Followers of Jesus Christ have an odd habit, one that I am so guilty of and have been convicted of more and more lately. We prioritize prayer, remind ourselves and others that prayer is communication with a pure and holy God, and talk about its intrinsic value.
Then, we get to a meal time.
We have created this habit of praying before meals in order to thank God for the food and ask him to bless it. Yet, the problem is that this has become a HABIT. So frequently, we rush through the prayer in order to fulfill our habitual duties, getting the words out of our mouth as quickly as possible in order to dig into the food in front of us.
Folks, if we continue praying before meals in this way, it would be better if we didn’t pray before them at all.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 says,
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.”
Matthew 6:7 reads,
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”
Over and over in the Word of God is emphasis placed on the importance and value of prayer. It is coming before the very throne of God with privilege that we never deserved. It is taking advantage of the veil that Jesus tore and coming face-to-face with the living and mighty God as a Savior, Lord, and friend (albeit we don’t deserve that title).
Yet, in our eagerness to appear holy, we completely disregard the awesome privilege it is to be able to have an open conversation with God in our rush to consume food.
Yes, if we cannot discipline ourselves to put off eating for a few minutes in order to genuinely communicate with God, it would be better if we didn’t pray at all. Let us be people of God that know that conversation with the most High is more important than food. Let us be people who are willing to go hungry for a period of time in order to bring praise and needs before the Father.
Let us stop vain and repetitive prayers that have absolutely no significance and that are full of empty words in order to pat ourselves on the back.
(PC: No More Dirty Looks)