perth, Scotland, used this prayer at mealtime, sung happily, when his children were young: Thank You for the food we eat, yum yum! Thank You for the friends we meet, ho ho! Thank You for the birds that sing, a-ling a-ling! Thank You, Lord, for everything, Amen!

    • Mark,
      I love that! May I add it to this blog, giving credit to you and Robin?

      • Sure! I first met Robin when he was a university chaplain at Stirling University in Scotland where I was studying. Before that, he and his wife, along with their then very young children, spent time as missionaries in Southern Sudan. You can find his Healing Ministry at
        It is a tremendous place and he is a wonderful man; I am still touched by his wisdom here in Tasmania 25 years on.
        Peace, Mark

      • Bob, I’m sure I wrote a reply to you but perhaps it didn’t go. Sure you may! Robin’s Healing Ministry can be found at The Bield at Blackruthven. Peace, Mark

      • Thank you! I will include it here and check out her ministry.

  12. Looks good – Robin as in ‘Batman and…’ so ’tis him 🙂 When his children were very young he and his wife and the children spent time in South Sudan where he was doing missionary work. Look for Dinka crosses on the website. I only mention this because coincidentally the Archbishop of Canterbury is in the Sudan now consecrating the church there as a formal part of the Aglican Communion. When Robin and his family were there, the place was in the midst of a civil war and there were (as I recall it) crucifictions! Blessings, mark

  13. To pray in the Name of Jesus Christ is the correct one and not for Christ sake.

  14. Is there a way to research the origin of a family prayer?

    • Julia, I would ask older family members what they remember. Maybe a grandparents remembers who taught them the prayer that they often repeat. If you think it came from a particular faith tradition, writer or other source, you might try to research their books on prayer, etc.

  15. The food im eating I worked for and went and bought it myself it was not provided for me. The food im eating is genetically modified full of preservatives and artificial crap this is not the food God provided and I will not thank anyone

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